Do you have a natural flair for concocting cocktails? Keen to make cocktails in some of the trendiest bars and clubs in London? We might have something for you, that is comparable to bartending, but not the same. A mixologist could be the perfect career for you! Mixing drinks and making new mixtures from scratch is what you’ll be doing. Pretty exciting stuff, however, it is technical and you’ll have to taste a lot of mixtures before you get it right. But hey, that sure sounds like fun!
What is a mixologist?
A mixologist is basically the ‘chef’ of the bar or restaurant. They will prepare any house-made syrups, tinctures, bitters or other ingredients that a bartender will need. The mixologist is the designer of the cocktails, while the bartender makes and presents them to customers. It can sometimes be the case that a mixologist is already finished their work before the guests arrive, having created a unique cocktail for a specific event, for example for a Wedding Dinner.
A Mixologist is NOT a Bartender
Nope, these two professions are not the same! Not all bartenders are mixologists, but all mixologists can be bartenders. Although, they do work together and will influence one another. The difference is the time slot; the mixologist does the research and mostly works exclusively for a certain bar or restaurant, while the bartender could work for any bar at any time. The bartender will make the same kind of cocktails but in different venues or bars. They will have the same basic knowledge of putting together a drink, as they’ve probably learned that at a bartender school, or from a mixologist.
Basic rules of mixing
A mixologist is someone who’s passionate about the art of drink making and therefore wants to learn about why the cocktails are made in a certain way. All cocktails are garnished with a particular commodity and mixed using different techniques. Basically, you are, as a mixologist, the scientist of the drink making, as long as you have a base spirit, something bitter and something sweet. These three base ingredients are the beginning of every well-made cocktail.
Work with the right tools
First things first. You may want to be a mixologist, but you need equipment. The tools you need to make the most incredible cocktails are not just cocktail shakers. If you think you can just use any old piece of kitchen equipment, you’re very wrong. The crème de la crème of the cocktail toolkits are very expensive, but to become a professional mixologist you will need a cocktail toolkit, to begin with. Some mixologists have their own style when it comes to playing with the tools, some can even juggle a couple shakers! So our advice: practice your juggling skills.
Besides the right tools, you’ll be learning about the different scientific substances like foams, jellies, bubbles and air. You obviously can’t mix them all together at once, so you’ll have to learn how to work safely with these molecular ingredients. Techniques like spherification, smoking and vacuum packing will look great in demonstrations though! You can even put non-edible flavours in the drinks, so there are endless possible combinations for you to try out.
Where to start?
So, have you decided to become a mixologist? Or are you just really interested in developing your bartending skills? Whether you’ve been a bartender for a bit or if you’re a newbie in the cocktail field: Coople is here for to assist you! Learn from the best mixologists in town and really raise up your bartending skills. Just head to the Coople app and get in touch with us for our most recent jobs!