Mixologist vs. Bartender: What’s the Difference?

Ads typically list job openings for bartenders, but the better paying jobs are really asking for a mixologist. What does mixologist vs bartender actually mean? A general bartender pours and serves drinks. A mixologist understands how to mix the ingredients of a drink recipe. A bartender may be paid a low wage by his or her employer, but the lure of becoming a bartender, is in the opportunities to make great tips.

There are many types of venues that serve alcohol. Some smaller local bars may offer only beer, and maybe a couple of wines. The only skills needed to serve drinks in such locations, are knowing the differences between the drinks on the menu, knowing how to open the cans or bottles, and the correct serving sizes per the bar’s policies. These jobs can be great to get if you can land them, but they are a small portion of the available bartending jobs that are available. Being trained in mixology can open up many more doors of earning opportunities for the bartending school graduate.

Look for a bartending school that teaches their students the science and art of mixing drinks.

A mixologist is comparable to a chef, except that he or she creates wonderful drinks instead of foods. Compared to a bartender that simply serves drinks; and not all job locations require him or her to mix a drink, or know how to create more than a few specific drinks. There is nothing wrong with basically serving drinks, but if you know how to mix drinks, you can expand your job search to a broader selection of venues with more than average pay, and get better tips by having happy customers.

Regular drinkers, like foodies, have their favorite drinks and they will gladly pay the extra money to have the experience of a professional make that favorite for them. Diners and bar patrons also like to try new drinks and a mixologist will have the skills needed to recommend and create delicious drinks for customers. Of course, that will equal better tips.

The mixologist wins in the mixologist vs bartender question, when it comes to hiring.

Upscale venues that serve top-shelf alcohol are going to want a bartender that is a mixologist. Why? Upscale locations tend to have more sophisticated customers who know exactly what they want. They need a flair bartender who can take orders from customers who ask for classic and new trendy drinks. Customers in these locations tend to tip higher when they feel that the level of service was up to par with their special needs. A regular bartender who only knows the differences between a stout beer and an light beer is not going to cut it here. Why limit your job opportunities and earning potential when you can go to a school that will give you the skills to be able to create a satisfying drink for your pickiest and highest-tipping customers.

One of the best secrets to making great tips (which means more income) as a bartender is having repeat customers. If you can nail their favortie drink recipe, you will have regular customers who tip you well. If you want to become a bartender, get a greater return on your school investment and make sure you will be trained how to mix drinks properly so you can be on the winning side of the mixologist vs bartender battle.

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