A bartender, barman, or barmaid, is a person who serves usually alcoholic drinks behind a counter in a bar, pub, tavern, or similar establishment. A bartender, in short, “person who tends the bar”. The term barkeeper may suggest that the person is the bar’s owner. Bartenders also usually maintain the supplies and inventory for the bar (though some establishments have barbacks who help with these duties). Where cocktails are served, bartenders are expected to be able to mix hundreds to thousands of different drinks. A mixologist is someone who is skilled in mixing cocktails.
Bartenders represent the bar they tend, contributing to and reflecting the atmosphere of the bar. Where food is the main focus, the bartender is all but invisible. Alternatively, the bartender may be part of the entertainment, expected to engage in flair bartending or other forms of entertainment, as portrayed in the films Cocktail and Coyote Ugly. Where tipping is a local custom, bartenders depend on tips for most of their income. Bartenders are also usually responsible for confirming that customers are old enough to drink before serving them alcohol. In some countries, bartenders are legally required to refuse more alcohol to drunk customers.