Welcome to the Bartender’s Handshake

There is a drink. A dark, viscous, bitter drink. An amaro. A fernet. It is a drink, that, when ordered as a shot, instantly makes one recognizable as someone who works in the beverage hospitality industry. It is Fernet-Branca, and it is the Bartender’s Handshake.

Just as a knowledge of and appreciation for Fernet-Branca will allow industry outsiders to step, honorarily, behind the scenes of this age-old profession, this blog aims to allow you, the craft cocktail enthusiast or aspiring bartender, to gain insight into how the pros make great drinks. The goal is to make information on things like amari, small-batch whiskey, international-style gins, terroir-infused mezcals and everything else in this amazing cocktail renaissance sweeping the world more accessible to everyone.

Along the way, we’ll showcase the tools and methods that bartenders use to make outstanding cocktails, discuss some history, some mythology (most cocktail history is mythology, after all), review a few classic recipes that highlight particular techniques as well as some of my own recipes that highlight particular flavors. We’ll talk about what makes a great drink great, and how you, the home cocktail enthusiast or future professional, can use that knowledge to make better drinks.

So have a seat at the bar, pour yourself a shot of Fernet, and enjoy your time at the Bartender’s Handshake!

Here are some links to get you started:

If you just want to take a look at what's new on the blog, click here.

To get some pointers on how to bartend, go here for a brief overview on how to make drinks and here for some in-depth bartending lessons.

If you want to learn more about the booze that's in your drinks, go here.

If you want to learn about some specific cocktails, here are some recipes to chose from.

If you've found the information on this site helpful and want to donate to help fund further content creation, you can do so here. Thanks!

And finally, contact us here.