Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lesson 5: The Speed Rack, Ice Bin, and Speed Gun

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Free Online Bartending Lessons.

Lesson 5 is about the speed rack. This is a very important fundamental knowledge, so be sure to understand the concept of it.

The Speed Rack = The Well




So what the heck is a speed rack?

Speed rack, often called the well, is the first line of offense for a bartender when it comes to making drinks. The speed rack contains the most often used bottles of liquors, for you to be able to make a drink fast.



The speed rack consists of the liquors listed below, and in this order. (Don't reference the picture above. That is just there to understand what a speed rack looks like.)

I've learned mine as:

"Very Sexy Girl Bartenders with Tight Trousers make Radical Bartender."

Kind of corny, but helps a bit to remember the order of drinks:
  • Vodka
  • Scotch
  • Gin
  • Bourbon
  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Rum
  • Brandy
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth
The point of putting your liquors in order is for speed. You want to be able to pick up a bottle of liquor without having to check its label. This will save you a few seconds per each drink. And as a bartender, speed is one of the most important qualities to have.

As a bartender, I did notice that the order above is not universally accepted. My colleagues liked to setup their speed rack (well) in a different order. This will be okay as long as each one of you have your own well, but it does become a problem when you have to share the well with others.

If you have a fellow bartender working with you, be sure to communicate with them to see how they setup their well, and agree on a common order.

Anyway, that being said, it is recommended that you memorize the mnemonics since it will help you remember what order to put your liquor in. This is an extremely important point, so be sure that you have this fundamental concept down.

"Very Sexy Girl Bartenders with Tight Trousers make Radical Bartender."

Just imagine a busy bar with a bunch of customers and waitresses waiting for you. They'll ask for two gin tonics, one whiskey water, three rum cokes, a martini, and a vodka tonic with lime. You'll need to be able to make all that drink within a minute.

It really helps to know where all of your booze is located.

*Note: Bartenders initially shoot for making 6 drinks in a minute. 10 seconds per drink.

Another point to mention is that if your speed rack is small like the one pictured at the top of this lesson, be sure to have the following in it.
  • Vodka
  • Scotch/Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Tequila
  • Triple Sec
  • Rum
These are usually the most common liquors you will use.




The Ice Bin

Now, I would like to talk about the Ice Bin.

The ice bin is a place where bars will place their juices and mixes in. Generally, you will find your popular juices and mixes here that you will be using a lot of.

Here is a pretty full list of the drinks and mixes you will find:
  • Orange Juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Pina Colada Mix
  • Bloody Mary Mix
  • Rose's Lime Juice
  • Grenadine
  • Cream
These are basically, mixes that you tend to use very often. It's handy to have them right in front of you, along with your liquor in the speed rack. Remember, you will be shooting to make 6 drinks per minute.

At the bar that I've worked at, the ice bin was relatively small, and I only had four slots. So I had to choose which mixes to place where.

I chose Orange Juice, Sweet and Sour Mix, Bloody Mary Mix, and Cranberry Juice since it seemed like I used them the most. This should be different at each bar since you'll have different clientèle who like to order different drinks. Ask around, or get a feel of your bar after a few days of work to see which mixes to place in the ice bin if you have limited slots in your ice bin.



The Speed Gun

I want to end Lesson 5 with a brief discussion about the Speed Gun. (Also called the cobra or snake at times.)

You've probably seen a bartender use one at a bar or a club that you frequent. This is basically a drink gun that will allow you to shoot up 6-10 kinds of drinks. You usually find these drinks on your Speed Gun at your bar.
  • Coke
  • Diet Coke
  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Club Soda
  • Water
  • Tonic Water
  • Gingerale
  • Whatever other soft drink that your bar decides to put on
They are usually nice and labeled so that you know which drink will come out.



The speed gun is a very cool device since it basically mixes concentrate with carbonated water to shoot up soft drinks very conveniently. It is one of those things that will be super cool to have at your home.

The speed gun has a buttons where you push for the drinks to flow out. The actual order in which buttons pour what soft drinks is probably different at each bar. So just remember to check it out when you get to work to see which soft drinks go where.



Okay, so this concludes Lesson 5 on Speed Rack, Ice Bin, and Speed Gun.

Be sure to get familiar with the Speed Rack since that is the most important point of this lesson. As long as you understand the concept of the speed rack, the other two should come pretty naturally to you as you're on the job.

Good luck studying, and cheers!

*************
Lesson 4: Garnishes

Lesson 6:
Base Liquor - Part 1

7 comments:

NickIn Detroit said...

This is a POOR representation of The Speed Rack. Apparently, the author of this is trying to be cutesy. The Speed rack contains the following 7 (Seven) essential LIQUORS (Yes, Triple Sec is a Liqueur:

Gin
Rum
Scotch
Tequila
Triple Sec
Vodka
Whiskey

If you wanna play Cutesy with the basics, make up somethink that is original to you to understand, such as:

Gentlemen Ride Suzy The Temptress Vixen Whore.

-OR-

Get ready Studs The Tit Vampiress Waits

-OR-

Guys Read Stories That Tease Very Well

You get the idea. Most important thing to take away from this lesson is that there are 7 (SEVEN) Exactly 7 basic bottles on your Speed rack. More than seven is confusing and no longer a Speed device!

Jennifer Fordham said...

VODKA IS ALWAYS FIRST IN THE SPEED RACK! Duh

Jennifer Fordham said...

Very Stupid Guys Bring Terrible Trouble with Radical Brains.

john said...

guys the speed rack setup varies.in my company we start with -------rum,vodka,gin ,tequila,triple sec for long Island Iced teas, then we go with the others depending on the mixtures.you can have whisky,then burbon and then the vermouths.

Michelle Baldwin said...

Whites on the right browns on the left triple in the middle

Michelle Baldwin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy neveau said...

Thank you!!

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