On the one end of the bar you’ll find old school bartenders in casual dress slinging drinks for Happy Hour, and on the other end you’ll find moustachioed men and carefully coiffed women preparing a concoction for your sipping pleasure. The terms “mixology” and “mixologist” have become a regular part of bar vocabulary to describe the art of mixing cocktail recipes and the people who practice it. However, exactly what is mixology?
Mixology can be further described as a refined in-depth study of the art and craft of mixing drinks. Think of it as the study of chemistry of drinks, and the mixologist as the professional who studies it. Some might say that it’s really just another way of referring to the practice of making good cocktails. You’d be wrong if you think that Mixology is a newfangled term, it’s actually pretty old. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary dates mixology to 1948 as “the art or skill of preparing mixed drinks”. It’s since been revived as a way to describe the recent renaissance of bartenders caring (a lot ) about their craft.
We’ve gathered that mixology is a term for mixing drinks or bartending and a mixologist is another term for a bartender. But is the guy or gal at your local bar a mixologist or bartender? This is a topic of much debate in the bartending community – is a mixologist just a fancy, sciency name for a bartender? Technically, yes, but hold on there is a difference between the two job titles – Mixologists practice mixology and bartenders tend bars. Each requires both the same and a different set of skills.
Someone who studies and helps evolve the field of bartending by creating innovative cocktails, reimagining the classic cocktails and revels in the techniques of bartenders of old. They are a sort of cocktail historian and revolutionary rolled into one.
In contrast, the title “bartender” conjures up images of men and women who can whip out 20 mixed drinks and 50 draws of beer before anyones knows what’s happened, all the while keeping a crowded bar happy, lively and tipping. Now that’s talent!
So why does this sudden period of cocktail invention and re-invention matter? This surge in creativity and care hasn’t just impacted bar menus, it has created a demand for a better product. As bartenders or “mixologist” continue exploring new or simply better flavour profiles alongside new or better spirits and products they’ve created a demand for those of us that care about spirits and cocktails. Mixology hasn’t just influenced the way we drink in bars, or how much we pay for cocktails, it has created a standard in spirit and cocktail drinking culture.
With a tipple to meet any mixologist’s creations, our Rums offer an intriguing choice when compared to old world rum and commercial brands. Mixed in the most basic of cocktails or crafted in the gourmet cocktail of dreams, Takamaka Rum inspires and opens up imaginations, energising a fresh response to the entire rum category. You’ll find us behind most bars, top shelf and the Rum of choice for any Mixologist or Bartender – of course, whatever you call the guy or gal behind the bar, just remember to tip well.
Join us over the next series of blogs as we further explore “the cocktail scene” and talk to one of the most well respected mixologists globally to learn more about the craft cocktail renaissance and the rise of mixology, share some great recipes and kitchen cupboard replacements for professional bartending equipment.