Best Bartenders

Pompano Beach promises to provide ‘Florida’s Warmest Welcome’ and this motto extends to the hospitable atmosphere found at Best Bartenders, the brainchild of Fort Lauderdale businessman Derek Gannotta.

A relatively new name in the burgeoning bartending school industry, Best Bartenders (also going by the moniker BestBartendersFL Inc.) was established by Gannotta in 2013 after he had spent many years working in television – for MTV networks – then for a major events company and latterly as social director for one of the state’s largest hotel chains. Gannotta has now ploughed this experience of training staff and organising private and corporate occasions into his own venture, seeking to raise the bar for hospitality workers and event planners across the South Florida area.

Best Bartenders (BB) can be found on the aforementioned Pompano Beach, tucked on the eastern flank of the US peninsula state and between Lake Santa Barbara and the Atlantic Ocean. It is ideally situated for students from Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but its doors are open to all comers and the school can be contacted twenty-four hours a day. Gannotta and his colleagues are able to deliver training, staff and expert advice, with specialists in mixology – the art of drinks prep and mixing – plus model and ‘flair’ bartenders to spice up any party, be it a small private gathering or a corporate mega-event, along with custom cocktail menus guaranteed to wow patrons. The company proudly boasts that its ‘mixologists’ have taken part in national and international competitions and come away with multiple awards.

BB has a number of courses and services in its portfolio, geared either for those who wish to learn the art of mixology themselves or for private individuals/commercial entities who want Gannotta’s team to carry out the planning and heavy lifting instead. Its ‘Bar Staffing’ does what it says on the tin: provides professional, fully-trained staff to work your wedding or business dinner; these staff can be bartenders, mixologists, models or ‘flair’ bar whizzes who can turn your event into a scene from Tom Cruise’s ‘Cocktail’. Meanwhile its ‘Bar Consultancy’ service can take a floundering watering hole or restaurant and completely revamp its beverage program and drinks menu and put the business back on track – this is done via analysis of your target market, bespoke cocktail menus, designing the perfect bar for your establishment and training staff to the highest level. BB’s ‘Event Mixology’ is its premium service for private and corporate events: Gannotta promises to take care of everything you will ever need for your party or get-together, from pre-planning, equipment rental and provision of skilled staff to catering, spirits and even custom homemade mixers for everyone’s drinks.

All of these services and their attendant costs can be discussed with the company via their website.

For wannabe bar keeps and mixologists there are several course available under their ‘Bar Training Courses’ umbrella – ‘Mixology’, ‘Molecular Mixology’ and ‘Intro to Bartending’. Each class ($200 per class) is a four hour workshop, with the latter a dip-your-toe session containing topics such as ‘Classic Cocktails’, ‘Spirit Knowledge’ and the workings/equipment of a modern bar. ‘The ‘Mixology’ course builds on the bar basics to teach students about syrups and infusions, juice extraction and advanced tools and supplies, as well as ensuring cocktails have the right balance and the methods of ‘ice building’ and ‘spirit mixing’, while the ‘Molecular Mixology’ session goes even further, with pupils learning about some of the most cutting-edge techniques practised in the finest establishmen

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