Mixology is the study of combining other -ologies to create booze. Get an introduction to this ancient art form with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a Cocktail Creations class (a $75 value) at the Bartender of America bartending school in College Park. These 50-minute classes are held on Saturday afternoons and evenings throughout the year—see the sidebar to the right for a complete list of available dates. Reservations are required.
The Cocktails Creations class shows beginner tenders the liquid ropes behind the bar. In just under an hour, would-be barkeeps learn to mix and match liquors, mixers, and fruits to create party-pleaser elixirs through hands-on interaction. The environment is fun and laid-back, like a hammock that knows how to have a good time, giving participants ample opportunity to partake in social and liquid mixing. The theme of each class changes monthly, so feel free to pick up a few Groupons for return visits when a new set of recipes is disclosed, or sign up with a couple of friends for a Saturday escape that involves less sitting, more standing, and an equivalent lack of zoo-bear encounters.
Must be at least 21 years old.
Bartender of America
The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.