Want to skip the story? Here’s the Online Mixology Certification Program.

A long time ago in a bar (not so) far away…

A young bartender (and eventual A Bar Above founder, Chris) noticed that the classic “Sidecar” just didn’t taste quite right. It just wasn’t balanced. He added a bit of simple syrup and liked the results much better. Soon after, he began experimenting with tweaking other recipes. Before long, he began trying to design his own cocktails from scratch – and struggled. He searched for resources on the web and came up with very little. As for books? Well, there were loads of cocktail recipe books, but limited options for learning the art of cocktail design.

The bartender was Chris and the year was 2008. That same year he registered this website (ABarAbove.com) and (coincidentally) met me! The rest, as they say, is history.

The whole reason Chris decided to create A Bar Above was to help bartenders like himself back in 2008. Folks who love the craft of great cocktails and want to learn the art of drink design.

A Little Closer…

In 2014 we released the Cocktail Design Program – a series of two online video training courses designed to teach the theory, skill and framework behind original, balanced cocktail recipes.

Since then more than 200 people have enrolled in the program and we’ve received some amazing feedback: folks really do believe it helps them make better cocktails. But there was one more piece that we were missing. Today I’m excited to officially release that last (and final) piece: a certification exam to reinforce the learning in the program and validate that students really have learned the techniques and concepts of Mixology and cocktail design.

Introducing: The Mixology Certification Program

We’ve upgraded the Cocktail Design Program to add a two-part final exam, making it a true “Certification” in Mixology. I have to warn you though, the price is going up. This is to help us cover the cost of supporting the exam as well as responding to feedback we’ve received that the course was previously too inexpensive for how comprehensive it is.

That said, I feel bad surprising you with a price increase – so if you join us before midnight PST on Thursday, 7/21/2016, you can use the coupon code “EARLYBIRD” to get the Certification at the “old” price of just $60. 

Psst – if you’re reading this article way after 2016, I put together a coupon code for you too – use code “THROWBACK2016” for 20% off.  Learn More & Join Us

By the way: this is not a Bartending Course.

There are dozens of great bartending courses out there – but I’d like to be really clear. This is not a bartending course.  As we’ve mentioned previously, we strongly believe Mixology and Bartending are two very different skill sets. A “Mixologist” is not better than a bartender.

  • Bartenders are in charge of the guest experience while the guest is there. It’s making drinks, yes – but more than that, it’s about giving the guest a great experience.
  • Mixology is the work that occurs long before the guest appears. It’s creating syrups, tinctures and bitters, juicing fruit and experimenting with flavor and texture to create a delicious cocktail recipe that bartenders can make for guests.

Example Concepts and Techniques that you’ll learn:

  • If I use honey instead of simple syrup, what other changes should I make to the recipe so I know the cocktail will be balanced?
  • When creating a cocktail, how do I choose between Blanco, Reposado and Añejo Tequilas?
  • I’ve been asked to make “raspberry” cocktail. What are my options for incorporating this flavor in a drink?
  • We’re out of Campari but my recipe calls for it. What can I substitute, and how do I adjust the cocktail so it will still be balanced?

See you Inside!

This program has been a long time coming and we are so excited to finally release it to the public. I hope you’ll consider joining us so we can see you – and your cocktail creations – in the Certification Facebook Group!

(Don’t forget code: THROWBACK2016!)
Learn More & Join Us

Julia Tunstall

Julia Tunstall is the co-founder of A Bar Above and Chief Cocktail Taster. She's in charge of keeping things running smoothly around here, but you'll also find her stopping by on the Mixology Talk Podcast or hanging around the Craft Cocktail Club.