Making the perfect drink is an art form and requires years of practice, skill, and knowledge. It’s essential to recognise that a bartender is different from a mixologist. When we hire a mixologist for parties, we make sure they have enough knowledge and skills to provide a bespoke service to our events.
WHAT IS A MIXOLOGIST?
Commonly people call a professional skilled in the culinary art of creating cocktails and other mixed alcoholic beverages a “mixologist.” A mixologist is a bartender who has additional knowledge of the background of the ingredients they use and the ability to analyse flavour profiles to create a drink agreeable to the palette.
While many think the term “mixologist” is a relatively recent invention, it dates back to the late 1800s. During this time, bartenders who worked in upscale clubs and restaurants were referred to as mixologists in printed cocktail guides.
WHAT SEPARATES A MIXOLOGIST FROM A BARTENDER?
Although people stay confused between the terms “mixologist” and “bartender” and think it is interchangeable, there are some distinctions. While all mixologists are bartenders, not all have the specialised knowledge to be called mixologists.
An expert mixologist had received in-depth training regarding the substances they employ. Along with learning the majority of the essential traditional drink and cocktail combinations by heart, they have also trained their palates to recognise the qualities of a good mixed drink. They also like coming up with new combinations that push the limits of what one can do with ingredients. Sometimes the uniform can be different, as a mixo likes to use fancy aprons.
A mixologist prepares drink ingredients, such as flavour infusions, before customers arrive, which is another significant distinction between the two. Typically, bartenders arrive in plenty of time to set up the bar and then serve customers drinks made with previously prepared ingredients by the mixologist.
The best way to visualise the difference is to compare a mixologist to an executive chef and a bartender to a line cook. As a result, they frequently earn better pay, get more tips, and work in five-star restaurants.
WHAT TRAINING DOES A MIXOLOGIST NEED?
There are numerous ways to become a mixologist. Some bartenders start on the job right out of high school, learning the skills necessary to advance to managing the bar. If making and blending drinks is their true passion, they can decide to pursue additional education by enrolling in a professional mixology course.
Others enroll in a professional bartending school because they have a strong ambition to become mixologists from the start. Here, they pick up the fundamentals of bartending and certification in safe and responsible alcohol service. This way they can start working as a bartenders for events.
The next stage is to enroll in a professional mixology course, during which students learn:
• About the components of alcohol and why some liqueurs mix well with others.
- The proper slicing methods to use when preparing garnishes.
- Twist on classic cocktails
- Homemade Syrups, Cordials, Infusions
- Gelatines and molecular cocktails
• How to build their palate to create signature mixtures.
• A repertory of traditional and modern cocktails (often up to 125 different drinks).
WHAT SKILLS DOES A MIXOLOGIST NEED?
- Design drink menus based on the seasonality of ingredients and establishment style
- Prepare individual drink ingredients before service (infusions, juices, syrups, etc.)
- Concentrates on the craft of a drink to create a memorable one
- Spends hours developing and testing new beverages and perfecting existing ones
- Deep awareness of ingredients, including the rationale behind why a particular element is there in a recipe
- Extends the idea of a cocktail, exploring new possibilities for what they might be
- Is in charge of locating and stocking premium ingredients and other bar supplies
- Has a vast repertory of slicing techniques to enable them to produce customised garnishes
HOW TO BE A MIXOLOGY EXPERT?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of mixologists online who provide original advice, techniques, and recipes for mixing drinks.
The first step to nourishing your creativity with ideas for mixed drinks, from the classic to the original, is to follow those on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest who inspire you the most.
Even if you’re just a novice practicing in your home bar, use the information already published online by other mixologists to refine your art.
Take a local course.
Investing in a practical mixology course makes perfect sense for people serious about excelling in the field.
Learning one-on-one or in a group with a skilled mixologist as your instructor can hasten the process significantly. You can ask questions and obtain professional recommendations and guidance that you would not find online.
Download the best mixology apps
Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of mixology, improving means understanding how several ingredients combine to produce a particular flavour or texture.
It involves more than just blending the same old drinks. The exceptional mixologists are leaving their stamp on the industry with brand-new, creative concoctions. Many of those are afterward shared on well-known mixology apps so others can try them out.
You can find recipes to challenge you based on the ingredients you have on hand, a specific drink or flavour, or both when you download one of the many mixology apps available today.
Have the best mixology kit
It hardly matters if you have talent or not at creating delicious beverages if your equipment needs to improve.
No good refers to a subpar kit that will rust or break easily, compromising your creations.
These mixology kits are widely available; they are made more for fun than for professional mixing.
The most excellent mixology kits are from rust- and corrosion-resistant food-grade stainless steel. They are easy to clean and were created by professionals.
Practice, practice, practice
The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to everything in life.
Any beginner in mixology can quickly become a pro with enough practice and the right resources.
Those who will appreciate seeing you make cocktails should be invited over for dinner and beverages, whether they be friends, family, neighbours, or coworkers. Request their preferred mixed drink, then accept the task of making it right now!
It is clear that while seeming to be pretty minor, a mixologist and a bartender differ. Therefore, just like a skilled chef, investing time in formal training is worthwhile if you want to pursue a career making alcoholic beverages that deserve praise. It will put you on the right track for transitioning from bartender to mixologist and, as a result, significantly improve your professional chances.