Have you ever felt like learning how to bartend? Or want to get better at it? Having this skill was always a thing on my wish list! So when I heard about European Bartender School and their variety of school destinations I really wanted to do this course. The destination I picked for their one month course was Miami, as I imagined it to be awesome… and oh boy I was not wrong!
If you are interested in bartending or the course, I will give you a full detailed review of it and my own experience below!
Course & Stay
So the course is divided in four weeks, with classes each week day. This can be in the morning from 8.30 am to about 2.30 pm or from 3 pm to about 9 pm. On the weekends you are free. You can choose from English class or French class.
If you don’t feel like doing the European Bartender Course in Miami, you can check out their other +30 destinations here.
You have the option to stay in a hostel, which I did. The hostel we stayed was Miami Hostel and the 6 girls of the group had their room and boys had their own room as well. The most part of the except one or two stayed in the hostel.
The hostel had a kitchen space we could use with free coffee and tea all around and for the EBS students, they provided bagels in the morning. They also have theme nights which was super fun like: Popcorn and Nacho days, Karaoke Night, BBQ Saturday, etc..
School & Classes
The European Bartender School in Miami is located in the super cool artsy neighbourhood Wynwood. Because we were a big group (14 who stayed in the hostel), we usually took shared Ubers in the morning to get to school. After school, people could join in the Ubers or go back by bike (about 35 min to the hostel) or how ever they wanted to.
In the morning we usually started with theory class. Each of us got an EBS book with all the theory and all the cocktails we had to learn. The theory was about bar equipment, bartender etiquette and of course the types of alcohol (Vodka, Beer, Liqueurs, Whiskey, Wine, Cognac,…). Learning about alcohol, with each their own history, production and classifications, sure was interesting!
After the theory, we headed to our practice stations to learn the 6 new cocktails of that day. This includes, the method, the glass type, the ice type and all ingredients with its right measurements! One of the big rules in the bartending world is to NOT WASTE ALCOHOL, so the practicing was done with coloured water bottles.
Speed and efficiency is very important for bartenders. In a bar you don’t always have the time to use a measurement cup (or how we call it a “jigger”). This is why it is important to learn how to free pour. When you count correctly, you can get the right amount you need. In the class we learn this by doing several exercises.
Flair, simply put, is flipping bottles/shakers/etc… During our one month course we learned an “easy” flair routine from start to end. Each day we learned a little piece of it.
At the end of the day at the Live Bar, we made the 6 cocktails we practiced that day. A student can then go up to the bar and make the cocktail with real alcohol. And of course we passed it on so everybody could taste it!
After 4 weeks, you will know 72 cocktails! It sounds a lot but… yeah it is a a lot! And you will also try them all, which might be the best part of the day.
Obviously I can not post pictures of every cocktail, but here are some we made at the live bar.
Tests & Contests
At the beginning of the class, we got divided into small groups and during the course we had many contests to get points for our group. For example: Instagram contests, beer pong, etc.. Prizes for the winners included!
The coolest competition, was our “Cocktail presentation”, where you had to come up with your own cocktail in your team, and present it in an original way to the class. (Ps: my group won that one yeaaaay!)
It is not all fun and games during the class. It actually is hard work! You will have to study each day a little bit. Some days a lot more than others. We had a daily test of the cocktails, a weekly test of the theory and the final week are tests only! More of it below.
The final week was a combination of testing: your free pour skills, your flair routine, your theory and cocktail recipes tests and…. your bar practise test (making 12 cocktails in a combo of 2 at the time).
To get your European Bartender School Certificate, you will have to pass your bar test by at least 75 %. And depending of your end results of each test, you will get your percentage and grade. I really can’t believe but I got a B, with 87%.
After school and weekend activities
Only attending the school would be boring, and I didn’t pick Miami for nothing. Of course you have SO many things to do in one month. Let’s talk about a few.
Obviously there is a whole awesome city for you to explore. Having class each day and studying, made me a bit tired sometimes but walking or biking around Ocean Drive, or Wynwood was always a fun thing to do!
Our favourite hang out place was the beach! Our hostel was at Miami Beach and just a 15 minutes walk to South Beach, which most of times we did in groups.
We chilled at the beach, studied at the beach, drank at the beach, swam in the sea, played volleyball, did some flair routines on the beach, etc.. We always looked forward to go to the beach after school!
Every Friday at school, there was a short presentation of the possibilities to do in the weekend. Partying in clubs, with pre drinks could be arranged through promotors. There is also a beach party and other events planned during the course for you to choose from.
Some people partied more than others, also during the week days. There are a lot of options, and it is up to you how much and how hard your party. You just have to find the perfect balance between party and school.
If you feel like exploring more outside of Miami Beach or Downtown, you can get some people together from the group and make excursions. The ones I did was the Everglades, Key West and Orlando Universal Studios!
On the final day, some of us went to Venetian Pool to relax, which was pretty fun as well.
Honestly, this month with the European Bartender School was one of the best months in my life. It was intense, but fulfilling. I learned A LOT, got more skilled in flipping bottles and pouring and actually know the difference of all alcohol types now.
It is unbelievable how I started as a complete newbie, but now I can say I have a pretty good base going to set off a bartending career! I never thought of being able to succeed the course.
But it is so well thought out and the instructors help you with everything they can. A big shout out to the international instructor Raul and the French instructor Maxime for guiding us, having patience with us and turning us into great future bartenders!
An other reason why I passed this course, is definitely the friends I made during the course. From day one we clicked so well in the hostel, and it only got better. We did so many things together and had SO MUCH FUN. We helped each other out during studying, we ate together, cooked together, partied together, explored together,…
Even though living in a room for one month with 6 girls was challenging at points, we turned out to be great friends. Every one did… we became a modern type of family really…We still have a group chat going on and support each other.
On the final day before I returned home, we spent our evening at South Pointe to watch the sunset with some music and snacks, making this day one I will never forget!
If you are interested in the course or have some questions, you can always email me or check out their socials: