We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
Bartending school isn’t what it used to be, and we mean that in the best way possible. Gone are the days of shelling out hundreds of dollars just to learn how to make Rob Roys and Tom Collins cocktails using dummy bottles filled with water and food coloring. Today's mixology classes take things up a notch, offering in-person learning, as well as online experiences. Classes are more accessible and affordable than ever before, thanks to technology and an industry that’s gaining both momentum and talent.
As a bartender, you're expected to mix tasty drinks and entertain new people daily. So why not up your game? Our picks for the best online bartending schools will get you started, whether you're party planning at home or making a career out of the trade.
Best Online Bartending Schools of 2023
- Best Overall: MasterClass
- Best For Certification: A Bar Above
- Best Multilingual: The European Bartender School
- Best App: JERRY Global
- Best for Beginners: HOLLOW LEG
Best Overall : MasterClass
- Cost: $180 membership annually
- Class length: 4 hours and 29 minutes
- Certification: No
Masterclass offers a virtual bartending education led by two world-class bartenders and industry legends.
Lessons are short and can be tackled at your own pace
Taught by a James Beard honoree
Subscription fee grants you access to hundreds of courses
Once enrolled in MasterClass' bartender series, New York City's Lynnette Marrero
(Llama Inn and Speed Rack) and London's Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka, Mr. Lyan) will teach you everything you need to know about the modern bartending world. Lessons cover a foundational understanding of classic recipes to help sharpen your palate.
This dynamic duo manages to keep things interesting, so there's never a dull moment, making this MasterClass experience a great option for those who learn efficiently while being entertained.
The syllabus consists of seventeen 15- and 30-minute lessons, beginning with cocktail philosophy, and venturing through the ins and outs of crafting time-honored favorites, like sours, the old-fashioned, martinis, negronis, and highballs.
MasterClass costs about $180 for the year, which breaks down to approximately $15 monthly. While this might seem like a lot for one series, the membership includes access to the entire MasterClass roster, including tons of categories.
Best For Certification : A Bar Above
- Cost: $25 to $147
- Class length: 4 hours to 8 weeks (for full certification)
- Certification: Yes
A Bar Above offers a professional mixology certification, which includes mastering two lessons and then taking a certification quiz. Course content and access to the community Facebook page are granted for life.
Good for both beginners and professionals
Lifetime access to content
Husband and wife team Chris and Julia Tunstall are the collective powerhouses behind A Bar Above, an online hub for bartender education. Through A Bar Above, both aspiring and professional bartenders can hone their skills by tuning in to the couple's YouTube channel and podcast, both of which are full of industry intel, tips, tricks, and recipes.
If you enjoy the couple's free content and want to take things a step further, A Bar Above's certification program includes lifetime access to exclusive HD video lessons that are optimized for mobile (for a flat rate of $147). Plus, viewers can access accompanying notes and cheat sheets, in addition to quizzes and community mentorship.
Regardless of which path you take, A Bar Above's Facebook groups serve as great support systems, with resources for members at any point in their education or career. The couple also offers a signature selection of barware from their very own professional collection.
Best Multilingual : The European Bartender School
- Cost: Approximately $31
- Class length: 3.5 hours
- Certification: Yes
The European Bartender School offers courses taught by English-speaking instructors, yet each course is available with Spanish, French, German, and Italian subtitles, as well.
Offers advanced courses, complete with a certificate
Provides downloadable study notes
Courses feature up to 27 recipes
Customers report trouble accessing class
Attention Romance language speakers! The European Bartender School caters to those who speak Spanish, French, German, and Italian, offering subtitles over an Anglophone-led series of more than 34 bartending videos.
This intensive, three-and-a-half-hour course covers all of the essential bartender basics in a concise, yet in-depth, format. The Essentials of Bartending class includes lessons on technique, pro tips, classic builds, theory, and best service practices, and is accompanied by a tome of study notes for you to keep.
The online essentials course and the Advanced Online Bartending Course both cost a flat fee of roughly $31 (a total steal). Additionally, you can experience one of the company's in-person courses, offered at nearly 30 different locations across the world.
Best App : JERRY Global
- Cost: Free
- Class length: 15 to 40 minutes per class
- Certification: No
Jerry, now part of the Allara Global family, gives you access to over 30 bartending courses that you can complete in your own time through an app.
Access to a large library of classes
Class duration does not exceed 20 minutes
Offers classes in individual drink recipes
Doesn't offer in-depth study options
Some of us learn best on our own terms, and that’s where an educational app like JERRY comes in. The app was named after Jerry Thomas, a godfather of cocktail culture.
You can access JERRY's courses (through the Allara Global app) by phone, computer, and tablet, and it offers over 30 different courses, including Introduction to Bar Operations, and Hospitality and Service Fundamentals.
Across its curricula, JERRY’s core topics include history, service, hospitality, prep, sustainability, ethics, leadership, and inventory management, and offer a way to train both hospitality teams and individual users.
The courses provide a holistic look at beverage service, through videos and guided activities. Ongoing access is available by downloading the app, registering, and paying a monthly fee.
Best for Beginners : HOLLOW LEG
- Cost: Up to $45 per class
- Class length: Up to 90 minutes per class
- Certification: No
HOLLOW LEG's virtual mixology 101 course walks you through the basics of mixology and no special equipment or supplies are needed to take it.
Breaks down the basics of mixology
Offers customizable kits for drink-making
Delves into dietary restrictions and considerations
You need to email directly for pricing and enrollment
HOLLOW LEG is the brainchild of founder and bartender Devin Kidner, a Chicago-based entrepreneur whose mission is to teach beginners the science behind mixology "with a Julia Child-like enthusiasm."
What’s unique about Kidner’s classes is they’re designed to teach you theory and principles first, giving you the tools to navigate intuitive drink-making (both with and without alcohol).
HOLLOW LEG offers just a few online experiences, including a one-hour Mixology 101 course that delves into dilution, temperature, and the "science of taste." It also covers the basics of using spirits, bitters, and tinctures.
The basic course costs about $35, and there’s an extended version with more recipes for $45. You can buy your supplies ahead of time, or purchase a kit through HOLLOW LEG. To book or purchase, simply contact Kidner through her website.
The Masterclass series, led by Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana, won our pick for the best bartending school due to its informative and entertaining coursework. Its attention-grabbing lessons are short and can be tackled at your own pace, and the monthly subscription fee grants you access to hundreds of other courses. Unlike some of the other schools in our lineup, Masterclass' courses are taught by world-class mixologists, including one who is a James Beard honoree.
Compare the Best Online Bartending Schools of 2023
|Company||Cost||Class Length||Certification||Number of Lessons|
|Best Overall MasterClass||$180 annually||4 hours and 29 minutes||No||17|
|Best For Certification A Bar Above||$25 to $147||4 hours to 8 weeks||Yes||20 modules|
|Best Multilingual The European Bartender School||Approximately $31 USD||3.5 hours||Yes||34|
|Best App JERRY Global||Free||15 to 40 minutes per class||No||30|
|Best for Beginners HOLLOW LEG||Up to $45 per class||Up to 90 minutes per class||No||5|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Online Bartending Schools?
An online bartending school uses the virtual platform to teach students the ins and outs of drink-making and hospitality. Often, courses stem from in-person class concepts and are taught by industry experts with years of experience. Some courses are meant to be experienced independently, while others work well for teams (both casual groups and professional staff).
How Are Online Bartending Classes Different From Online Cocktail Classes?
An online cocktail class is typically a one-off virtual event that walks guests through the making of one or two cocktails (sometimes more, depending on the class). Virtual, or online, bartending classes go more in-depth and explore concepts like drink theory, technique, history, and ethics. They also cover recipe-making, and some offer a certification.
How Much Do Online Bartending Classes Cost?
As with most products and experiences, the cost depends on the company and the format you choose. If you’re looking for something casual to do in your own time, you can always opt for a free or low-cost platform. For those looking for professional development, complete with a certification, options range from roughly $50 to $150.
How Long Are Bartending Online Classes?
Virtual bartending courses can range in length from 20 minutes, up to eight weeks long. Short courses are often offered for free or little charge, whereas longer courses, suited for professionals, offer certifications.
We researched several different online bartending schools before coming up with our list of the best. We included courses that offer the basics, as well as those meant to hone your professional skills. We chose schools suited for at-home entertainers, as well as those that service industry professionals and hospitality teams. Lastly, we took into account different learning styles and chose schools that offered video courses, as well as those that enlist the help of subtitles for non-English-speaking students.