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How to Become a Mixologist

By
Matthew Krimmel
Table of Contents
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Are you interested in learning how to become a mixologist but aren't sure where to start? Maybe you're a beginner who wants to learn how to make cocktails, or an experienced bartender looking to polish your skills.

Either way, there are many options available for you. It's not even necessary to leave your home to learn mixology from an expert.

We've made it easier for you with our list of the best online mixology courses. Learning how to become a mixologist requires more than simply reading some mixology books. Before getting into our list, we'll cover the five methods of mixology.

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Mixology Methods

The following five methods of mixology offer professionals unlimited potential for creative output: 

1.The Stirring Method

Stirring refers to the mixing of cocktail ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. You use a stirrer to mix them before straining them into another glass. Any drink with clear liquids, such as spirits, wines, or liqueurs, needs this method to minimize dilution.

2. The Shaking Method

This method involves using a cocktail shaker to mix ingredients thoroughly with ice. It's ideal for mixed drinks with cream, egg, or fruit juices.

Many classic and contemporary cocktail drinks require this method for optimal taste. That's why it's good to include a cocktail shaker with your home bar essentials.

3. The Blending Method

If you combine fruit or other solid food with your drinks, then the blending method for making cocktails is a good choice. If you puree fruit for the cocktails, then add the ice after the fruit. The blending method is efficient for making a greater quantity of any mixed drink.

4. The Layering Method

Use this method to make drinks when your ingredients are of different colors and flavors. Pour each one slowly over the back of a spoon into a small, straight-sided glass. This is the perfect method for liqueurs, spirits, and syrups.

5. The Building Method

Pour the ingredients one at a time into a glass, then stir the mixture. If the recipe calls for ice, add it to the serving glass before the other ingredients.

Best Online Mixology Courses

You can learn mixology and earn a mixology certificate from a highly skilled instructor online. Even if you've already earned your bartending license, you can gain a lot of new knowledge.

Some courses cover easy and popular cocktail recipes, while others teach advanced mixology. Here's our list of seven recommendations for online mixology courses:

1. Bar Smarts

Bar Smarts offers a course for beginning bartenders that covers all the basics of mixology. It includes bartending fundamentals and demonstrates basic methods for mixing drinks. You'll learn about the history of mixology, including the types of alcohol that make up many of the classic cocktail recipes.

This program is a good choice for establishing a foundation in mixology that you can build on. Their "Spirits and Wine Knowledge for Beginners" course is beneficial for learning more about becoming a sommelier. It also teaches basic production techniques and best practices for offering customer service. Check out "Comprehensive Bartenders Spirits Training" to learn how to taste like a professional and more in-depth drink production techniques.

All Bar Smarts courses give tests along the way to gauge your knowledge and keep you on track for learning. If you complete all assessments along the way, you'll receive a bartender's certification. We recommend their online mixology classes because Bar Smarts has a good reputation in the industry among bar owners.

2. Masterclass with Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana

This is a 17-session course that teaches classic and contemporary cocktails. Two of the top mixologists in the industry share their knowledge in a breakdown of short segments.

Marrero is a bartender based in New York City, and Chetiyawardana is a former holder of the International Bartender of the Year title from Tales of the Cocktail. They combine their talents to offer a unique course that covers practical tips for making cocktails, industry insights, and stories from their experiences.

The instructors discuss inventory management, how to whip up a variety of party cocktails, and how to create a drink menu for any occasion. Other topics in the course include the history of craft cocktails, making world-class cocktails, and having a mentor.

3. How to Be a Successful Bartender

Christopher Makrides teaches you habits and techniques for becoming a mixologist at the highest level. He draws from his experience at Tribeca in New York City to teach you how to manage a bar, serve the most popular cocktails, and provide excellent customer service.

He emphasizes the details of making mixed drinks and how to pour wine to ensure complete satisfaction for your patrons. You learn about the mindset of a good mixologist.

This includes how to manage your duties and demand respect from your colleagues and guests. It's a course that gives you basic knowledge of cocktail recipes and insight into the daily responsibilities of working as a bartender and mixologist.

4. Bartending 101: Seven Simple and Delicious Drinks

Michael Rego shows you how to create seven classic cocktails with style and proper technique. He takes you through a step-by-step process for adding ingredients to your drinks.

Rego shows you how to prepare cocktails for optimal appearance and taste. He also gives recommendations for what to include in your bar equipment list and how to use your mixology tools.

5. Mix World-Class Cocktails: Secrets of a Champion Mixologist

In this course, mixologist Paul Martin shows you how to create 16 classic and contemporary drinks for any cocktail bar. He'll demonstrate how to shake, stir, and layer your cocktails like a world-class mixologist. Martin also shares his techniques for creating garnishes that give your mixed drinks an eye-catching appearance.

The world record holder for speed mixology, Martin has trained more than 30,000 bartenders and mixologists over the past 25 years. He shows you mixology tools and teaches you how to master your craft to compete with the best.

6. Bartending Mastery: Cocktail and Bartending Masterclass

Michael Miller, who learned his craft in Barcelona, guides you in the process of mastering the skills you need to become a mixologist. He emphasizes skills for good customer service from behind the bar and gives you tips on how to do it.

Miller also delivers strategies for getting interviews and gaining employment. He shares the history of mixology and covers some well-known names in the hospitality industry.

His course, titled "Bar Mastery," covers various topics in a seven-module breakdown. In the last module, he offers the three most important lessons he's learned while working in a bar. Miller also shares a database of information and resources to help you further develop your mixology skills.

7. A Bar Above Mixology

You can earn a mixology certification by completing two in-depth courses from A Bar Above. The first class covers knowledge of ingredients, including citrus, sweeteners, garnishes, orange and angostura bitters, and egg whites. The second part demonstrates how to create cocktails with the optimal flavor and balance.

You must pass a final exam to receive your certification. This includes completing a timed multiple-choice quiz and utilizing methods taught in the course to create an original cocktail.

This course is ideal for people who already have some bartending experience. It focuses on learning advanced techniques to boost your ability to create unique cocktails.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Become a Certified Mixologist

How Hard Is It to Learn Mixology?

It requires time and dedication to master the art and tools of mixology. It usually takes several years to become a true professional in mixology. Many people start working as barbacks to learn the basics of bartending before becoming servers or bartenders. Mixology can be an enjoyable profession in a good social setting, but it requires much physical and mental effort.

Is Mixology the Same as Bartending?

A mixologist has a passion for learning about the chemistry of cocktails, including the creation of new ones. A bartender makes and serves drinks while providing an optimal experience for their patrons. Many of the most successful bars have both professionals behind the counter, working in tandem to oversee efficient bar and restaurant operations.

What Can I Expect from a Mixology Class?

A mixology class takes you through the history of classic cocktails. It also improves your shaking and stirring techniques and demonstrates various mixology tools. It will also cover the chemistry in cocktails and why certain flavor combinations work. Experienced mixologists usually provide instruction on how to improve your approach and methods for creating mixed drinks while giving insight into the food and beverage industry. You might even get into topics like managing bar inventory and recipe costing.

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Start Learning Mixology

Now you know mixology methods and have some recommendations for online courses. Start learning mixology by choosing the right path for your interests and goals, then enroll in a program. You could also check out some of the best cocktail recipe books.

Once you learn skills as a mixologist, you can decide on the exact career path that fits your passion. Maybe you're a barback or server interested in changing your profession. Whether you love making cocktails or want to brush up on basic bartending knowledge, one of these mixology courses could be perfect for you.

BinWise is an end-to-end beverage inventory software solution for bars and restaurants. Save 85% or more of your inventory counting time, eliminate manual data entry, and track variance effortlessly. Book a demo now to see how our platform can improve your bottom line today. Note that product demos are a walkthrough of our software, not a source of business advice.