What is a Mixologist?

 Mixologist is a specialised bartender. 

Mixology is like the ‘science-of-cocktail-mixing’. 

A Mixologist is highly knowledgeable about the different compositions of alcoholic beverages and has a defined palate for tasting.

Mixologists work either in a bar, upmarket restaurant, hotel, on a cruise liner or appear at events like bachelor parties, corporate functions, weddings etc.

Mixologists love to experiment and create their own signature cocktails.

A Mixologist is usually able to add ‘flair’ while mixing like in the films ‘Cocktail’ and ‘Coyote Ugly’.  ‘Flair’ is the art of tossing bottles in the air, using dramatic pouring techniques, interacting with the crowd and basically being the in-house entertainment.  Having ‘flair’ requires a lot of skill which comes with hours and hours of practice. 

Some Mixologists even enter ‘flair’ competitions where they can show off their mixing talents.

Watch an award Mixologist in action (almost 4 million views!)


What does a Mixologist do?

  • researches the make-up of various alcohols
  • tests, tastse and experiments with new combinations
  • perfects standard cocktails
  • learns and practices ‘flair’ techniques and tricks
  • enters competitions

Are you … ?

  • interested in alcohol and the mixing of cocktails?
  • a bit of a show-off?
  • confident?
  • good with your hands?
  • co-ordinated?
  • willing to work long and unusual hours?
  • self-motivated?
  • a person with a good sense of taste?
  • creative?

How do I become a Mixologist?

Although you can probably collect some Mixology experience by working with a trained Mixologist in a bar, enrolling in a short course in Mixology would be extremely advantageous.

  • THE SHAKER:  (Cape Town & Johannesburg)

Offers many courses and Masterclasses in Bartending, Mixology and the art of ‘Flair’ mixing. 


  • BAR TENDERS WORKSHOP:  (Cape Town & Johannesburg)


Offers a 5 day Bartending 101 Certificate. 
On completion of the course a written examination and a stringent practical examination will determine whether students pass or not.


Becoming a Mixologist may be the first step for you to work your way up the hospitality corporate ladder.  From being a Mixologist, one can become a Food & Beverage Manager, a bar, pub or restaurant manager.  It is all up to you!


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Bartender/Barmaid or Food & Beverage Manager

Is becoming a Mixologist the right career choice for me?