Photo: Mackenzie Gray.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Alright folks, let’s get settled in for class. Today’s lecture isn’t a prerequisite, but it’s highly recommended for anyone who is looking to expand their skills behind the bar. When building your bartending skills it’s important to have the right tools for the job, so grab your notebooks and sharpen your pencils, the ultimate freshman guide to bar essentials is here. Here’s what you’ll need.

1) Bottle Opener: This one sounds basic but you can’t get the party started without one, so put it on the checklist.

2) Corkscrew: For those debonair students out there who want to impress their guests, avoid the ol’ shoe and knife trick and invest in a good corkscrew instead.

3) Glassware: This one’s key. Don’t mess around with plastic, invest in a couple of old fashion scotch glasses for you and your guests—and don’t forget wine glasses, red and white! Dollarama and Walmart are good places to find nice-looking glassware for solo cup prices.

4) Cocktail Shaker: Every good wannabe bartender has a cocktail shaker. Don’t get this confused with your protein shaker, even though it provides the same kind of result. This tool lets you show off your gains, especially when you shake, and shake hard. Trust me, it’s worth the effort and your arms will thank you.

5) Variety: Now the best thing you can do to build your bar skills is to have a good variety of spirits readily available to try out new recipes. I know this can be hard on a student budget, but I recommend replacing bottles at half empty instead of letting them run dry. This will allow you to branch out quickly and replace your stock with different liquors to slowly build the collection.

Once your bar is set up, my last piece of advice is to experiment. Go wild, have fun, but always drink responsibly.