Working in Sydney’s cocktail bars

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Jesper at Chip off the old block
Almost everything was new to me on this trip not only that it was my first time in Australia but it was also my first time working outside of Europe and I quickly got to experience that working with alcohol here and back in Europe is not really the same thing.First of all you had to do a RSA (responsible service of alcohol) course before you even can think about working within this industry and pretty much everything around the serving of alcohol was much stricter than I was used to which was both scary and exciting since you can get fines and in worst case scenario prison if you serve a minor or intoxicated person

[ebs_redbox img=””]Codie and Jesper with their newly acquired RSA[/ebs_redbox]


So after spending a day at the EBS school we made our way towards the location where we were going to spend our next 8 hours, I can’t say I was overly excited about it since I was jet lagged after almost a whole day of traveling but after a while you got used to it and time seemed to fly away and before we knew it both of us had passed the test and we were on our way back to the hostel for some well earned sleep. So now we were ready to start our working journey through Sydney we were going to work at a place called Chip off the old block which is a newly established cocktail bar in Sydney it’s only been opened for about 6 months. It only took a few minutes before we realised that this place was going to be good. It’s maybe not the biggest bar we ever seen but the atmosphere of this place was something else you almost felt that you were going home to your friend and not just a bar with cosy interior live music and good cocktails and food that is all you need from a place


After a friendly chat with the staff we started to do cocktails and get familiar with the bar so it was just a standard first day. After our first shift we all stated that this bar was to small to actually be three bartenders in so for us to get more things to do behind the bar Pia used her contacts and the day after Codie had a job at a Italian restaurant down in Darling harbour. I continued working at Chip off the old Block alongside me was the experienced bartender Nilo who also have done the EBS course. it was nice to hear his story and also very cool to work with him since he had been in the business for almost 10 years.

I got more and more confident behind the bar and before I knew it I had worked there for two weeks and it was time to say goodbye to the Chip it couldn’t be better timing on my last day it was they’re 6 months anniversary so I finished my time working In Sydney with a glass of champagne with the staff who were truly amazing and really took care of me and made my time there a memory for life I learned a lot during my time at chip of the old block and still at the same time I had a really good time with everyone involved, so thank you so much chip of the old block for an awesome time.


Codie at Baia the Italian
Like Jesper said Chip off the Old Block was an amazing bar but not big enough for more then 2 bartenders, so I took the opportunity to work close to the centre of Sydney in Darling Harbour. And what a beautiful area to be working in. I was to work at an Italian Restaurant called Baia the Italian. I soon found out the current bar manager Callum had only finished the EBS Sydney course a few months before and he was already running a bar, an amazing feat in my eyes.

I arrived the first day with very little idea what to expect, I heard it was more of a dispense bar. Meaning I had to be very efficient and quick in my orders as I would be getting multiple drinks orders at once, sometimes having to put out 20 drinks on the pass at a time. This was completely different to any bar I had worked in and would prove to be an amazing experience over my next few shifts. Having been giving the Drink specs when I arrived I quickly looked through them and learnt the ones I needed to use the most while I worked. Once I went through these it was time to go through what was expected of me when I worked behind the bar, nothing out of the usual of any other bar I have worked in. Clean as you go a big necessity in the bar as the rate of service was so high we needed to be able to clean equipment to use whenever we needed it. Once going through all of this it was time to put on my work clothes and begin my first shift.


The thing that separates Baia from most of the bars I’ve worked in is during the hours of 3pm and 7pm there was happy hour, which meant if customers wanted cheap drinks they needed to come to the bar. This resulted in a roller coster of a service during these hours with the last minutes being absolute mayhem as the customers all came up at once to get there last few drinks. This made us work as a cohesive bar team as we still needed to make sure the drinks ordered by customers sitting down were still being made at the dispense bar. Once happy hour had ended it was time to quickly clean and get the bar back into order so we could still resume service. My first shift went quickly by in a blur as I was still learning where everything was and how to make the new cocktails. But it was time for me to go and get some much needed sleep.


My next shift was on a Saturday, which would happen to be one of the busiest they had almost the whole year. Working on the same principle as the shift before it was all about multitasking and working as a team to make the bar work effectively. I was stationed on making all the cocktails that came through and the other 2 bartenders were on service and the dispense bar. This was definitely the busiest night I have worked in a very long time and hours went by in a blink of an eye from all the cocktails being made, at one stage I would be making 8 different cocktails at once, really putting into practice what I had been taught at EBS Kos. Again like my first shift the time flew by, as I barely had time to even think about anything else before I knew it, it was time to finish my last shift.

I would work 3 more times at Baia the Italian and I would meet the rest of the bar staff over the course of those 3 shifts. I also found at there was another EBS Sydney graduate Felix who had done the course around the same time as Callum. With me there it definitely felt like EBS was being represented.


My time at Baia the Italian was beyond what I expected, even though I had no idea what to expect. It definitely made me hone my skills with multitasking, cleaning as you go and always smile. The staff were very friendly and also being fellow EBS Graduates we had the same ideas on a lot things behind the bar, resulting in us working as a well oiled machine, ready for anything. I walk away from this experience with new friends and an amazing experience at a very nice bar in Darling Harbour.

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