At some point in the evening as I was chatting with Alex Day, Thomas Waugh ambled in Allen & Delancey. For those of you who didn't know, Thomas, formerly of Alembic, recently relocated from San Francisco and currently works shifts at Death and Co (ask him to make you something with his banana chip infused rum). It's not his first time behind the bar there, since he previously participated in the bartender exchange. Nonetheless, he still had to wrestle with learning the huge now-not-so-new menu.
How'd he do it? While Damon (not at Death and Co. anymore, but working full-time at Flatiron Lounge, by the way) used flashcards, Thomas came up with a system. Like the Kumon of cocktailing or something. He decided to learn all the cocktails that were takes on classics first. As for the rest? Brute force memorization. Though he said learning the recipes was one thing. Getting used to the layout of the bar was entirely something else. The more you know (ding, ding, diiing.)