How to Become a Bartender


chad-collins-bartenderI am  huge fan of mixology and a properly prepared and balanced cocktail. I love creating my own cocktails but theres only so much you can do without proper training. I have taken the liberty of listing the proper steps that you need in order to become an amazing bartender. Take a look at these steps but check with your state laws as they may vary in regards to requirements. Enjoy!

Meet the requirements: You must be at least 18 years old to work as a bartender, though some states require that you be 19 or 21. Some states also require that bartenders take alcohol awareness classes prior to beginning work. Again, check with your city/state to clarify the specific requirements.

Complete These: Some bars hire new bartenders who have completed bartending school, while others prefer to promote their own barbacks/cocktail waitresses to bartending positions. It really varys so its up to you!

  • Complete bartending school- Most classes will teach you how to prepare hundreds of different kinds of cocktails, deal with intoxicated patrons, prepare garnishes, pour liquor, and differentiate between different types of beer and wine
  • Find a job as a barback or cocktail waitress- Barbacks are the assistants to the bartender. Duties for this job include collecting empty glasses, preparing garnish trays, getting ice, wiping down the bar, and restocking supplies
    • Cocktail waitresses are responsible for delivering alcoholic beverages to patrons in bars, music venues, and other drinking establishments

Get practice: Bartenders need a lot of practice to perfect the basics and even more to learn the tricky things. Most bars offer training to new employees and will start new bartenders off working alongside a seasoned bartender in order to gain supervised experience.

Find work as a bartender: Apply to tons of venues including casinos, bars, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, etc. You never know where they will lead or who you might meet over a cocktail.

  • If you already have a job as a barback or cocktail waitress, then set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the prospect of being promoted to a bartending position

Know the qualities required of a bartender. Below are list of skills that you must have if you intend on being a great and successful bartender at a top venue.

  • Strong People Skills
  • Good Memory
  • Sales Skills
  • Ability To Multi-task
  • Ability To Work Under Pressure
  • Deal With Drunk Patrons Appropriately

Update Your Craft: Every bartender must learn the basic but it take a special breed of bartender to learn the difficult stuff and an even small crop of them to develop their own signature beverages. Bartenders should know what drinks are trendy and even the regular cocktail of a frequent patron.

from Chad Collins Charlestown Mixology
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Top Rock Albums: 40-31

Love: “Forever Changes”chad-collins-love

Singer in Love, Arthur Lee thought he was dying during the album’s creation so needless to day he poured everything he had into it. His soul was written down and sung beautifully on this piece of musical history. Hits such as “Alone Again Or” and “You Set the Scene” blazed through listeners and and concert goers alike. Lee even used his brief stint in prison to draw creativity for the album.

The Beatles: “Please Please Me”chad-collins-PleasePleaseMe

This album is special for many reasons but one notable fact was that 10 of the 14 songs on the album were recorded in 12 hours at the band’s Abbey Road Studio in London. The recording took place in February of 1963. The band had already proved themselves as rock stars the world over but they continued on their hunt for musical immortality with unique instruments, sounds, and vocal harmonies. Billboard top hits like “There’s a Place” and “Twist and Shout” will be eternally recorded on this album for listeners of every generation.

Muddy Waters: “The Anthology”chad-collins-MuddyWatersAnthology

Born McKinley Morganfield, the musician began his career playing acoustic music that represented the delta area of Mississippi. However when Muddy Waters moved from Mississippi to Chicago in 1943, he found a new inspiration. His beat changed from delta blues to rock n’ roll with strong guitar chords. Muddy became such a  hit in the music industry that he began working with top talent like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.

The Eagles: “Hotel California”chad-collins-hotel-california

This is truly one of the most iconic albums in rock n’ roll history. The Eagles reigned supreme for a time where they churned out amazing music and the public loved them for it. The band became infamously known for locking themselves away in seclusion to write and develop their new songs and albums. This amazing album was produced by Asylum in 1976.

Carole King: “Tapestry”chad-collins-Carole_King_-_Tapestry

Carole King was not always her own singer and songwriter. For quite awhile Carole wrote songs for others that turned into major hits. It wasn’t until James Taylor encouraged her to strike her on path and she began on her solo career. Top hits like “So Far Away” and “It’s Too Late” struck the hearts of millions and reminded us of her talent every day.

David Bowie: “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars”chad-collins-ziggy-stardust

While is may have a strange or misleading name for the record, David Bowie was the classic rock star. He had is all in his prime and wasnt afraid to show it with his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy was covered in glitter and sparkly object and teased the crowd with his scandalous antics. RCA produced the album and released it in 1972.

The Band: “Music From Big Pink”chad-collins-the-band

This Capitol Records power record hit the public at the end of the 60s but made it all worth the wait. After not including Bob Dylan in the albums creation, The Band wanted to blaze their own trail and achieved their goals 100 times over. The Band presented a dramatic record that takes a deeper look into the band members lives, families, and the work they were involved with at the time.

Ramones: “Ramones”chad-collins-ramones

From beginning their rise to fame in a garage to rocking every stage in the United States, The Ramones released hit album after hit album. It is said that Johnny Ramone refused to play solos because his chords were too much for listeners. The album was recorded for just over $6,000 and has brought in over millions of dollars between sales and use of cover art.

The Rolling Stones: “Let it Bleed”chad-collins-rolling-stones

Another iconic band that released one of their top albums in the wake of the 60s, The Rolling Stones. All the Stones played an integral role in the success of this album, whether they each took lead or provided the perfect background addition to each and every track. “Let it Bleed” will always be a top rock album.

Bob Dylan: “Bringing It All Back Home”chad-collins-bob-dylan

Bob Dylan released this album in conjunction with Columbia records in 1965. Bob Dylan, a man of many talents used everything he had in his musical arsenal to create a world renowned album played generation after generation. Dylan’s complex lyrics and electric guitar ballads solidified him as a rock n’ roll god.

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Traditional Home Bar Items

Glassware: You will need a lot of glassware if you intend on going all out on your home bar. The proper glass can make or break a cocktail and guests will always appreciate the glass that compliments the cocktail best. You will want to buy a large set of stem glasses (either coupe or V), rocks glasses, and highball glasses. For now these glasseswill be more than enough to share drinks with guests.

Measuring tools: Many people believe you need to buy a jigger for your home bar however using a jigger is intended for bartenders who work in a fast atmosphere. There really is no need to use one for a home bar. Instead you will want to purchase an Oxo mini angled measuring cup.

Knives: Most likely you can make delicious drinks for friends and family by only using a paring knife. A pairing knife can be used for cutting limes or lemons or other fruits, paring off pieces of fruits for twists, and cutting wheels and wedges for garnish. If you require a large knife for bigger fruits a basic chefs knife will suffice.

Shaker: The one and only shaker you need for your home bar is a basic Boston shaker. It is the best tool on the market for mixing drinks.

Bar Spoon: You don’t need the fanciest bar spoon out there but you also don’t want a cheap one made of plastic or one thats multi-colored. I would recommend using a sturdy based and strong shaft made of stainless steel. This spoon will help you muddle and layer beverages among other things.

Strainer: Traditionally, a Hawthorne strainer is used in a mixing tin, when straining shaken drinks, and a Julep strainer is used for stirred drinks. Personally I see one strainer as being enough, though it’s up to you whether you prefer the Hawthorne or the Julep.

Swizzle Stick: The swizzle stick is not necessary for any home bar but its up to your preference whether you would like one or not.

I hope this list helps you out and gives you an idea of some of the traditional or necessary bar items for your home bar. Have fun, make your bar original, and always drink responsibly. Thank you!

from Chad Collins Charlestown Mixology
via Chad Collins Charlestown

Top Rock Albums: 50-41

Simon & Garfunkel: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”chad-collins-simon-and-garfunkel

Released in 1970, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was Simon and Garfunkel’s 5th and last studio album. The talented duo were moving away from each other but this album stands as even more proof of their musical ability. With strong songs such as “The Boxer”, “Cecilia”, and “El Condor Pasa” this album is sure to move you.

Little Richard: “Here’s Little Richard”chad-collins-little-richard

“Here’s Little Richard” was released in 1957 and brought waves and waves of rhythm and blues to America. The album features top hits like “Rip It Up” and “Long Tall Sally” and other beats to make you want to dance. This album is an absolute must for any record collector.

The Allman Brothers Band: “At Fillmore East”chad-collins-allman-brothers

Everyone knows The Allman Brothers Band were a fan’s band! The Allman Brothers were a communal band that communicated a sense of belonging to all followers. Audiences would feel as though they were part of the band and really wanted to be there. Duane Allman and Dickey Betts were at the pinnacle of their guitar jamming careers and pumped out hits like “Whipping Post” until Duane’s untimely death in a motorcycle accident.

John Coltrane: “A Love Supreme”chad-collins-john-coltrane

This album which released in 1964 was at a key juncture in John Coltrane’s musical and personal career. Coltrane finally cut out heroin from his life which opened his eyes and transformed his music from then on. His music became much more and something that people loved to listen to.

Bob Marley & The Wailers: “Legend”chad-collins-bob-marley

The all-time great of reggae music comes in at 46 with this smash hit album. This album has introduced and maintained a love for reggae worldwide. The spirituality of Jamaican music has moved millions with its smooth beats and island feels. Put this one on the record player and prepare for some island vibes.

The Band: “The Band”chad-collins-the-band

Capitol Record released this one of a kind album in 1969 and touched millions. The mostly Canadian rock group made such a major impact on rock n’ roll in the 60’s and 70’s with their historical United States themed music such as “Across the Great Divide” and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Patti Smith: “Horses”chad-collins-patti-smith

Released in 1975 “Horses” was the epitome of the reinvention of garage band music. It had that classic start from scratch feel that invoked a want and need for more startup musicians to follow their dreams and expand their talents. The album features other top musicians and displayed a poetic sense to each and every song.

 Pink Floyd: “The Dark Side of the Moon”chad-collins-pink-floyd

Released by EMI in 1973 Dark Side of the Moon is an iconic album featured on t-shirts and on posters in dorm rooms. One of the most well known Pink Floyd albums of all time, Dark Side of the Moon featured top hits like “Breathe” and “Us and Them.” This album was so popular in fact that a lot of Floyd’s touring history featured the songs found on this record.

 The Doors: “The Doors”chad-collins-the doors

After The Doors blew up overnight onto the lime-lit music scene they released this smash album in 1967. It was a critical album for the group as it was their first and it surely didn’t disappoint. Jim Morrison, the lead vocalist of the group has been said to have told the group the write each song with “universal imagery,” so you know this one is sure to be a hit.

The Sex Pistols: “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols”chad-collins-the-sex-pistols

Released by Warner Bros., in 1977, this album by The Sex Pistols was revolutionary. It conveyed a sense of not having everything perfect. Not all the studio sessions the band performed in went according to plan and it turned out that the fans loved it. There was an original feel and a creative tone to it all. It went against the norm of the rock n’ roll of the day and it was just that rebellious spirit that attracted the gritty and countercultural following

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5 Champagne Cocktails to Blow Away Guests

Mango Mimosachad-collins-charleston-mimosa


4 Mangos (diced)

1 Mango cut into small cubes to be used as garnish

1 bottle of your favorite champagne



Puree diced mangos in a food processor or blender

Use a sieve to strain the puree and get rid of solids or chunks

Mix puree and champagne in a large pitcher

Pour mimosas into champagne glasses and garnish with mango cubes


Berry Bellinichad-collins-bellini


2 containers of raspberries

8oz of rhubarb

½ cup of sugar

½ cup of water

Chilled Proseco champagne



Puree the raspberries in a food processor with rhubarb, sugar, and water

Make sure puree is smooth

Use sieve to separate puree into bowl

Serve 1-2 tablespoons of puree into champagne glass and top off glass with more Proseco


French 75 En Blancchad-collins-french-75


6 tablespoons Lillet Blanc

2 tablespoons cognac or brandy (either is fine)

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

½ teaspoon of superfine sugar



In a bar shaker, stir ingredients together (stir not shake)

Add ice, cover, and shake until completely chilled

Strain cocktail into glass

Garnish with lemon or orange peel


The Classic Champagne Cocktailchad-collins-classic-champagne

Ingredients (per cocktail):

1 cube of sugar

Angostura bitters

4oz chilled champagne

Lemon zest



Drip bitters onto sugar cube

Soak sugar cube thoroughly

Drop sugar cube into champagne flute

Pour champagne into lute

Add lemon zest


Pomegranate Royalchad-collins-pomegranate-royal

Ingredients (per cocktail):

5-7 pomegranate seeds

1oz pomegranate liqueur

4oz chilled champagne



Add pomegranate seeds to glass

Add liqueur to glass

Top off glass with champagne

from Chad Collins Charlestown Mixology
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Best Pop Albums of 2014


1. Taylor Swift-’1989′

It is no surprise that Taylor Swift is topping this list but nonetheless 1989 is a smash hit. With a slightly different sound and feel than previous albums leaving many people wondering if Taylor is attempting to brand-herself differently instead of the queen of breakup ballads. Utilizing all the instruments at her disposal Taylor churned out top hits like “Blank Space”, “Style”, and “Out of the Woods.” Taylor Swift, now a New York City resident, will definitely keep up the momentum and topping the charts.


2. Charli XCX-’Sucker’

Coming out of nowhere, Charli XCX made it big in 2014 as one of the years best performers and songwriters. Being featured on major tracks with Iggy Azalea and coming out with her big hit “Boom Clap”, Charli XCX has cemented her name in the Pop music world. She is sure to make it even bigger next year.


3. Lana Del Rey-’Ultraviolence’

With a much different feel than the usual pop music everyone dances to, Lana Del Rey still makes it into the top pop albums. With top songs like “Cruel World”, “Ultra Violence”, and “Brooklyn Baby”, Lana Del Rey isn’t afraid to tell her haters off.


4. Maroon 5-’V’

Maroon 5 always makes it onto the yearly top pop album list, and for good reason. The band created the masterpiece known as “V” and have gotten their songs “Animals” and “Maps” onto quite a few top songs lists. Top hits seem to jus come to the group as they consistently make an impact on the music industry year after year. The band knows their audience and the music that people like, and continue to demonstrate how good they really are.


5. Ariana Grande, ‘My Everything’

Ariana Grande has made it big this year! She has paired up with numerous established music artists and even made her way onto the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as a featured musical performer. Grande has worked with music star Iggy Azalea, Zedd, and A$AP Ferg and will continue to be a pop icon into the far future.


6. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ (Various Artists)

The soundtrack to one of the biggest movie premieres of the year has officially made the list. The soundtrack features artists like Lorde, Major Lazer, Chemical Brothers, and Tinashe. Jennifer Lawrence herself even sang a song during the movie but it was not included on the album however. If you are a fan of the series and love the music as well, this is a perfect gift to give for the holiday season.


7. Ed Sheeran, ‘X’

Ed Sheeran has electrified the public again with his songs. Strong songs paired with romantic vibes, Sheeran’s ‘X’ is an amazing combination of his classic singer/songwriter guitar montra to a newer R&B feel. Sheeran is quoted in saying that “I’m not a rapper, I’m a singer with a flow.”


8. Sam Smith, ‘In the Lonely Hour’

Sam Smith is yet another artist to explode onto the music scene this year. Smith writes from the heart and means what he says. Some of Smith’s top hits on his album include “Stay with Me”, “I’m Not the Only One”, and “Money on My Mind.”


9. Calvin Harris, ‘Motion’

Lastly, Calvin Harris of the EDM scene has made quite a few waves this year. Harris is still relatively new to the game but he has a unique feel and gives a new feel to the genre of music that has inspired millions to dance and rave the nights away to the pulse-pounding and adrenaline pumping craze. Top songs off the album include “Under Control,” “Blame” and “Overdrive.”

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Top Holiday Drinks

Sparkling Charleston Cosmo



  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 3 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peach nectar
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon white cranberry juice
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling white wine
  • Garnish: orange slice


  • Combine crushed ice, vodka, peach nectar, orange liqueur, and 1 white cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker
  • Juice lemon wedges into shaker
  • Put wedges in shaker
  • Cover shaker, and shake until chilled
  • Strain beverage a 6- to 8-oz. glass; throw away lemon wedges and ice.
  • Add sparkling white wine
  • Garnish

Citrus Sangria



  • 2 (750mL) bottles white Zinfandel
  • 4 cups of white grape juice
  • 1 sliced orange, lemon, and lime


  • Combine the wine & grape juice
  • Stir in sliced orange, lemon, and lime
  • Chill for a few hours
  • Serve over ice

Hot Buttered Rye



  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rye whiskey
  • 6 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons ginger liqueur
  • Fresh &  grated nutmeg


  • Beat heavy cream and maple syrup for 2 minutes or until consistency resembles softened butter
  • Cover and chill 1-24 hours
  • Pour rye whiskey, hot water, and ginger liqueur into a 6-oz. (makes sure cup it heatproof)
  • Top cocktail with about 1/4 cup maple-cream mixture and freshly grated nutmeg




  • 6 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 pasteurized egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Freshly ground nutmeg


  • Cook milk, heavy cream, and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until steaming
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large saucepan until smooth
  • Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture reaches at least 160°
  • Whisk milk mixture into egg mixture
  • Cool 30 minutes; transfer to a pitcher
  • Cover mix and chill 3-24 hours
  • Top with eggnog
  • Dust cocktail with freshly ground nutmeg

Gingerbread Martini



  • Ginger liqueur
  • Crushed gingersnaps
  • 2 tablespoons ginger liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla-citrus liqueur
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coffee-flavored rum
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons whipping cream
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • Garnish: Partially split vanilla bean rolled in sugar


  • Dip glass rims in ginger liqueur and crushed gingersnaps
  • Store glasses in freezer
  • Stir together 2 Tbsp. ginger liqueur, vanilla-citrus liqueur, coffee-flavored rum, honey, and whipping cream in a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice cubes; cover with lid, and shake until thoroughly chilled
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass
  • Garnish

from Chad Collins Charlestown Mixology
via Chad Collins Charlestown