Serving Up Bartender World Records

Quite often, being a bartender requires some degree of showmanship. Standing behind a bar is a lot like standing on a stage; just as performers do, you have a collection of patrons ("audience") sitting on the other side, all facing you and watching your every move.

Remember the 1988 movie "Cocktail?" It is memorable, but not as a good movie (it was resoundingly panned). It does, however, have some memorable bartending/cocktail-creation moments: As a bartender in a trendy New York bar, cocky but talented Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) "performs" his job with incredible showmanship and skill, mixing up libations as he dances on the bar, tosses shakers and bottles in the air, and wows the crowd. It's basically "Top Gun" with a blender instead of an F-14 fighter jet.

Brian Flanagan was a movie bartender doing fictionalized feats, but lots of real-life bartenders do pretty amazing things. While we were researching world records for cocktail achievements, we also collected a few impressive bartending world records. Here are a few of them.

Most Cocktails Made in One Minute

When you're on the waiting-end of a drink order at a crowded bar, it can often seem as if it's taking forever just to get you your Sex On The Beach. Good drinks take time, but patience is not something most bartenders see in a lot of their customers. One New York bartender, Sheldon Wiley, doesn't actually need anyone to be patient with him; he holds the world record for Most Cocktails Made in One Minute. In 2013, on "Good Morning America," Wiley mixed 18 cocktails in 60 seconds, creating each one individually.

Most Cocktails Made in One Hour

It's no surprise that Sheldon Wiley, arguably the world's speediest bartender, also holds the world record for the most cocktails made in one hour—but he hasn't reigned without disruption. In 2011, Wiley made 1,003 drinks within an hour, which meant he was averaging one drink per 3.5 seconds. In 2013, a Las Vegas bartender named Erik Mora overtook Wiley's record with an incredible 1,559 drinks made in one hour. That means he averaged one drink every 2.31 seconds. Not to be outdone, Wiley challenged Mora's record in the spring of 2014, when he successfully mixed a record 1,905 in an hour and reclaimed his title. Wiley's new record meant he was creating cocktails at a rate of 1 drink every 1.89 seconds.

Most People Shaking Cocktails Simultaneously

On September 18, 2013, at a conference held by alcohol industry giant Diageo in Barcelona, Spain, 1,710 people gathered, each with a cocktail shaker in their hands. At the end of a countdown, the entire crowd simultaneously started shaking a simple version of a vodka martini (vodka, vermouth, and lemon zest). Guinness later certified this achievement as a world record.

Most Layers in a Cocktail

In 2017, a Chinese bartender named Zheng Wen successfully layered a record-setting 10 ingredients in one cocktail, consisting of 7 types of alcohol and 3 fruit-flavored sugar syrup mixes. This achievement required a mastery and knowledge of a wide variety of liquid densities in addition to a painstaking patience. Unlike Sheldon Wiley, Wen needed lots of time to create one cocktail; it took her over an hour to achieve this record-setting presentation.

Most Pint Glasses (Full) Balanced on a Head

At the Guinness Festival in Nassau, in 2002, John Evans snagged the record for most pint glasses of beer ever balanced atop a human head. Evans successfully balanced 235 glasses—filled and stacked—for 13 seconds. His remarkable record still stands to this day (we don't know who drank the 235 beers afterward).

Country That Consumes the Most Cocktails

In Italy, about 36% of all bar orders are cocktails, which is pretty interesting considering how great the variety and quality of Italian wines and beers are. According to, Italy tops the list of cocktail-consuming countries and is part of a continuing strong trend of cocktail culture throughout Europe. Switzerland and Russia are also big cocktail consumers, coming in at 33% of all orders.

World's Largest Cocktail Menu

If you ever happen to find yourself in the Bulgarian city of Varna, make it a point to visit Pench’s Bar. Celebrated publican Pencho Penchev has created a menu that offers patrons a choice of 2,014 cocktails, which is a world record. Penchev's bar set the record in 2014 and, despite holding the title for a decade, Pencho says he's working on an even bigger menu, so he will likely break his own record in the future!

Most Cocktails Poured Simultaneously

Jägermeister bombs were the beverage of choice when the record for pouring the most cocktails simultaneously (without spilling any), was set in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 2022. Bartender Philip Traber stacked 17 pint glasses, poured Jager into each, and then tilted the entire stack over a row of glasses to pour them all simultaneously.