I was one of those old school bartenders who turned up my nose when people mentioned “mixology” I felt it was a pretentious term created by pretentious bartenders who thought they were doing something akin to brain surgery. I have now come to view the term with more respect and realize that mixology is an innovative craft. Mixology has transformed the bar business in many positive ways.
The pandemic made me a better bartender, because during the ridiculous lockdown I was still doing parties, just much smaller ones. As I did the smaller parties of 10 to 20 people I was able to concentrate on making craft cocktails with fresh ingredients. At the same time, people’s tastes are much more sophisticated. Good old margarita mix doesn’t cut it anymore.
Back in the day, when I was bartending at restaurants, a mojito was about the only craft cocktail we made and I cringed anytime somebody ordered one. The reason being, is that mojitos are labor intensive to make. Today, I can make a mojito as quickly as any other drink, using a technique taught to me by a “mixologist”. Muddling does not have to be a big deal.
Unwritten Rules of Bartending
Most cocktails have three common ingredients – liquor, a sweetening agent, and citrus. Usually a cocktail has two parts liquor, one part sweetener, and one part citrus. That is a rather simplistic generalization, but is true. Take a mojito for instance, two ounces of liquor, muddled mint leaves, one ounce lime juice, one ounce simple syrup, and a splash of sparkling water. How about a Whiskey Sour? Two ounces bourbon, one ounce lemon juice, and one ounce simple syrup. I can go on and on with examples like that.
I am now holding Mixology 101 classes for the general public. These fun and informative mixology glasses are great for corporate team building retreats, bachelorette parties, date nights, or small birthday parties. I have developed an interactive mixology class where the participants make their own craft cocktails and consume them. I show the students how to sue bar tools like shakers, jiggers, bar spoons, and muddlers. During the class, I talk about the history of bartending and specific cocktails. You too, can be a mixologist and the envy of all your friends once you master Mixology 101.