Class Report

We’ve Got Spirits!

Teacher: Liz Liberman (right), bartender
Facilitator: Amanda Leslie

What was the weirdest thing you learned?
Amanda: That the worm in the bottom of a mezcal bottle doesn’t do anything. And if you can help it, don’t buy mezcal with a worm in it because it’s just a gimmick!

What did you learn that you can put into practice immediately?
I need to start spending that extra dollar or two at the bar to get a better drink, and not just get the rail option. It makes your drink taste much much better!!

How did you get interested in this subject?
Liz: I started working as a restaurant server at age 16 and have continued to work in restaurants as a full-time job while going to school. I also really like booze, which needs no explanation.

What do people tend to wrongly assume about this subject before learning about it?
Liz: That there is a secret to bartending — there’s no secret. Practice and confidence is all it takes.

What can students read/watch for more information on this topic?
Liz: Not “Bar Rescue,” which is an exaggerated depiction of the worst of the bar industry. The first classic cocktail books were written about 150 years ago, if you’re trying to go old-school. “Whiskey and Spirits for Dummies” is actually a pretty good resource.

Are there any groups dedicated to this topic in the area?
Liz: I think everyone in Washington is dedicated to this topic.