how to use a professional cocktail course to start a successful side gig

By Toronto Bar School, 8/15/2023

Pros in any profession make things look effortless.

A professional dancer is a great example. When they hit that dance floor they glide across it like they don’t have a care in the world.

The same applies to a top level bartender or mixologist. They have an easy, comfortable style that makes bartending look easy – even on the busiest nights.

It isn’t.

If you want to become that pro, is a course the answer? Can it be the start of a successful side gig?

Well that depends.

The right professional cocktail course will not only introduce you to the basics of bartending and mixology, it will introduce you to equipment, tools, techniques, cocktail history, the best customer service tactics and help you grow in confidence to serve at events with composure and self-assurance.

Far too many schools are all about theory and spend very little time on actual tangible skills in the real world.

When you take one of these courses you learn about mixing drinks by using colored water in a classroom – how is that helpful?

Toronto Bar School isn’t just another one of these generic courses. We teach real world skills and expertise in a hands-on environment. 

Learning real useable skills right away means faster access to earning potential and that’s the real reason you’re interested in a professional cocktail course right?

Aside from the these days it seems like we all need a side gig if we want to live comfortably. So the answer is yes, a professional cocktail course can lead to a successful side hustle, but only if you choose the right one.  

Is a bartending course right for you? We’ll explore that below.

mixing, mingling and making money: why bartending is the ideal side gig

There are tons of reasons to choose bartending as your side gig.

Yes you can make good money if you’re good at it and you have access to the best events.

That’s actually why joining our team is different – we don’t just teach you how to mix a great cocktail, we also give you access to some of the most amazing private events where you can rack up the tips on weekends and holidays.

It’s also a great way to practice your social skills and do some networking. Bartenders meet all kinds of interesting people at busy events. In many cases, people you would never meet otherwise.

We should also mention the intangible skills you’ll learn such as organization, focus and the ability to think on your feet.

Bartending really is about mixing mingling and making money!

where barters earn the biggest tip

One of the biggest things about living and working in the GTA is the sheer size and diversity of the market. That means a lot more opportunity for bartenders as well. 

Simply put – you make more money bartending in big cities like New York and they don’t get any bigger in Canada than Toronoto.

They call it the big smoke for a reason! 

When you work at an event for us in the GTA, you’ll meet a wide range of people from different backgrounds and that often means some impressive tips along the way.

Get ready to fill your pockets!

unlock the secrets to becoming a confident bartender

A crisis of confidence as a bartender can mean empty pockets at the end of the night.

That’s the last thing you want in a side gig you’ve taken on to make extra cash to pay the bills.

If you tend to retreat to a corner to escape the crowds, bartending may not be for you.

You need to embrace the noise and get ready to hustle!

Any school worth its salt that wants to be considered a professional cocktail course, has to be aware of that. It’s one of the main things we focus on at Toronto Bar School – how to unlock that inner confidence and become a tip making ninja.

We think that actually makes us more than just another generic bartending school. Here’s why.

Toronto Bar School is more than just a professional cocktail course

Bartending means you'll always have a story to tell.

If you spent a couple of years in college or university you probably noticed that most courses were heavy on theory and light on opportunities to learn through actual, practical experience. That doesn’t work if you want to become a pro mixologist making lots og tips.

You’ll understand why we say this in a moment. Bear with me!

On The Rocks – The Limitations of Online Bartending Courses

Online courses are great case in point. We’ve never quite understood the idea of online bartending courses – how can you become a next level mixologist by taking a course online???

You learn how to be a great bartender through hands-on experience and by interacting with real customers. You can’t get that from an online course, but you can get it from Toronto Bar School,

We’re here to mix drinks, not colored water!

When you finish our course we’ll have a gig ready so you can start making money right away. With an online course you have to find your own gigs and you start without any real experience – just an understanding of some basic theory and cocktail ingredients.

Next level Bartending and Mixology Skills

By the time you’ve completed a real professional cocktail course, like the one we teach at Toronto Bar School, you’ll know why a mixologist is more than just  a bartender. You’ll also be well on your way to becoming one yourself.

A true mixologist may know hundreds of different cocktail variations and be able recall the ingredients without much trouble. 

They make those fancy layered drinks look easy to make (they’re not)!

Run of the mill bartenders can make you a vodka and soda or rum and coke and not much else.

Trust me, if you want to make real money, you need to be a mixologist!

Behind the bar: why prep is the secret to great cocktails

Another key way ti know if you’ve found a great cocktail or bartending course, is how much importance they place on prep. Hint – we think it’s essential!

At Toronto Bar School you learn all about what goes on behind the bar and why good preparation is the secret to making great cocktails. That includes:

  • Finding reliable suppliers
  • Arriving early
  • Slicing enough fruit
  • Stocking enough ice behind the bar
  • Filling those bar freezers and keeping them stocked

If you don’t have the ingredients ready when a drink order is placed you have to delay or disappoint a guest. Neither one of those outcomes is good for your bottom line!

You won’t make much money on bartending as a side gig this way.



Raise The bar - know your mixology tools

Being prepared also means having the right tools for the job.

As a newbie you’ll probably be surprised by all the tools of the trade. Here’s a quick reference bartending tool list that illustrates our point:

  • Jiggers
  • Bar spoons
  • Muddlers
  • Cocktail strainers
  • Cocktail shakers
  • A peeling knife
  • A blender
  • A lemon squeezer
  • A bottle opener

At Toronto Bar School we’ll have you working hands on with each of these and more right from the start – not in a classroom, but at real world events.

This isn’t a high-school math class. This is hustle 101!


how a hands on professional cocktail course helps bluid confidence

The best way to become a pro mixologist in demand is through practice, practice, and more practice – real world practice that is.

You know how great bartenders make everything look so effortless, they always have a positive vibe and they don’t get frustrated when it’s busy or they have to deal with an intoxicated guest? That’s the result of lots of practice!

We teach you how to make cocktails effortlessly because we train you at real events – not in a classroom with colored water.

By the time you’re graduated from Toronto Bar School you’ll be making those obscure cocktails on demand and without even breaking a sweet. A busy event won’t phase you at all.

We emphasize the hustle in side hustle to make you money.

You’ll be able to keep calm while dealing with difficult guests, take multiple drink orders at once and most importantly, you’ll be making great tips every time you tie on your bartender.

This is what it means to graduate from a professional cocktail course that’s actually worth every penny you spent on the tuition. Ready to begin? Click on the link below to get started with Toronto Bar School today.