Intelligent Bartender

Tag: Learn to Bartend

Bartending Training Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Eligio Ruzza

by on Jan.18, 2014, under Bartender Stories


Eligio Ruzza posseses a skill that has immense value for a bartender, a natural ability to make people feel at ease with him. We all know how  annoying is to sit at a bar where the bartender is deeply in love with his own voice, and finding a good listener and smooth talker like Eligio is always welcome.

Italian born and a hardcore fan of AS Roma, Eligio moved back recently to Canada. As many before him, Eligio found himself unhappy with his job as a waiter / server and decided to become a bartender to make more money. At the BartenderOne MasterClass, Eligio showed attributes such as speed, accuracy and the ability to keep calm under stress. For these reasons, his instructors decided to invite Eligio to participate in the BartenderOne Blazers Challenge to get that real life experience he was longing for. His performance was impeccable and Eligio became rightfully one of the three winners of the competition invited to the Winter Finals

Now on the Eve of the Blazers Finals where he will face the best 13 BartenderOne Graduates from 2013, Eligio dreams of going on with his career as a bartender to the point where he can open his own bar and even start producing his own whiskey.

His advice for anyone thinking of following on his steps? Know your drinks and shut your mouth. As simple as that.

But don’t let this scare you, stop by College Street Bar and ask Eligio for a Negroni, you will find that both the Negroni and Eligio have more to tell than you were expecting.

See you at the bar!

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Bartending Certification Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Shanelle Munjal

by on Dec.18, 2013, under Bartender Stories



Life is a complicated maze of decisions that take your life through different paths depending on where you want to go. During that decision – making process there are stages in everyone’s life where you try something outside of the box while you make up your mind about the next step to take. Bartending is one of those stages for a lot of people; a profession that allows you to make a respectable sum of money every week while working part time is many times the perfect option to make a living while you finish school.

This is the story of Shanelle Munjal, which shows that  sometimes the road to become a bartender is very different than what you could expect.

An Assistant Store Manager at McDonald’s for the past 7 years, Shanelle has found time to combine pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian with her passion for travelling. Like many of our students, Shanelle had already some experience bartending in a small pub back in 2008, but she felt she wanted to do something more than just pouring beer and preparing Caesar’s.  So, after coming back from an enlightening gap year travelling through Australia and New Zealand, Shanelle found out the BartenderOne Breaking The Ice Workshop where she got a glimpse of what real bartending training could do for her and she decided to immediately enroll in the MasterClass. Her ability in class caught the attention of her instructors and Shanelle received an invitation to participate in the Blazers Challenge and demonstrate her skills in the real world at The College Street Bar

At the Blazers Competition, her attitude, charisma and creativity were the key factors that made the jury chose her as one of the three winners to participate in the Winter Finals.

A beautiful smile, an open personality and an absolute willingness to be happy are the features that make Shanelle a great bartender. She pays attention to details like listening carefully to her guest to create rapport -which many big mouth bartenders could learn from- and having what he/she wants before they even order. This is the kind of skill that you won’t learn at school but by paying attention and Shanelle has it

Shanelle doesn’t want to plan too far ahead yet but instead enjoy everyday, nevertheless when asked she confesses her dream is to create her own signature cocktail that encompases all the flavours from a Canadian treat just like one she discovered in New Zealand.

Her advice to aspiring bartenders is simple; find out if this is what you want and let this passion drag you along. Just go for it and you will find out you actually know how to do it

Shanelle will be shaking and stirring cocktails at College Street Bar (574 College St.Toronto) we definitely recommend you stop by and get one of her Killer Koolaid’s. Believe us; you’ll be glad you did.

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Bartender Training Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Carynn Redmond

by on Dec.04, 2013, under Bartender Stories


The first impression you get when you see Carynn Redmond  is she is full with energy, it probably has something to do with her past as a Jazz and Ballet dancer or her years playing football soccer and it shows in her speed and grace behind the bar.

Painting, drawing, crafts… anything involving hands on that demands creativity has always been Carynn’s passion and it was an easy decision for her to enter this industry, believe it or not, despite her young age, Carynn has an impressive 14 years old experience in all positions imaginable both in Back of House and Front in House so becoming a bartender was the next step.

After joining the BartenderOne MasterClass to learn the bartending and mixology secrets she was longing for, Carynn received an invitation to participate in the prestigious Blazers Challenge where her superb performance made her one of the three finalists invited to take an apprenticeship at College Street Bar and learn from the best mixologists in Toronto.

It is interesting to find out that before taking the B1 MasterClass Carynn was not a big fond of cocktails and preferred drinking a cold beer or a good glass of wine. Now her favourite cocktails are Whisky Sours and Cucumber Collins.

With her newfound passion for cocktails Carynn enjoys creating them from scratch, which she feels just like a work of art and makes learning molecular mixology her next objective


Meeting new people and making new friends every day is one of the biggest reasons why Carynn loves this profession. With a natural talent for socializing and interacting with people that landed her a job as brand ambassador for different spirits she is determined to succeed in this industry and learning some flair and mixology skills that allow her to travel the world bartending at exotic places.


For Carynn the three main skills  every bartender should possess is knowledge, speed and consistency which should be accompanied by practice, passion  and perseverance to achieve your goals and she is confident she has what it takes to be a superstar in the bartending scene.


Carynn will be preparing mind numbing cocktails at College Street Bar for the next couple weeks. Come before it’s too late and get a Cucumber Collins from her, it’ll be a refreshing experience that you will remember

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Bartending School Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Shevonn Brown

by on Nov.15, 2013, under Bartender Stories, IBC


Shevonn knows what working hard means.

Working since age 17 to support her family, Shevonn has done a little bit of everything; from legal assistant to supervisor barista, she has experienced the ups and downs of the real world without ever quitting her dream to become a singer / musician.

On the search for a profession that offered her constant learning and possibilities, Shevonn decided to enrol in the prestigious Bartending  MasterClass at BartenderOne Toronto where her easy going manners, speed and skill made her instructors put down her name for the Blazers Challenge along other top graduates like her. In this competition Shevonn managed to keep nerves of steel and executed a terrific performance, which added to her promotional efforts earned her a seat in the winter finals.

With a curious passion for White Russian despite her lactose intolerance, Shevonn thrives in fast-paced, interaction-filled environment and holds a mantra that defines her attitude towards bartending: Willingness to learn, Patience & Practice.

Shevonn’s goal now is to follow the path of learning from the best, honing her skills and making a reputation for herself with a signature cocktail that makes people tipsy and happy around the world.

Her advice for those wishing to follow on her foot steps?

“My main advice for those preparing to become a bartender would be to be confident in yourself and your abilities. Like anything you do make sure you are prepared to put in the time, the work and the effort to learn your craft. It may seem overwhelming at first but if you are confident in yourself, your ability and you work hard, you will reap the benefits and they are rewarding”

Shevonn is invited to spend a few weeks at College Street Bar to polish her bartending skills and learn the secrets of this profession with some of the brightest minds in the bar scene in Toronto. You definitely have to stop by and try her White Russian, she may not be able to share it with you without risking an anaphylactic shock, but we can bet that it will blow your mind!!!

See you at the bar!

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Bartendeing Training Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Yelena Radyuk

by on Nov.13, 2013, under Bartender Stories, IBC


Yelena is full of contrasts; even though she was born in the cold steppes of Belarus, Yelena possesses a warm smile which she employs to make her guests feel at ease, even more, despite being charming and always open for a chat Yelena can switch immediately a state of pure concentration when she is behind the bar.

Bartending is one of those professions that attract people from all walks of life, Yelena’s story however is quite unique, even for the industry. Currently working as a Laser Technician by day – where she fulfills her desire of helping others to look and feel better – she is also a circus performer as part of her family business. With this background, Yelena has a natural passion for taking the stage and is no stranger to large crowds, a passion for putting a show together for people that she transfers to her performance at the bar.

The opportunity for travel and an interest in flair bartending as something close to an art, drew Yelena to enroll in the BartenderOne Masterclass, where her superb skills and attitude caught her instructor’s eye and got her an invitation to participate in the BartenderOne Blazers Challenge.

In the Blazers Challenge, Yelena’s ability to deal with a fast paced environment, her bartending skills – which include a perfectly mixed Mojito- and charisma behind the bar earned her a seat as a finalist along with an apprenticeship with some of the brightest minds in the industry in Toronto.

A declared fan of Margaritas, Yelena considers that the main skills every bartender should posses are the ability to multitask, to be productive and the ability to have fun! For her future Yelena dreams of an international bartender career that allows her to travel and explore the world, working at exotic places while offering memorable experiences for every guest.  After watching her performance we are totally sure she will accomplish this.

If you are in Toronto, go straight to Little Italy and  stop at College Street Bar to experience Yelena’s Mojito: a tropical creation with a sexy eastern european touch.  We can bet this is something you will remember.

See you at the bar!!!

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Bartending Certification Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Katie Lee

by on Oct.24, 2013, under Bartender Stories, IBC



Unlike most bartenders, Katie Lee is mostly quiet and reserved, nonetheless, behind the bar this lady is dangerous: fast, efficient and precise Katie knows how to handle her way between glassware, bottles and recipes to deliver fast, top quality service that can satisfy the most exigent customer.

After a successful performance at her Bartending MasterClass, Katie decided to take her chances, study her recipes and take part in the Blazers Challenge held in College Street Bar to demonstrate that she is a bartender ready to take over Toronto with her creations.

Katie is very clear on her analysis of what a bartender should posses:  “I think being a hard worker is an important ‘skill’ that every bartender should possess. Whether it is mastering your bartending ‘craft’, learning new recipes, or cleaning the bar scrupulously at the end of the night. Can’t go wrong when you work hard” she says.  This maturity is particularly relevant in an industry where some of the most talented minds fall short of expectations by not being willing to put the amount of work needed.

Nonetheless, Katie is not only focused on the serious part of the job, to her bartending means a great atmosphere to work at: a fun vibe and crazy work where putting a smile on someone’s face or brighten someone’s bad day with a delicious drink is the best reward possible. Katie’s dream? Create a bartender with her name that becomes a favourite of partygoers around the globe.

Finally, we’d like to share Katie’s words for those considering choosing this career:

“You have to be willing to put in lots of hard work but never forget that it’s also supposed to be fun. Be yourself and have fun”

Keep an eye on Katie and make sure to stop by her bar to try that Katie Cocktail, as soon as she creates it, we can bet that it will rock.

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Bartending School Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Landon Logie

by on Oct.24, 2013, under IBC



When you meet Landon Logie the first thing you receive from her is a big warm smile which makes you feel immediately at ease.  This alone is a priceless gift for anyone interested in becoming a bartender: a dazzling smile opens doors and keep the tips flowing.

A big fan of one of Toronto’s favourites: The Madison Avenue Pub Landon is one of the most promising bartenders coming to Toronto nightlife scene, Landon felt the call to join the fun, exciting but also demanding lifestyle known as bartending. After taking her  first steps in this path at one of the busiest venues in Mississauga and following her passion for Cosmopolitans Landon made the decision to join the BartenderOne MasterClass,  where her abilities and charisma made her instructor put her name down to participate in the Blazers Challenge.

In this competition, Landon overcame her initial shyness and nervousness and with a firm grip she mastered her station at the College Street Bar. Her performance and the effort she put in promoting her participation to her friends made her champion of the Blazers Challenge Qualifiers, earning her a seat at the final and a spot at the CSB team to polish her skills.

Confidence, an outgoing personality and a good memory are Landon’s necessary elements to succeed as a bartender. The speed, versatility and pressure this industry offer, are to Landon irresistible reasons to pursue her dreams in bartending and opening her own bar.

Finally, Landon’s advice to all that considering becoming bartenders and participating in a competition like this is to have fun with it and just do it!

Remember to stop at 574 College St. in Toronto to get a drink from Landon, the smile included is free.

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Bartending Course Success Stories…finding Toronto’s new talents: Analyn Gawaran

by on Oct.23, 2013, under Bartender Stories, Mixology, Raising the Bar


Analyn’s story destroys one of the most common myths around bartenders; that most service industry staff are high school or university dropouts.  A successful Marketing Coordinator, Analyn came into bartending looking for an alternative for her 9 to 5 office job, something that pushed her out of her comfort zone and allowed her to meet new, interesting people everyday. Unlike most bartenders, Analyn enjoys the pressure and challenge of this career to which she adds her communication skills and the ability to deal with numerous people she’s got in her regular job. A passion motivated professional, Analyn looks forward new challenges to beat and new horizons to reach.

At BartenderOne Analyn discovered the secrets of Gin and fell in love with the Tom Collins or its College Street Bar version the cucumber Collins. Noting her skill and charisma behind the bar, she was selected by her instructors to participate on the Blazers Challenge where she ranked among the top contenders.

In Analyn’s opinion, every bartender should have the charisma and a distinct personality that can easily be loved not only by the customers but their co-workers as well. Aside from charm, every bartended should have the persistence to strive to be better every time

With her superb performance at the Blazers Challenge, Analyn earned a place at the elite group of graduates that will keep on being part of the College Street Bar team. In her words, participating on the Blazers Challenge she felt “Excited. Nervous. Happy. Scared. Fulfilled. Awed. Surprised. Challenged. Negative and Positive”

Keep an eye on Analyn, she will be Toronto nightlife scene in the months and years to come and you better stay around to taste her creations.


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Bartending Training Success Stories… finding Toronto’s new talents: Jess McMillan

by on Oct.23, 2013, under Bartender Stories, IBC


Jess McMillan story is particularly unusual among bartenders. Her profession and passion speak a lot about her personality: if her work supporting people with disabilities doesn’t show a noble person oriented to help others, her reasons for bartending totally do. A party girl at heart, Jess had to face a Pancreatitis consequence of this lifestyle which propelled her to switch from being the party to make the party amazing for those around her. Her first big step in this direction was to take proper bartending training which besides making her develop a whole new respect for bartenders, helped her realize she wanted to become one.

With an infatuation for Amaretto Sour (despite the first impression of an egg being part of the recipe) and for layering shots –another rarity among new bartenders- Jess was invited to participate in the Blazers Challenge, where her terrific performance, combined with the huge support she got from her friends and fans in the selection process made the jury chose her as one of the 3 finalists for the competition. This means that Jess will be at the legendary College Street Bar, stirring and shaking her way through bartender wisdom for four weeks.

For Jess, being in contact with different people every night is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this profession (opposed to how much she hates cutting celery). In her opinion, the main skills that every bartender should possess aside from the knowledge of recipes are personality, confidence and at least a little flair.

Flair is Jess, next big goal, after tasting the pleasure of throwing garnish, glassware and bottles with style, she is now looking forward “killing it” in some flair competitions.

Finally, her words about her experience at the B1 Blazers:

“B1 Blazers was a great experience.  Stressful and overwhelming at first but so worth it.  Bartending at one of Toronto’s finest bars was a huge learning opportunity.  All the staff were so helpful, patient and knowledgeable.  The atmosphere in the bar was great.  It was very welcoming.  Good DJ, Great drinks, wicked people”

Stop at College Street Bar and try on of Jess’ masterpieces, her Amaretto Sour will make you come back…

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Bar Chef Finals – Fall 2011

by on Apr.25, 2011, under IBC, Mixology, Raising the Bar, Worlds Best Bars

Have you wished you could jump behind a bar with hundreds of ingredients, tastes, and ideas and be able to create the cocktail of your dreams?

On April 4th, 2011 the BartenderOne Bar Chef Finals took place at Empire Lounge in Toronto in Yorkville. As students, the mixologists had completed tasting over five hundred different spirits, bitters, liqueurs, sweeteners, types of citrus, infused foams and spirits, along with homemade syrups.

As mixologists, the students were asked to create an original cocktail from each of the 5 spirit categories. The cocktails could have been made with anything that the mixologists could think of; but were required to hold dear the traditional balanced cocktail theory. While they did have guidelines for balance, there were none for flavour profiles or presentation. Mixologists could incorporate elements that were taught in class such as: infusion, fatwashing, bruleeing, molecular mixology, spherification, custom foams, misting and much more.

As the student mixologists watched tentatively, their cocktails were tasted by three of Toronto’s top mixologists; Rob Montgomery, Gavin MacMillan and Scott McMaster. The students were were delighted to see that their hard work and development had paid off. The judges were impressed by all of the thought and effort that was incorporated into the final cocktails. The mixologists showed that they weren’t scared to test some boundaries in coming up with their very own recipes, and here are the top cocktails entered:


Strawbarb Bullets by Krissy Calkins

Strawbarb Bullets by Krissy Calkins

STRAWBARB BULLETS – By Mixologist Krissy Calkins

2/3 oz Strawberry reduction (no sugar added)
1/3 oz Rhubarb reduction (no sugar added)
1 oz Vodka
Shaken on Ice
Strain into Chocolate Cups
Float – Vanilla bean infused simple syrup on top
Served on a bed of Gram Crackers

Rainbow 1943 By Elizabeth Saad

Rainbow 1943 By Elizabeth Saad

(continue reading…)

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