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How To Serve Cocktails

A large part of being a good bartender is  knowing how to serve cocktails that people actually want to buy and keep coming back for.

Cocktails are no longer just “girly drinks” as they use to be thought of. Cocktail making has become an art form and a way to showcase spirits and liquors.

While most bartenders and mixologists that are serious about their work go through rigorous training to learn how to make a good cocktail, there are certain universal rules that apply to most cocktails. Keep these in mind and you’re likely to be successful in making your cocktails a hit with customers.

  1. Keep it Chilled

Expert bartenders say keeping everything chilled is crucial to a good cocktail. Most cocktails taste best with a lot of ice in the glass and in the shaker. With certain cocktails a frosted cocktail glass also looks great and enhances the ‘chill’ of the drink.

  1. Choosing the Right Garnish

While the taste of your cocktail is the most important element, the garnish is also important. Cocktails are just as much about the visual as they are about the taste. Garnish your cocktails well and make sure the drink is a feast for the eyes first. Don’t overdo the garnish and try to link the garnish to the actual ingredients of the drink, for example drinks containing apple flavours can be garnished with a slice of apple.

  1. Serve in the Right Glassware

With certain cocktails the right glass is aesthetically pleasing while with others, the right glass may even affect the taste of the drink. Learn all you can about glassware and how to serve drinks. For example drinks with aerated mixes or juices are served in a high ball glass and cocktails containing champagne are served in a flute. Brandy cocktails are usually served in a balloon glass.

  1. The Fresher the Better

If the cocktail calls for fruit juice, its best to use fresh juices but ensure you prepare them before the rush hour. Fresh fruit juices will enhance the cocktail and give them a fresher kick. They also tend to be thinner than other processed juices, which make them lighter mixers.

  1. Know How to Build the Cocktail Correctly

There is a reason why cocktail making follows a specific order, it ensures the best flavour. The process is usually

  • Hard spirit first

  • Liqueur or enhancer next

  • Mixer comes after

  • End off with bitters if needed

  • Garnish as desired

Whether you plan on becoming a professional bartender or just want to work in a nightclub or bar until you start university, you need to be eligible to serve drinks in Australia. Eligibility to serve drinks in a licensed venue in Australia involves completing Responsible Service of Alcohol training.

This training is the government’s way of ensuring everyone who serves alcohol is aware of how to do so in a socially responsible manner and what the laws says about alcohol service, in this way addressing problematic drinking behaviour.


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