Master Mixology Techniques as a Professional Bartender
If you have never bartender before don’t be afraid. Every top bartender in the industry started like that but ultimately is a matter of practice, passion and dedication. It comes without saying that an adequate level of training is required at every step of the way and company like the Spirit Lab exist to fulfil this need. Read More
It may have started to feel that the traditional bartending roles have become more and more split in recent times. On the one side we have casually dressed old school bartenders pouring fast drinks at a low cost for happy hour. On the other side we find more sophisticated ladies and gentlemen creating a spectacularly visual concoction for your enjoyment.
These more sophisticated bartenders that have driven the cocktail revival trend are more often than not referred to as mixologists which is the descriptive term to define someone who is a practitioner of Mixology. While Mixology will possibly sound like a modern word to you, the sort of marketing term thrown in to try to make something sound better than it really is, the term mixology dates back to the mid nineteenth century and was really just revived by the more recent transformative bartenders who really cared enough about their knowledge and craft to want to differentiate themselves.
Shaken Not Stirred
While the image James Bond ordering a Martini shaken not stirred or of gangsters demanding a perfect Manhatten as depicted in The Simpsons are long over. There followed a less creative dark age for the cocktail bartenders of the world but the art of cocktail making had been well recorded over time and so was never lost. Instead cocktail making gradually transformed itself into a new art form. With traditionally learned techniques taken on with a modern slant a movement within the bartending world grew and began to draw serious attention. Along with that attention the movement spread and these artisan bartenders looking to the future managed to bring the term mixology back and for it to mean something again.
In 1860, with the publishing of How to Mix Drinks or the Bon Vivant’s Companion, cocktail making was invented. Or at least it had a reference point. Despite the low points such as the prohibition in America to the high points and the Hiball. We are now experiencing a cocktail renaissance with cocktail drinks delighting more and more people across society over the last two decades. The cocktail for now represents an important element of the bar, venue, restaurant & hospitality industry.
At this point many poorly made cocktails began to be restored to their more traditional roots. Bartenders started to take pride in the art of what they were creating and the heritage behind it. As these cocktail recipes were rebuilt from the ground up with new slants on classics spawning new classics of their own with new drink types.
Mixologists Explore New Flavours
This newfound snowball of creativity and adherence to more traditional artisan values began to impact menus all over, creating consumer demand for a better product and for better bars. As bartenders, now mixologists, went further to explore new and different flavours, new spirit brands that also were inspired by the craft of the past started to be created to cater for the growing market along with some traditional brands finding themselves to be newly appreciated by another generation. So, if you care about cocktails and spirits then mixology is a very important term for you to understand.
The Definition of Mixology
Mixology, by definition, is the study of the skill of creating, mixing and serving mixed cocktail drinks. Not all bartenders are mixologists but all mixologists are bartenders. A mixologist has the passion for drink making as an art form. They will strive to learn everything about every cocktail, about every ingredient, about what happens when you mix it differently, and fully understand why it is made how it is made. An expert in Mixology will understand the range of equipment behind the bar and how to best use it all to get the drink to turn out perfectly.
Mixology Changed the World
The ultimate impact of mixology upon the world of cocktail bartending was not only to change the way we drink in venues and bars, or just a way to charge more for cocktails, but has lead to creating a high standard of drinks service and appreciation that had not been prevalent in the world of spirits and cocktail drinking culture for a very long time. So even if you just want something simple to drink, the renaissance period of cocktail making that has lead to the term Mixology may just mean that even your local now has a wider selection of Gin for the more discerning drinker and hospitality to match.
How to Become a Mixologist
The best thing about Mixology is that almost anyone who is willing to apply themselves can become the mixologist they’d always dreamed of. You will need to dedicate yourself to studying every technique you can. Testing a range of different tastes and flavours to put a new edge on a classic cocktail or perhaps to start creating your own unique drinks from scratch.
Spirit Lab London Mixology Courses
There are many rules about Mixology taught by Spirit Lab London. A basic experimental cocktail may consist of a base spirit such as rum, gin or vodka, with another that is bitter plus something sweet. After tasting it to see how it is, try it again but changing just one ingredient for another and try to gain a better balance of sweet and sour. By following a number of mixology rules and understanding not only which drinks mix well but why that is the case our students learn how best to take their own creativity forwards.
Much as you’d expect in a top restaurant that is known to serve the best food, part of the skill of mixology is being able to understand the quality of ingredients. While great quality cocktail ingredients won’t get you all the way the difference is astonishing. Fresh herbs that are not wilted under the bar lights for days are going to make a completely different flavour.
Create New Drink Experiences
When creating new drink experiences it’s important to learn how to lessen flavour impacts such as using soda water or champagne. Carbonated drinks can lengthen a drink and turn an overpowering flavour into something that is just the right hint bringing a more natural balance of tastes to the cocktail. Bubbles also, of course, will help many cocktails with a little sparkle.
Craft Cocktails & Molecular Mixology
With a range of venues now offering new and exciting cocktails there is certainly a growing demand to meet. With craft cocktails and molecular mixology leaping out as modern descriptions of this traditionally inspired trend give testament to the inspired bartenders creating something fresh for the newest generations of drinkers. Mixology stands for creating something new and fresh in a scientific way yet with full attention upon the rediscovered craft cocktail processes that are bringing back higher quality and fresher ingredients. We are now seeing some mixologists looking further back into tradition and craft while others drive forwards into using equipment usually seen in a science laboratory.
What Sort of Mixologist are You?
The question is, what sort of mixologist are you?
Enrol on a Spirit Lab London mixology course and we will help you to find out.
Working with leading provider in the industry
WSET: The world's leading provider of Wine and Spirit education and It's the must qualification for professionals in the wine & spirit trade as well as for non-professional connoisseurs.
People FIRST / HOSPITALITY GUILD – It unites training providers and guarantees their quality. It aims to support all our students' at every stage of their career with opportunities in hospitality and tourism.
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I'm a Beginner
None or few years of experience
in cocktail making
I want to Advance
Improving mixology techniques.
Min 5 years experience in a cocktail bar
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