There are many ways to mix a martini, from dirty, which means adding olive juice, to dry, which means allowing it to sit until all the liquid has evaporated. Learn the laws of shaking and stirring with today's Groupon: for $45, you get a three-hour introduction-to-bartending class at Texas School of Bartenders, with locations in Houston and Clear Lake (a $150 value). Introductory courses are held every Saturday.
The pouring professors at the Texas School of Bartenders lead their charges in hands-on instruction behind fully operational bar stations, pontificating drink recipes and the practical skills to mix them. Each three-hour session begins with an overview of basic drinksmanship vernacular and brand identification, helping students distinguish a bottle of top-shelf vodka from a canning jar of rubbing alcohol. Throughout the remaining two hours, pupils hop behind the bar to practice their free-pouring skills and try their hands in shaking and straining cocktails such as the martini, the manhattan, and the Let's Just Be Friends on the Beach. The instructors also cover basic customer-service interactions, including terminology and human-communication skills, fully preparing aspiring bartenders for their role.
Texas School of Bartenders
For 25 years, Texas School of Bartenders has minted professional-grade mix masters in its hands-on classes held in classrooms that simulate real bars. The school's training labs brims with 42 bar stations loaded with up-to-date equipment, including touchscreen registers and serving trays made of hover boards. Full 40-hour courses run throughout the day to accommodate people with designs on pursuing bartending as a career. Covering drink recipes, customer service, and mixing techniques, introductory crash courses throw students into bartending in the same way Spartans taught their children to swim—by throwing them into a shark tank.