Saturday, December 4, 2021

Institute of Mixology Bartending School Opens on Marco Island

John Liverani tends “bar” at the school. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT

John Liverani tends “bar” at the school. PHOTOS BY JESSICA HERNSTADT


Ever wonder how your bartender can free pour so accurately? Do you know the difference between scotch, whiskey, bourbon and rye? Answers to these questions, and many more, have arrived! The Institute of Mixology Bartending School opened its doors last month, becoming the only bartending school on Marco Island.

Owners John and Ann Liverani had been visiting Marco Island for twenty years before making the move to full-time residents six years ago. The Liveranis have two boys – Joey, 16, a student at MIA, and Thomas, 20, a Lely graduate and bartender. Mom Jeanette Liverani works in the office.

Twelve years ago, John attended bartending school in his native New Jersey, making a career change from his Wall Street job. It was a natural fit. He has been in the food and beverage industry ever since.

John tells us that he was inspired to open the school to bring bartending on the island to

John and Ann Liverani, owners of the Institute of Mixology.

John and Ann Liverani, owners of the Institute of Mixology.

the next level. The school will help supply the area with quality bartenders who possess valuable skills and training.

For $495 you can take a professional course. The same course would run anywhere from $700-$1,500 in Ft. Myers or Miami. Classes are conveniently scheduled, accommodating working students. You must be 18 years old to bartend, and to attend the class.

Students receive 40 hours of training and a certificate. There are two written exams and two pour tests. Students learn not only the basics of mixology, but how to change a beer keg, ethics, tricks of the trade and employment rights.

Classes here are much more than reading out of a book. When you step into the school you feel as though you are walking into a bar. But all the liquor bottles contain colored water, for education purposes only. This realism increases the students’ comfort level when they go out into the workforce.

The Institute of Mixology in Marco Island.

The Institute of Mixology in Marco Island.

It also makes for interesting classes, including role playing and hands-on experiences.

Students will be prepared to professionally bartend at completion of the course. Although not guaranteed, John says he “will help students find a job, if possible.”

John also engages in inventory management with restaurants and bars locally. He works with owners to help save them money. He acts as consultant for new businesses, helping them get ready to open up their doors. He has successfully helped a number of local businesses since he moved to the area.

Not interested in changing careers? Try the social bartending classes and wow your guests at your next party. Or bring some friends together for a group lesson.

Private bartending services are available for parties and events by contacting the Institute of Mixology at 239-389-4649 (“IMIX”). Visit their website at for more information. The school is located in the Heritage Square Shopping Center, 1000 N. Collier Boulevard, Marco Island.

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