Mixologist vs Bartender

Mixologist vs Bartender

What is the difference between a mixologist and a bartender?

While we at Mixologist Express believe that Mixologists and Bartenders are the same thing, many mixologists disagree on this matter. 

The word “Mixologist” is just a fancy way that bartenders call themselves to make their profession sound more fancy. We think that they both perform the same job and the cocktail knowledge and costumer service should be the same. 

However, looking at the internet and talking to many “Mixologists”, we want explain their point of view and try and see if we can learn something here.


Nowadays, people interchangeably use these two terms. Bartenders think its the same, while mixologists would say otherwise.


Asking a fellow mixologist if he could explain the difference, here is what we got.


You will find a bartender who works at a cocktail bar and makes cocktails. This professional also interacts directly with people or customers. On the contrary, mixologists might often work in a bartending capacity. They work behind the scenes. They create new cocktails and add signature twists to them, so people will love the drink. So, you can see that when it comes to the matter of mixologist vs. bartender debate, there is some clear difference between them. But before delving into this, you need to understand that their difference lies in their roles. So, let’s see what they do to comprehend the discrepancy adequately.  


Mixologist making cocktails


Role of bartenders


Let us now check out what roles and responsibilities a bartender has to attend.


  • Make house specialties and cocktails.

The primary job of bartenders is to make standard cocktails and house specialties. They should have a working knowledge of how to make all these. Their work is crucial as when a customer orders a Margarita or Manhattan at any bar, and the bartender should know how to prepare and serve them. However, unlike mixologists, they never spend time inventing their cocktail recipes.


  • Good at customer service

When you compare the roles of mixologist vs. bartender, you will see they are likable and efficient in communicating with customers. For a restaurant or bar, having this quality as a person is imperative, especially in slower periods. A bartender is a professional who serves you a drink and also listens to your problems with rapt attention. So, unlike mixologists, bartenders are friendly and social people.


  • Handle crowds

You will notice a bartender who tactfully handles problems and crowds under pressure. They have specific skill sets that help them to stay efficient and calm. A bartender serves drinks quickly without compromising the customer service quality to maintain the rush. You will not get this quality in mixologists hire, and they never deal with customers or crowds. 


  • Keep up bar stock and register.

A significant job of bartenders is to maintain bar stock and register. To do this job effectively, bartenders should have outstanding skills to prevent losses or accounting mistakes. After all, an adequate stock bar makes sure the continuity of service even during pick hours. 


Role of mixologists


Now that you know about the role of bartenders, it is now time to know what mixologists do. 


  • Invent new cocktail recipes 

Unlike bartenders, mixologists make new drink recipes with their skills and expertise. They always play with drinks to introduce a new and creative touch to the drinks. 


  • Work as a consultant.

You will see a mixologist work as a cocktail consultant. They invent new cocktail drinks and programs for different restaurants and bars.


  • Constantly look for new recipes.

Mixologists always try to maintain the industry trend by looking for new recipes. They always keep an eye on the invention that happens worldwide. Thus, it is a primary difference between them and bartenders. 


  • Work behind the scenes

Sometimes mixologists work behind the bar or as bar managers. They supervise bartenders while devoting some time to inventing new cocktail menus. Hence, it is also a significant difference when it comes to the bartender vs. mixologist argument.


Bottom Line


To conclude, mixologists and bartenders are two different professionals. Though they have some similarities, these are just a number. It is so because their roles and skills are different, separating them from each other.



 Would you hire a mixologist or a bartender for your cocktail bar?


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