What is Mixology?

what is mixology in bartending

Mixology Explained

Mixology, in a nutshell, is an in-depth study of the art of creating mixed drinks.

Imagine you’re at a bar and have ordered a Long Island Ice Tea. As one of the most popular cocktails today, the Long Island Iced Tea is typically made with vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola.

While a bartender and mixologist would both know how to create the drink, there are some differences between the two.

The study of mixology would explain the history of the drink, why it is made a certain way, and how each of the liquours contributes a different taste and flavor the enhance the drink. It also provides an understanding of why this drink would taste different depending on the ratios in the cocktail.

What does a Mixologist do?

A mixologist has mastered the science behind mixed drinks and can invent new cocktails with their in-depth knowledge of the craft. It begins with learning how and why each individual drink is made and the specific technique behind it.

The mixologist will develop an understanding of why each method or technique should or should not be done and not only how to make a cocktail, but why it works as a quality drink.

Over time, the mixologist, with a master of the flavor pairings, will be able to enhance the flavors of traditional cocktails and create new ones. The skills a mixologist brings to improve a bar or restaurant’s menu can help develop and craft unique cocktails that match the seasons and flavors of the menu.

What’s the difference between Mixologists and Bartenders?

All mixologists are bartenders but not vice versa. It is necessary for everyone in the field to have the hands-on experience needed to stir, shake, and speak about the drinks. The difference is that a mixologist practices mixology as an artform, while a bartender tending bar usually serves whatever is ordered by a customer.

The need for dedicated mixologists is growing at Milwaukee bartending schools, even the larger markets at San Diego and Los Angeles. While bartenders have taken notice, working on new tools to improve their craft, they still may not have the extensive knowledge of each ingredient and history that is specific to mixology.

The knowledge and understanding allow mixologists the ability to create new, quality drinks, and the bartender brings these drinks to life.

How To Become A Mixologist

To become a mixologist, it is essential to get one-on-one training in a bartending school to learn the art of creating drinks first hand from a professional. While mixology could be learned online, in a book, or through a video, the art of learning it and getting first-hand experience is invaluable.

Each mixologist has to learn the skills of a bartender, how to maintain the bar, make great drinks, and keep people happy as well. A bartender can learn to make drinks, and once that foundation is set, more extensive knowledge and training can make a great bartender into a mixologist.

At National Bartenders, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide bartending training that includes mixology. Our school guarantees real bartending jobs for our graduates. If you’d like to learn more about mixology and how to become a great bartender call us today at (213) 380-3200.