Alex just finished bartending school, a 2 week (40 hour course). She graduated with a 96 in the written part, which made her best in class, and a week later, she was the only one who passed the practical part, the "pour test." They had to memorize 210 drinks and pour 21 drinks in 20 minutes, using the correct glasses, alcohols, and amount.
Here is where the parents come in. I am tired of hearing she's 19 now, she's an adult, she has to be able to do everything by herself. Baloney. I believe in growing up gradually. Do they still need support to do good in school, make wise money decisions, be told to brush their teeth while we still pay dental insurance and bills? Absolutely. So what did we do to help her succeed in getting her bartending certificate?
The first night she came home, she said she needs index cards to help her study better. We went to Pathmark together the same night, so she could start preparing the next morning. When she didn't feel well, I drove her to class for two nights, waiting in a library and the car for four hours until she was done with class. Her father tested her on the drinks she learned and gave her tips on how to deal with drunks at a bar. The two nights before her practical test, I quizzed her with 210 index cards until she knew every drink by heart. Then I told her to visualize how she reaches for the correct glass, the right bottles, where they are behind the bar (every bottle is in the same place at any bar), pour the right amount. The way you visualize it, that's the way you'll pour.
She was very nervous when she left to take the test. We prayed together, then I imagined getting a text from her that she passed. That is exactly how it turned out. She said she was shaking when she was done, that's how much it took out of her.
When she told me the others didn't make it, I asked why she thinks they didn't. She told me, one guy said he can't study at home, because of his home life. He didn't even make index cards. Alex gave him hers. The other two ladies didn't take it seriously and didn't practice, just thought they would wing it. One gave up after the first drink, the other ran out of time.
Here's to you, parents: Your kids might be adults now, but let them ease into it. They still need your help, support and guidance. They will be adults forever, but they just finished being kids. There's no rush; our job is never over.
My sister in Germany congratulated Alex over Skype, then told her about a drink that's the hit in Germany for 2011, 2012. They go skiing in the Alps a lot and this is the drink everybody orders for apres ski:
Aperitivo Italiano or Aperol Spritz:
Place two ice cubes into a wineglass, add a slice of orange w/o rind, pour 3 parts Prosecco or white wine and 2 parts (or less) Aperol, and 1 spritz of Sprite. It is a very refreshing, orange-colored drink.