Bartender school

Today I was listening to an Ibiza cocktail bartender describing how he got into the business. Someone asks if he ever took a class or any formal training. The response was a bit of a chortle. “It’s way overpriced and you don’t learn the little important details. The best way to learn how to make cocktails at a busy bar is by working there and slowly picking up on how the bartenders do it.

While he was saying that, I thought of the trope of how useless business school is (other than for networking). It seems much of a liberal arts education falls prey to this attack. Not to say that it can’t be valuable — I’ve spent much time over the past year pouring over philosophy and psychology. The problem is when you rely solely on this to then go out into the world and do things. What we’re missing is a viable apprenticeship system for much of the economy. How many of us went to bartending school thinking that’s the fast track to becoming a star bartender?


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