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Livingood’s & the Art of Mixology

September 6, 2016 · by boirebenner · No Comments

What is “Mixology”?

The dictionary definition of “Mixology” is the art or skill of preparing mixed drinks. While “Mixologist” is defined as the skill of mixing various drinks and ingredients to create cocktails.

Katie, our mixologist and bartender here at Livingood’s, sees mixology as a two step process:

  1. Create your own syrups, bitters; or infuse spirits to use in your drinks
  2. Throw all rules out of the window!

With mixology, the adventure truly begins when you think “what’s the worst that could happen?” and we have a lot of fun playing around with tastes and combinations. Sometimes the best cocktail creations come from mixing flavors you wouldn’t normally think would work!

Where does the term “Mixology” come from?

Despite gaining popularity over recent years, the word is not a new one. The term can actually be traced back to the nineteenth century, with cocktail guides of the time regularly calling bartenders “mixologists”.

The fact the term itself is a “throwback” really suits the nature of the mixologist. As well as looking for new and exciting paths for the mixed drink to go down, mixology is also about reinventing old classics. The Livingood’s summer drinks menu currently has a spin on the standard Manhattan cocktail: the Smoked Rye Manhattan, which is as fun to drink as it is to see Katie make!

Smoked Rye Manhattan Cocktail

Smoked Rye Manhattan

So just what is a mixologist, and how are they different from a bartender?

The names can be fairly interchangeable and bartenders and mixologists definitely have an overlapping set of skills. In general, a mixologist is someone who:

  • Studies the field of bartending and works to expand it
  • Creates inventive cocktails using interesting, housemade ingredients and working with those to create new, unusual tastes in their drinks
  • Studies and reimagines cocktail “classics”
  • Has a deep appreciation for the techniques and drinks of the bartenders of the past
  • Combines a passion for cocktail history and an excitement for where the craft of cocktails can go next

At Livingood’s Katie thrives in both roles. She loves bartending, meeting new people, sparking conversations and the challenge of winning over a customer… but she’s also our master of mixed drinks, bringing tastes to the bar that are unavailable anywhere else.

Want to learn more?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but here are some recommendation from Katie if you want to delve deeper into the world of mixology:

  • “Alchemy In A Glass” by Greg Seider is her favorite book on the subject. It’s a fun read and Katie shares a similar outlook on mixology with the author
  • Check out the Youtube channel called “Cocktail Chemistry” for videos of truly cutting edge cocktail trends. It is a lot of fun!


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