The art of bartending


Night life is about to get a higher standard through Diageo’s Master Bartender Academy (MBA) program which is set to train 300 bartenders in Ethiopia. At an event that was held on Monday January 9, 2017 at the Vault lounge, Diageo’s Spirits Commercial Director Nicholas Mutinda underlined the importance of having well trained professionals working in bars so that people can get the same standard service whether they are in Addis Ababa or London.

“Bartending is like any other profession, it needs training and constant updating on trends. A well trained bartender will also promote responsible drinking which is something that is very important,” Mutinda said.

The training program will also target bartenders in other markets including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya and Seychelles. MBA is available in three languages and has more than 12 multilingual African trainers. The training program to date, has taken place in more than 40 cities within Africa, and has trained over 14,000 bartenders.

To become a master bartender takes dedicated work, all trainees must complete three modules, it was stated. The first module of the training, title MBA 101 is a one day workshop which among others covers key topics on bartending like customer service, bartender secrets and responsible drinking. Each of the bartender trainees leaves with a workshop manual and a link to a site, to complete the second module, MBA202.

Once completed, only the highest scoring 25 bartenders are selected to go through to MBA 303 which is the last module. The 303 module consists of a full day of training where after several tests, the last five are chosen.

The final five will compete in a live showdown in front of an audience where one bartender  will get the opportunity to be named Master Bartender.

All of the MBA finalists will receive a certificate together with exclusive MBA merchandise that includes a special cocktail kit. The Master Bartender also gets to take home an iPad loaded with exclusive cocktail apps, USD 1,000 and the title of his/her city as the Master Bartender.