List of cocktails to know for certified exam

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?



  • 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!

    Good luck

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