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If you’re looking to brush up on your shaking and stirring techniques, create Insta-worthy garnishes or learn more about the history of booze and how it’s produced, you might think your only option is registering for classes at your local bartending academy. But, you can actually do it in your PJs or yoga pants. These five courses bring the pros to you with instructional videos, primers, worksheets and quizzes from some of the world’s bar stars. Register for one of the below classes and you can flex when hosting your next cocktail party, virtual or otherwise.
5 Cocktail-Making Classes to Take Online
- Best for Pros: A Bar Above Mixology
- Best for Beginners: BarSmarts
- Best Hands-On: Mixology MasterClass With Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana
- Best for Small Groups: Elixir to Go Great Cocktails: A First Course in Mixology
- Best International: European Bartender School
Best for Pros : A Bar Above Mixology
The certification for this program includes two in-depth courses. First, master ingredients with a primer on citrus, sweeteners, spirits, bitters, egg whites, and garnishes. Then, tackle balance, flavor, and cocktail creation, checking your understanding with quizzes at the end of each section. Receiving your certification requires passing a timed hour-long, multiple-choice exam testing key concepts and a practical exam creating an original cocktail using the techniques taught in the class.
The founder of this course makes it very clear that it covers only drinks, not bar operations, so it’s a great option not only for bartenders but also enthusiasts looking to up their drinks-making game. This mixology certification is designed for people who already know how to bartend and would like to learn advanced techniques to create their own custom cocktails. ($147)
Best for Beginners : BarSmarts
Created for Pernod Ricard USA by the partners of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) LLC—the same folks behind the respected BAR 5-Day Program—this industry-led bartender education program is also fitting for the budding home bartender. BarStarts is a six-hour course for beginners, taught in four modules. Chapters in Spirits Basics cover the basics of fermentation, distillation, maturation, and tasting. Spirits and Liqueurs includes information on the major liquor categories. Cocktail History & Bar Essentials features the history and rise of the cocktail, Prohibition, the current cocktail renaissance and skills that include tools, ice, and garnishes. And Service Management and Cocktail Recipes is a toolkit of prep tips, batching, contemporary techniques and 25 drinks every bartender should know.
Each module ends with a multiple-choice quiz and final exam at the end. The more comprehensive BarSmarts course has more in-depth instruction on how to taste like a professional, production knowledge, history and technique. ($29 for BarStarts or BarSmarts)
Best Hands-On : Mixology MasterClass With Lynnette Marrero & Ryan Chetiyawardana
Master bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, whose concept Dandelyan (now closed) snagged the top spot on the 2018 list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, has teamed up with Speed Rack co-founder Lynnette Marrero for a mixology course on virtual educational platform MasterClass. The 17-part series of hands-on lessons cover topics like stocking a home bar, identifying your palate preferences, using eggs safely and correctly, classic cocktails to add to your repertoire, pre-batching libations for effortless entertaining, and innovative ways to balance flavors with a variety of spirits and bitters. Students leave the class with at least 20 recipes, including Chetiyawardana’s signature take on the Bloody Mary with miso paste, ginger and togarashi. ($15/month -- paid up front as $180 for an annual membership -- gets you access to this course and all others on MasterClass courses)
Best for Small Groups : Elixir to Go Great Cocktails : A First Course in Mixology
Founder H. Joseph Ehrmann is taking his popular team-building cocktail classes online where small groups can book a private event and virtually learn the art of making cocktails. He and his team will supply the list of required materials for the class in advance so you can purchase what you need. Or you can choose not to be hands-on at all and just sit back and glean skills by watching the class. The course teaches the fundamentals of home bartending, necessary tools, and cocktail construction. (Prices will vary—fill out your information on their website and they'll provide you with a quote)
Best International : European Bartender School
The online course from the largest bartender school in the world in terms of the number of students and locations (currently over 28 around the globe) also offers a virtual bartending essentials version where you can master your skills at your own pace. It includes three-and-a-half hours of on-demand videos, 34 bartending lessons, 27 cocktail recipes, access to its exclusive workbook, and a certificate upon completion of a short exam; the course is offered in English with Spanish, French, German and Italian subtitles. One of the instructors, Gavin Wrigley, has 20 years in the bartending industry; he teaches the history of mixology, pouring techniques, the perfect serve, tools, equipment, flavor combinations, serving skills and more. Unfortunately, at this time EBS is not currently admitting new members to their online courses.
What Is an Online Cocktail-Making Class?
An online cocktail class or course is designed to help you learn the ropes of bartending or improve upon your existing skills. Whether you’re just looking for something fun and casual or hoping to obtain some sort of accreditation, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
How Much Do Online Cocktail-Making Classes Cost?
Classes can start as low as $15 per month for a MasterClass subscription, and on the higher end, online cocktail courses (like A Bar Above) can cost up to $147 and come with a certification.
What Are the Benefits of an Online Cocktail Class Versus an in-Person Experience?
It’s just safer. Also, you don’t have to leave your house to attend an online cocktail class, which is always a plus.
What Materials Do You Need for an Online Cocktail-Making Class?
The course you choose will share a list of supplies beforehand, while others might offer the option of having a box of everything you need sent right to your door.