New website to educate bartenders on healthy drinking

Iain Bell

A new website has been launched to educate bar owners and bartenders to understand how alcohol consumption impacts on the bodies of their customers and themselves.

Described as a “well-being web portal”, the Bartenders’ Manifesto has been created by Edinburgh-based Iain Bell (pictured), owner of Executive Fitness Foundation and an expert in well-being, lifestyle and fitness.

The website, at, is an educational resource based on his 20 years delivering wellness workshops, personalised fitness programmes, and sessions for executives on meditation.

His science-based master classes on drink have been presented to global drinks companies and members of the International Bartenders Association (IBA), exploring the relationship between alcohol, body physiology and effective health strategies.

Iain, who is also fitness director at One Spa at The Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh, believes bars and their customer-facing staff will benefit from a website that encourages the consistent adoption of a healthy approach to alcohol.

He explained: “Alcohol and its relationship with drinking culture needs to adjust. Those working in bar environments are the pioneers of drinking and the pioneers of change. Bartending is a demanding career and there is a constant need to perform against the working pattern and demands of a growing industry.

“We can all enjoy alcohol but we need to have a better understanding about what it does to our systems. The bar teams know all there is to know in the development and creation of the drinks they are serving, but I understand the physical impact from the moment their creations pass their customers’ lips.

“Through the information within, drinks professionals can share knowledge and look after their own and others’ well-being.

“By sharing best practice, the likes of cocktail recipes are responsibly created and customers can make informed choices. This in turn ensures all have a safe and enjoyable drinks experience. Customers are being ‘well served’.”

Iain believes that bars should be displaying number of alcoholic units in each cocktail on drinks menus. “If we’re serious about well-being in the drinks industry, clearly specifying the alcoholic units in all customer drinks would be a small and significant step,” he said.

He presented his ideas and the web portal to the bar trade as part of London Cocktail Week this month.

Iain has put together an actual manifesto setting out how the licensed trade and drinks businesses can deliver “a new balance” and raise the skills of bartenders beyond making amazing drinks to better practice on health and wellbeing.

Bartenders’ Manifesto

Together we will mix, shake and pour out ideas to revolutionise bartender well-being. Our 10 principles will always change and forever evolve ahead of the game.

1. No bartender on this earth should have to deal with verbal abuse or physical threats. More respect is well overdue.
2. You are only as good as how you truly feel. Nothing comes before your health. Let’s work together to keep it as your number-one priority.
3. Best practice. Share and encourage your colleagues and peers to make small positive changes in health behaviour. Expect success.
4. Pass on your responsible behaviour to your customers. Show them your skills on how to manage their drinking. Make it work for everyone.
5. Create an environment of excellence where everyone is looked after when alcohol is dispensed and consumed.
6. Knowledge. Share links, tips, apps and ideas kicked into action to create a new alcohol culture.
7. Risk assessment. Take time to monitor your personal alcohol use and explore ways to keep this in balance. Understanding the effects of alcohol will help.
8. Positive well-being strategies. The use of cardiovascular exercise, detoxing, nutrition, supplements mindfulness and meditation can all play a part in the mix. There are many more to explore.
9. Alcohol and its relationship with drinking culture needs to adjust. We are the pioneers of drinking and the pioneers of change.
10. Let’s keep enjoying alcohol and be clear about the limits and risks for us all. Formulate your own policy and practice for the objective of alcohol “served well”.

Picture by Rob Mcdougall

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