At one time anyone could get behind a bar and pull a pint of beer. Bartending was one of those jobs that was kind of looked down on as no qualifications, and little training, were needed. Oh how times have changed.
Mixology has turned bartending into way more that throwing a screwdriver together or pouring a slug of bourbon over the rocks. Bartending school is in high demand and if you don’t believe us do an Internet search for mixology schools near me and see how many results you get!
So Is Bartending and Mixology the Same Thing?
Yes and no. The official stance is that a mixologist is someone who is passionate about combining different flavours in order to create fabulous cocktails and a bartender is someone who is passionate about mixing drinks and giving customers an enjoyable experience. So they are different but the same as in you really need to be both to be a star behind the bar. You will serve drinks, create cocktails, be friendly and courteous and subtly entice customers to spend more on drinks that they intended. Getting somebody to order a Cosmopolitan rather than a Coors takes some doing, but customer relations is another aspect that you learn at bartending school.
Is Bartending School Necessary?
If you want to work in a decent place and get a good wage and job satisfaction then yes, absolutely. A certificate in mixology goes a long way these days and higher end establishments now insist on it. It shows that you have completed hours of training in all aspects of bar work. You will have successfully created over 200 drinks, including many specialties, and many other skills including upselling, inventory control, how to work fast under pressure, cash handling, hospitality and the biggie; product knowledge. You will be asked what a certain liquor tastes like, you will be asked the ingredients of an obscure cocktail, and you must be able to answer quickly and confidently without rushing to Google.
What If I Can’t Get a Job After Bartending School?
This is the best bit! Such store in now put on bartending schools and the quality of their graduates that you have a guaranteed job if you pass! Hotels, casinos, theatres, cocktail bars etc have teamed up with the schools and this is how they now do their recruiting. They get qualified knowledgeable staff and the school can boast a 100% success for their students getting jobs at the end of it.
To Sum it All Up
So, if you want to pull pints for a couple of nights a week and have knowledge of mixed drinks and the odd cocktail you are a bartender. If you are all of the above but competent in basic cocktail making and can name the ingredients you are an accomplished bartender. If, however, you have gone to bartender school and have your mixology certificate the doors opening to you will be a lot more ornate and the clientele behind them much bigger tippers!