Hello, I am currently studying for my certified exam and I wondered if anyone had a list of cocktails which are expected to be learnt for the certified exam?
Is it expected to memorize all of these?
Most important part of preparing for and taking CMS exams: don't stress yourself out. For certified, you do not need to get every question right to pass. You might be quizzed on cocktails during your service exam during which time you are being tested on your poise and professionalism as much as your knowledge. In my experience, they are not trying to trick you either.
I would use this extensive list to:
a) familiarize yourself-if you haven't already-with the types of cocktail (sour, duos/trios, fizz and so on) and be sure to understand what makes a sour a sour, a mule a mule, a Collins a collins. These formulas often mean just switching out a base spirit or adding one extra ingredient.
b) Once you understand these structures, start memorizing which base spirit(s) is/are commonly associated with the cocktail OR what little variation makes it different from a regular (think Hemingway daiquiri vs standard daiquiri)
When taking your certified service exam:
1. Listen to the Master asking you the questions
2 . Answer as judiciously as your knowledge permits and admit when it doesn't, saying "I am unfamiliar with that cocktail but our bartender is a genius with these sorts of things, I will refer to her." Rather than, "I don't know."
3. If you can't recall a cocktail, don't freak out and make sure that you really sell them on your knowledge of what you do know (food pairing, spirits, technical steps of service, etc.)
And remember to study your Tête de Cuvées. I'll forever kick myself for blacking out when asked about "Sir Winston Churhill" in my certified exam. But hey, I still passed!
This is just our list of classic cocktails that we think wine professional should know. GuildSomm and the Court of Master Sommeliers are separate organizations, so while we offer educational resources you can trust, we aren't speaking for the CMS.
I second everything Kameron said and would like to add a couple of things.
-Know a couple of producers of various styles of liquor (example question: Give me 2 producers of London Dry Gin)
-Know some higher end liquors (example question: Name two whiskeys over $50 a bottle)
I hope this helps! Best of luck!
This is super helpful! Thank you so much...Not until November but I want to make sure I do not have to do this twice!
Awesome. This is exactly what I wanted to know..being British the whisky part is fine ;)
As has been mentioned, cocktails mostly come up during service. There may have been a question in theory, but I don't recall. I would say, far more important than memorizing every cocktail is to make sure your points of service are on lock-down. If you're freaking out about that stuff, they could stump you by asking your name. I know this much, I didn't practice service enough and wasn't able to answer plenty of questions that I was able to recall, basically all of, the second I left the room. All because the actual service, like who gets served first, etc. was forefront in my mind as opposed to second nature.I passed, but, based on my evaluation, it seemed to be the weakest of the three for me.
I guess my point is, unless you can memorize the entire list of cocktails, you'll need to get a little lucky (I did as both were drinks I just happened to know very well). But that's two questions out of a bunch you'll be asked. Better to focus on getting good enough on the actual service elements so that you'll feel as relaxed as possible and less likely to choke on answers to questions that you actually know.
Thanks, this is reassuring...
If you want a good overview of both classic cocktails and the newer wave of "modern classics" that cocktail drinkers increasingly call for, I recommend the Cocktail Chronicles by Paul Clarke. If the whole concept of cocktail categories is still something you're getting up to speed on, the Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan is good for that, but the drinks in his recipe section are mostly outdated.
But yeah, the Cocktail Chronicles is easy to read, you can probably breeze through making notecards along the way over just a couple sessions and it's more accurate and comprehensive than the section in the Guildsomm compendium. It's good to know, cocktail knowledge helps with sales at work in a big way. There's a great section on recommended producers in the back.
while I am currently studying myself, I think that the books; Drinks by Vincent Gasnier and the Ultimate Guide to Spirits & Cocktails would be of Great help for your studies.
Ordering the book now! Thanks