When I got into this business, my fantasy was to be a bartender. I had never really worked in a restaurant, but I had this idea that that would be a good way for me to make a living while I figured out what to do with my life.
As it turns out, I didn't get a position as a bartender first, I ended up a waiter first. Then, when I proved myself to be good at the work, and trustworthy, I was given an opportunity to become a bartender, and I grew from being a server, to being a bartender. Now, the first thing I did, which I think is an important step in becoming a bartender, is I learned how to make all of the different possible cocktails, and learned what I needed to know about controlling beverage alcohol, serving it responsibly, and how to do it fast and efficiently and cleanly.
Now, I went to a bartender school, and there are all sorts of bartender schools around the country, and they can help you learn all of the details, and all of the drink recipes, and all of the things you need to know to make a great cocktail. In this era, there's all sorts of wonderful resources on the Internet for cocktail recipes, for techniques, for garnishes, for different things that you can do to make spectacular cocktails. Bartending is a wonderful opportunity to perform for your guests, to give them a good time, and also to use your creativity and your skills to make very delicious cocktails and bring them all sorts of wonderful advice about what wine to enjoy, or how to make your evening more enjoyable from a beverage perspective.
So, essentially, to become a bartender, you need to know your stuff, need to know how to make everything without a hesitation. You need to know the skills that are required in preparing wonderful cocktails. You need to know wine and spirits information down cold. You need to be able to handle cash responsibly and carefully. You need to be a trustworthy individual who can handle responsibility for all of the beverage inventory.