How to Become a Mixologist

How to Become a Mixologist

Although it's an excellent way to earn extra cash on the side, bartending isn't all about serving drinks to patrons. Bartending requires many skills and talents to succeed in the beverage industry. With this guideline, you can be on your path to becoming a professional mixologist.

What is a mixologist?

Mixologists create both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for their customers. Whether at a bar or restaurant, mixologists can serve alcoholic drinks, such as gin, beer, and martinis, in many locations with a liquor license.

What are the educational requirements to become a bartender?

Depending on the state, there is an age requirement to allow people to learn bartending. However, many states in the U.S. require that bartending students be the legal drinking age to enroll in a bartending school.

If you're considering to attend a bartending school, they tend to cost from $250 to $1,000 and run from two to four weeks. You can also learn how to become a mixologist by enrolling in an online class to give yourself more flexibility and lower costs on tuition and commuting. Additional costs may be added due to materials and supplies you need for the class as well. By going to a bartending school, you can also obtain your bartending license, which makes you more credible and increases your chances of higher wages. Obtaining a license requires you to take a test that asks questions about the laws of your state, alcohol facts, dangers of drunk driving, and other related topics.

Although bartending schools offer a great deal of information and prepare bartenders for a successful career, some companies offer free bartending classes that you can take. If you're working as a barback or cocktail waitress, you can simply climb the ladder to the mixologist level and receive on-the-job training. You can have a first hand experience with bartending while you watch another bartender mix drinks and serve customers.

What is a mixologist's salary?

Depending on skills and years of experience, a full time bartender can earn from $15,000 to $31,000 annually. However, the tips that bartenders receive from customers and job location can also affect their annual earnings.

What qualities should a mixologist possess?

  • Be a people person. Since bartenders interact with hundreds to thousands of people a week, it's important to have social skills to make each customer feel welcomed.
  • Know basic math skills. Although there are automatic cash registers that calculate the amount due and the customer's change, bartenders deal with many customers at once. Having basic math skills can also aid in keeping tallies on a customer's bill.
  • Have a strong memory. Mixologists are required to know hundreds of drink recipes at a drop of a hat. It can mean bad business if a customer's drink order goes wrong because the bartender was not able to remember the drink's recipe.
  • Be responsible. Although bartenders mix the drinks, they also have to pay attention on how much alcohol their customers have consumed. If the customer has had too many drinks, the bartender's responsibility is to stop serving them.

Becoming a mixologist requires effort and special skills to succeed. With determination and knowing how to be the life of the party, you can become the ideal bartender in any location.

Ready to take the next step? Find Mixologist Schools near you now.