Mixologist or Bartender? Well nowadays it might be, or not, hard to decide one from the other. The consensus is that when making a common drink such as rum and coke, you are considered a bartender. But when creating new cocktails with amazing flair as if creating a savory entree, when fine dining, the mixologist was born.
Not to cut the bartender short, they too have the talent of mixing well balanced cocktails that taste delicious. With both the bartender and the mixologist having passion in making cocktails, the mixologist seems to be looked upon in some eyes, as better qualified, because the mixologist merely takes it to a higher level.
You can be a bartender without being a mixologist, but you cannot be a mixologist without being a bartender. Bartenders are taught to make a well balanced great tasting drink in a timely fashion as to get the drink out faster. A mixologist tends to create and prepare a cocktail as if it were a masterpiece. And refuses to rush the process knowing all along that the customer is watching her every move. Perfection is the key with a mixologist.
A mixologist has showmanship as an artist does with their orchestration from beginning to end. They seem to have taken great pride in learning how to give the customer visual entertainment while making the cocktail, as well as engaging in a perfectly smooth conversation that does not interfere with the beautiful tasty cocktail presentation that will be placed in front of them at any minute.
A bartender and a mixologist both have knowledge of what goes in to a cocktail. But it seems that moreover the mixologist knows why each ingredient should go into a cocktail. And, that the learning and knowledge in itself, makes a mixologist just a step above a bartender.
A bartender, however you think, can shut down a mixologist when it comes to speed and accuracy. When tending bar at a fast paced establishment, a bartender will beat out a mixologist almost every time, while still continuing to make delicious cocktails. Not true! Mixologist are just as quick if not quicker. With the overwhelming degree of quality vodkas, tequilas, liqueurs etc. gave the bartender no other choice but to up their game. It’s as if the mixologist has graduated from an Ivy League college with a degree. And although we know that is not the case, some feel as if they are having a higher quality cocktail, if made by a mixologist vs. a bartender.
A mixologist is now known as the connoisseur of cocktails, like a Sommelier is to wine. The next time you are out ordering a cocktail, check out the bartender or mixologist and you decide which is which. You might want to even ask what they consider themselves to be.