You’ve heard the term “mixology” before, but what does it mean? How do you become a mixologist? And what is the difference between a bartender and a bartender?

Basically, all bartenders are bartenders, but not all bartenders are mixologists. The two positions are linked, and the skills required for both professions often overlap. Read on to learn more about the definition, history, development, and modern concepts of mixology.

Definition of mixology

Mixology is the study and ability to invent, prepare, and serve cocktails and other beverages. A person who is an expert in this field, a so-called bartender, has a passion for making cocktails. They study the basic ingredients of cocktails, such as: rum, and examine the chemistry of the main drinks at the bar. The in-depth knowledge required to create new cocktail recipes is the main difference between a bartender and a bartender.

Mixology is all about knowing the common ingredients for cocktails, adding specific side dishes, and using tools for making mixed drinks. Think of it as learning chemistry, and a mixologist is a person who practices it.

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What is Mixology?

At times, you may feel like the drinking profession is split into two camps: On one door, you’ll find old-school bartenders in casual attire drinking $5 for happy hour, and on the other door, you’ll find men with mustaches and carefully decorated women preparing a $12 mix for awe-inspiring pleasure.

The latter group is often referred to as “mixologists,” a term used for “mixology” practitioners, which is really just another way of referring to the practice of making good cocktails. Mixology may seem like a new term, but it’s actually quite old, around the mid-19th century, and has only been revived to describe the recent renaissance of bartenders who are (very) interested in their craft.

Look, in the days of Mad Men, people might have packed cans of martinis and ordered the perfect Manhattan, but the decades that followed (see the filming story) were something of a cocktail from the Middle Ages. But thanks to a small group of bartender enthusiasts and timeless sources like Professor Jerry Thomas’ The Bartender’s Guide, the art of cocktail making isn’t lost. Instead, this group of dedicated bartenders slowly but surely gained serious attention and brought the term “mixology” back into their profession.

Not that this was a sudden period of cocktail invention. It was more of a sorting situation, where many battered classic cocktails were repaired and returned to their rightful dignity (things like sour mix and pre-made cocktail bottles were thrown away), and only then did they form the basis for classic recipes with new drinks. Yes, some historical influences followed the entire history of cocktails, including whiskers and suspenders on the steering wheel and all, but most of them were temporary or part of the bar’s aesthetic.

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Why is this important?


This wave of creativity and care has not only affected the menus of the bars. This led to a demand for a better product, first behind the bar and then from the consumer himself. While bartenders — or “mixologists” — have continued to explore new or simply better flavor profiles, new (or simply better) spirits and products have been created to meet that demand, so “mixology” is really important if you’re interested in spirits and cocktails.(Dave Wondrich’s book “Imbibe!” on the history of cocktails led Bols to recreate his jeans, a richer, more delicate predecessor to jeans.)

So the real effect of “mixology” was not only to influence how we drink in bars or how much we pay for cocktails, but also to create a pattern that has long since ceased to exist in the culture of alcohol and cocktail drinking. Even if you don’t want anything complicated, reviving “mixology” at the end of the day could mean that your neighborhood bar has a slightly better selection of gin for your gin and tonic. And while the fear factor can sometimes persist and some menus (and menu prices) may not suit your tastes, many mixologists have now abandoned all old-fashioned or overly serious implications (even the term “mixologist”) in favor of a double emphasis on hosting in any setting that suits them.

Who invented mixology?

In 1862, an American bartender by the name of Jerry Thomas produced the first book on mixing drinks. Thomas, who is regarded as the originator of American mixology, ran a number of salons in the vicinity of New York City in the nineteenth century.

His guide, “The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks,” is available in reprints today. There is a list of classic drinks, cocktail ingredients and how to prepare them step by step. It is still considered by many in the industry to be the best classic cocktail recipe book.

By the 1870s, the term “mixology” had become commonplace, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary first referred to it in 1872 as “the art or skill of making mixed drinks.”

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Frequently Asked Questions about What is Mixology?

What is the work of mixology?

Mixology involves the preparation and serving of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to customers in restaurants and bars. A bartender can serve cocktails, beer or wine, and even signature cocktails. It is also necessary to ensure that their bar is functioning effectively.

What are mixology drinks?

The creation, preparation, and serving of cocktails or other mixed drinks is known as mixology. This includes both traditional and contemporary cocktail recipes. The study of chemistry, ingredients, and mixology equipment is the main focus.

How do I start a career in mixology?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to starting a career in mixology:

  1. Obtain a liquor license.
  2. Take a barback position to train as a bartender.
  3. Look for a bartender who will mentor you and provide you with knowledge for your own bartender cover letter.
  4. Develop proper drink pouring techniques.
  5. Get comfortable mixing drinks.
  6. Experiment with various ingredients to create your own concoctions.
  7. Attend a bartending school and combine training with experience.
Mr White Wolf
Mr White Wolf
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