Continued from Part 1
…The majority of the bartenders filed back into the General Session room to take the written portion of the BarSmarts exam (a 100 question test that required a 70 or higher to pass) while another group of bartenders headed upstairs to complete the practical portion of the test.
The practical portion of the exam was one that Paul Pacult described as an event that “could be a reality show” and he was completely accurate on that! The room was set up with 11 individual bar stations, fully stocked with tools, liquors, garnishes, ice etc. Each station also came equipped with a BarSmarts judge holding a clipboard, ready to be served.
As 11 students at a time entered into the practical room, they were given a minute or two to become familiar with their bar, and then it was testing time. Each student had 8 minutes to prepare the 3 drinks that their customer (BarSmarts judge) asked for, while paying attention to proper ingredients, proper technique and proper bar etiquette.
It was clear they had all spent plenty of time studying and practicing, as they looked prepared, but I was nervous just watching these guys! It did however make me very proud of Cocktail Culture’s own Stephanie J., who completed the BarSmarts Advanced exam last year. You can read about her experience with BarSmarts here!
I am so glad I had the opportunity to observe such an awesome event (thank you Pernod Ricard USA) and hopefully the next time I attend I will be participating in the exams instead of just observing!