Have yourself a happy little Christmas: A Bartender’s Guide to Surviving the Silly Season
The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on. But, while everyone else seems to be in a mad dash of planning and partying, the race to New Year can feel more like a marathon than a sprint if you're a bartender.
It's tempting to get through the hard slog on a wave of booze, caffeine and sugar highs, which can leave you feeling like you ran an ironman, not just a marathon.
But don't stress, we've gathered some top tips for surviving the silly season...
1. Snack right
Shift work makes it so easy to slip into bad habits when it comes to fast food and sugary snacks. But, like a marathon runner, eating well before, during and after the event is going to set you up for success.
"Try keeping energising snacks to hand that can satisfy your hunger and supply you with a nutrient boost as well as leaving you felling a little more centred and less jittery." Nutritionist, Rob Hudson tells Diageo Bar Academy
2. Limber up!
We've talked about it before - shaking all those cocktails can take it's toll - especially during busy periods like Christmas. As well as picking ergonomically designed tools, you could take a tip from The Booze Baron and try some yoga poses.
3. Build your Bar Station
Speed and efficiency are key skills when it comes to surviving a busy night behind the bar, but those skills alone are useless if your bar station isn't well organised. Check you have everything you need and that they are arranged in a way that makes sense when it comes to serving your cocktails.
4. Look after your feet
There's no better time than Christmas to take advice straight from the movies, and everyone loves a bit of Forrest Gump. As Lieutenant Dan says; "One, take good care of your feet. Two, try not to do anything stupid, like gettin' yourself killed."
And it seems the same advice works for soldiers, marathon runners and indeed bartenders. In fact it's so true, Tales of the Cocktail even took votes on the best shoes for bartenders!
5. Don't binge on the booze
We know, we know, you're in a bar, it's Christmas, everyone's partying and we're saying don't drink... but bartender sobriety has been a big theme of the past couple of year's with big names, like Dead Rabbit's Jack McGarry, speaking out about his battle with booze:
“I create great experiences for other people and bars are still a huge part of my life, but partaking does not work for me,” he told the New York Post.
So maybe it's time to start the New Year's resolution early and cut down on the customer shots? Or how about a Low ABV drink instead?
6. Treat yourself to better tools
And at the end of it all, if you feel like you need a prize for just finishing the course, why not treat yourself (or even better, get someone else to treat you) to some great, new shiny bar bling?