A bartender (also known as a "barkeep" or "barmaid", "drinkslinger", or "tender", among other names) is the person behind a bar in a pub, tavern, inn, bar, or restaurant that serves beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic alike. In regions where tipping is the norm, bartenders receive a low base wage and earn most of their money through tips.

In those establishments where cocktails are served, bartenders are expected to be able to properly mix anywhere from several hundred to several thousand different drinks. Bartenders also usually serve as the public image of the bar they tend, which requires them to entertain and counsel customers, remember the favored drinks of regulars, have recommendations on hand for local nightlife beyond the bar, and be able to answer a wide variety of questions that might be posed (which could involve such varying topics as sports trivia, directions, or the marital status of the women in the bar). As a result, bartenders are sometimes seen as the aristocracy of the working class.

In some states in the United States, bartenders are required to obtain certification before being employed as a bartender. In those establishments where minors are allowed within the bar area, bartenders are also usually responsible for confirming that customers are of the legal drinking age before serving them alcohol.

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