Bartender Appreciation Day
the first Friday in December (since 2011)
Sailor Jerry Rum in 2011
Bartender Appreciation Day was created by Sailor Jerry Rum to recognize the efforts of bartenders and to pay honor to them for the great service they provide. Sailor Jerry has said, "Here's to the men and women who give up their late nights out, so we can have ours. Who make our drinks, pour our shots, and give us our nightly meal of nuts and pretzels. We honor their hard work and their unwavering patience. Without them, we would be out on the street or even worse, stuck at home." The day is observed in early December because the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve is the busiest for bartenders, and they could use some added appreciation then. During past observances, Sailor Jerry and Liquor.com have organized contests looking for the country's most appreciated bartender.
Bartenders play an important social role and must adjust to many scenarios. They deal with many types of patrons: people hanging out with friends, people on dates, people relaxing after work, and people who sometimes get a little too unruly in bars. Bartenders have to build strong relationships with their patrons, and sometimes become a therapist of sorts for them. They rely on tips for much of their wages, making it even more important that they have good relationships with their clientele. On top of this social role, bartenders must remember the names of many drinks, what goes in them and how much, and the type of glass the drink is served in. They must also prepare them very quickly.
Bartending goes back to ancient times. Roman, Greek, and Asian societies had public drinking houses that were social gathering places. Prior to the fifteenth century, bartenders were usually alehouse owners or female innkeepers that made their own liquor. Later, taverns became important places for professionals and writers, and bartenders had a high social status. Bartending then made its way across the ocean to the New World.
Nowadays, bartenders not only make drinks and lend their ears to patrons, but many try to entertain patrons by "flair" bartending as well. Some bartenders have elaborate pouring or bottle tossing tricks that they enthrall audiences with. Flair bartending contests are held around the world. From mixing drinks to playing a social role to entertaining with flair, there is much to appreciate about bartenders, and we show them our appreciation today.
How to Observe Bartender Appreciation Day
Celebrate the day by paying a visit to the bar that has your favorite bartender. Make sure to thank them for serving you, and wish them a happy Bartender Appreciation Day. Since tips make up a large portion of a bartender's wages, make sure to tip your bartender a little extra today—it's perhaps the best way you can show your appreciation. There are many other ways the day could be celebrated:
- Attend or make plans to attend a flair bartending competition.
- Enroll in bartender school so you can become a bartender yourself.
- Learn about some notable bartenders.
- Make yourself an official International Bartenders Association drink, or have your favorite bartender make you one.
- Have your bartender make you a cocktail with Sailor Jerry Rum.
- Check to see if any "most appreciated bartender" contests are being held.