How to Improve Your Skills as a Freelance Bartender

The United States economy employs an estimated 485k bartenders. Bartenders can earn a median salary of $26k annually as California employs the most, followed by Texas and Florida.

Therefore, competition for the best bartending jobs exists.

Two bartenders can mix the same drinks, but they won’t always taste the same. Like all professions, some professionals know how to add unique touches that take their final products to different levels. 

In addition, fewer know how to mix drinks with pizzazz. The median salary for bartenders rests in the lower income brackets. However, many make up the difference through tips.

Thus, professionals behind bars must keep up their games by improving their skills, showmanship, and abilities. 

Moreover, freelance bartenders can pick their places of work, such as events, restaurants, and gatherings. 

The freedom comes with caveats since freelancers must obtain permits and licenses, register their businesses, and purchase insurance.

Selfgood outlines the details of becoming a freelance bartender for those interested in learning more.

This article focuses on improving your skills as a freelance bartender to increase earning power. Let’s dive in.

Learn from Veteran Bartenders

One thing society has lost entering 2023 is the younger generations learning from their elders.

Veteran bartenders have made mistakes and learned from them. They have watched drink trends come and go. The most successful pros have stood the test of time. Therefore, they have developed secrets to their success.

Thus, learn from industry veterans to improve your skills.

For example, ask the questions such as:

  • Does the order of pouring the ingredients make a difference?
  • Is it better to shake than stir?
  • How do you develop the skill to measure by sight?
  • How can you improve the taste of drinks when not using top-shelf ingredients?

As you work in your field, you’ll come up with more questions related to your career goals.

The average age of bartenders rests at 33. However, many college students bartend to help pay the bills and earn some spending cash.

It’s essential to maximize income when bartending as a side hustle. Therefore, learn from those who have come before you.

Watch Tutorials

Although the 2020s kicked off with an economic shutdown, it’s easier than ever to become successful entrepreneurs and freelancers. 

Several tools that help freelancers thrive have little to no cost. For example, go online and watch tutorials to beef up your skills.

Watching tutorials establishes a win-win situation. Many tutorials available on YouTube don’t charge a fee to watch. Users might view a couple of ads, but there is no need to hand over credit card information.

Plus, watching tutorials helps fellow bartenders every time you watch the ads. In return, the users receive valuable tips and tricks for the trade.

After watching the videos, you’ll better understand industry trends. Then, you can pick the ones that you want to perfect and the ones you prefer to skip. 

In the process, you might develop new skills the industry is not using.

Since bartenders must apply for business licenses and permits in many regions, classes have become available. To complement online tutorials, you might consider taking courses that charge fees.


After speaking with veteran bartenders and watching tutorials, you have enough information to start practicing. 

Consider hosting a gathering for your friends and family. The people who want you to succeed will attend because they love you. They’ll also participate because you will offer them free food and drinks.

Practicing can become expensive. Therefore, manage costs by turning the gathering into a potluck. Ask attendees to bring their favorite bar foods.

Then, ask them to bring their favorite drink ingredients, and you’ll supply the rest.

Mix the drinks for your friends and family and ask them to give you feedback. Most people have different tastes that will vary from sweet to sour preferences. Therefore, ask them to provide you with an overall score.

You will personalize drinks for regulars but benefit from learning how to make the best drinks that satisfy large crowds.

Then, you can improve your skills by taking paying gigs for family reunions, social gatherings, and civic events.


Becoming the best bartender takes practice. It also requires learning from industry veterans and checking out current trends in the field. Improving your skills isn’t expensive. You can pay for classes; you can also practice at paying gigs.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *