Jobs & Careers: Former security guard develops flair for bartending

November 07, 2019
Brian Broderick
One of Broderick’s cocktails.

A few years ago, Spanish Town-based Brian Broderick saw bartending as a means of making some extra cash; but that odd job has turned into a beloved career.

The 29-year-old has not only mastered the art of mixology, but is also versatile in flair bartending.

“I was working at Bargain Mall as a security guard and I needed an extra income, so I did bartending on a part-time basis. By doing this, I realise that I didn’t just enjoy making cocktails but I liked flair bartending as well.”

But he admits that the first cocktail he made was “horrible”.

“Thankfully, I tasted it before giving it to the customer, because it was so sour,” he laughed.


With no formal training, Broderick said he was coached by a few of his peers while practising his flair skills during his lunch period.

“When I just started practising flair bartending, I didn’t have any money to buy the professional bottles online. So I started with soda bottles filled with water. I would practise with those until them burst countless times, too. Afterwards, I started to do it with glass liquor bottles and, naturally, they broke and shatter all over the place, and I even get a few cuts and scrapes along the way,” he said.

But he said the more he got into bartending, the more he realised how important it was to be flairy.

“It builds a relationship with the customer. You can’t be a boring bartender, you have to make it entertaining. You have to make a on- on-one connection with your customer,” he said.

According to Broderick, his years of expertise have taught him a lot about making cocktails.


“My cocktails and drink mixes are inspired mostly by my surroundings. There are times when I am listening to certain conversations and just like that, the idea comes about to create a cocktail that fits in with the situation. There are times when customers will come and relate stuff to you and you just make a drink to uplift their mood,” he said.

The father of two has risen from being a bartender to being a training coordinator at Barcode Jamaica, which provides professional bar service for all types of events islandwide.

“I feel really good to be helping others by teaching them what I know, because there were a lot of persons who helped me along the way. I really love my job because I like to interact with persons,” he said.

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