Mixology has often been described as an “art” and a “craft”, but we think that the concept of “trade” captures better all the nuances implied by this profession. The taste for mixed drinks goes back to the dawns of history. The Ancient Greeks and Romans always diluted their wine with water, with undiluted wine being considered appropriate only for the unrefined taste buds of barbarians. The Romans even created a drink called posca that resembled a modern cocktail. Consumed by the lower classes, who did not afford the price of premium wines, the posca was a mix of vinegar, water, herbs, and raisins such as myrrh. Similarly, in Ancient Greece, black wines were sometimes mixed with herbs and raisins. The taste for mixed drinks only increased throughout the centuries leading to today’s sophisticated concoctions produced by mixologists throughout the world. So, what is mixology, and which are its trade secrets?
What is mixology?
Mixology is the trade of creating, preparing, and serving drinks that involve a certain amount of mixing, of blending various ingredients. Mixologists need to be familiar with a variety of ingredients, not only with alcoholic beverages. They blend fruits, herbs, coffee, flowers, juices, and alcohol in the appropriate proportions so that we can enjoy the delicious outcome. Mixologists need to find the subtle balance of flavors, a process that supposes a knowledge of chemistry. Likewise, they are required to manipulate various utensils, which can transform cocktail-making into a show, when they are flair bartending.
The mixology kit
No kit can replace the actual experience of having a professional mixologist preparing a drink for you. However, during the pandemic, the mixology kit has become very popular with people stuck at home isolating themselves. Many of us took online cocktail classes, took part in tasting sessions on zoom, while sells of mixology kits have rocketed. The offer for cocktail making kits is huge, with options ranging from small independent producers who will personally put together and ship your cocktail box, to online retailers such as Amazon. Depending on price and the number of drinks you are expected to prepare, a mixology kit usually includes utensils, ingredients, and recipes. Usually the utensils included are: shaker, jigger, strainer, ice tongs, pestle, and poureres. The boxes will also contain the ingredients for the cocktail you intend to make. For instance, in a Manhattan cocktail kit, you will receive bottles of whisky, vermouth, bitters, and Maraschino cherries. Again, depending on price, the boxes can contain full-sized bottles or miniatures.
With these tempting cocktail kits, we can all give mixology a go and experiment with ingredients and our own creativity and ability to prepare them. However, if you want to enjoy the services of a professional mixologist, consider getting a mobile bar hire that will come with the knowledge and skills of a trained professional.