In New York there aren’t any state regulations in place that require a server or bartender to be licensed in order to sell alcohol.

New York Bartending

It is important to keep in mind some employers may require bartenders/ servers to complete such courses regardless of state or city laws.

State-recommended Training Providers:

The New York State Liquor Authority does certify the Alcohol Training and Awareness Program (ATAP) which is a course focusing on the legal responsibilities of selling alcohol as well as training in practical skills to help licensees and their employees avoid sales to minors and intoxicated patrons. The link below has all the state-certified ATAP schools and further information:

Minimum Age To Serve Alcoholic Beverages In New York:

  • 18

Bartender Restrictions:

  • According to New York State law, an employee must not have a felony conviction without providing a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities that gives them the right to employment due to felony conviction.

Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:

  • Driver’s License or Passport
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Be able to stand long periods of time
  • Knowledge of basic drink recipes

Additional Resources:

**please note: Document was made in 2012

Top 2 Bartending Schools in New York

Although there aren’t any requirements for bartenders to be licensed in the New York, attending a bartending school may be beneficial in kickstarting your bartending career. Below are bartending schools in NYC that have been highly recommended by past graduates.

New York Bartending School

New York Bartending School is one of the highest rates course providers in NYC. Their basic course provides a comprehensive overview of cocktail-making. You will have a hands-on, behind the bar experience for the duration of the course. Courses run every Monday (they also offer free 2-hour trial days). With four bars and 34 cocktail stations, you will never feel overcrowded during the course allowing you to learn at your own pace.

Price: $395

Learn more at

Columbia School of Mixology

The Columbia School of Mixology is a standout in the world of New York City bartending schools. They have been training bartenders since 1965 and are one of the only bartending schools that use real alcohol rather than colored water, allowing you to actually taste flavor combinations! One common theme among graduates is that the Columbia School of Mixology is “fun” and allows you to learn in an interesting environment with knowledgable trainers.

Price: $250

Learn more at

For more information, please contact your local City Clerk’s office


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