…..Are you a bartender or a mixologist? What is Mixology? Aren’t those just fancy terms used to make your job title sound cooler? The terms mixology or mixologist have been used and abused over the years, enticing some to learn more about drinks, and scaring others away for fear of drink snobs ruining their experience. Regardless of your assumptions on the terms, make no mistake about it, there is a difference between a mixologist and a bartender. Your bartender makes you a drink, that may or may not be different than any other drink you’ve had, and uses his basic knowledge and resources to do so. A mixologist uses his drinks to tell a story and create an exclusive experience for you, the customer. He/she does this by combining advanced knowledge on ingredients, flavor combinations, and passion to make the perfect drink for each individual consumer. All Mixologists are bartenders, but all bartenders are not necessarily mixologists. Think of it in a culinary sense. Mixologists are like chefs, using fresh ingredients to create unique and amazing flavors in their drinks. Every cook is not a chef, but every chef is a cook.
Though common dictionaries do not define it, Wikipedia does define “Molecular Mixology”, which is the term applied to the process of creating cocktails, using the equipment and techniques of molecular gastronomy. The methods can range from something as simple as the tools you’re already familiar with (shaker, jigger, bar spoon), or as complex as items like a blowtorch, vacuum sealer, and an atomizer. These methods enable the creation of greater intensities and varieties of flavor/flavor combinations and different ways of presenting drinks, for example using gels, powders, foams, atomized sprays etc., as well as changing the appearance of the cocktail. We’re amateur mixologists here at 101, and we like to share as much knowledge and suggestions as we can to those out there wishing to learn more and do more whether at home or behind the bar. In this section you can find information on tools, terminology, and much more to help get you started. Hover over the Mixology button above to find out what we have to offer.