A tiny splash of Campari can make a world of difference. The sunset-hued bitters are the main ingredient that differentiates a martini and a negroni, two unmistakably dissimilar beverages with a few shared components. Bartenders have to keep track of hundreds of tiny distinctions like this, and the instructors at Bartending World work to supply them with the knowledge necessary to do so.
There, the teachers are all experienced mixologists, but the school itself could pass for a typical cozy watering hole as well. Ranks of bottles line the shelves, their contents running the gamut from electric-blue curacao to caramel-hued whiskey. A strobe light and fog machine help to simulate the sensation of working in an actual bar or sharing a loft apartment with a magician. Behind the gleaming wooden counters, pupils chatter over an arsenal of muddlers and shakers as well as a full contingent of the sleek flutes, bell-shaped goblets, and highball glasses needed to correctly serve beverages.