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What is Mixology? - Dirty Martini, Old Fashioned, etc…

DINING | Published on 06/03/2023
Optimizada best mixology drinks

In recent years, there is a trend that has been increasingly present in bars and restaurants where a bartender is called a mixologist who prepares signature and classic cocktails with flair and style. But, what is mixology? - Dirty Martini, Old Fashioned, etc… Let’s find out! 

In the past, bartenders were limited to reproducing the recipes of the most popular classic cocktails: margarita, piña colada, strawberry daiquiri, dirty martini, espresso martini, old fashioned, Cuba libre, and mojito, just to mention a few. 

Nowadays, a mixologist does a lot more than prepare drinks following a recipe, they also experiment with flavors, ingredients, and preparation methods to create signature drinks and classic cocktails with their own twist on them.

Mixology Drinks

Just as creativity plays a significant role in cooking, mixology opens the doors to a universe of infinite possibilities. From juices, fresh fruit pieces, herbs, and syrups, to extracts and natural sweeteners, everything is fair game and valid to produce the most delicious and surprising cocktails.

There are different categories of mixology drinks according to aroma, color, and texture. Some are considered fresh drinks, such as those with cucumber and lemon, and others are classified as strong because they contain ingredients such as ginger or turmeric, and there are even sweet ones with blackberries or honey. 

In general, mixology goes hand in hand with food. Just as the best pairing between wines and dishes is sought, the mixologist often creates cocktails to be the pair-perfect to any dish. Just as waiters who’d make house wine recommendations with their ideal pairings.

However, they do not necessarily have to be paired with food. Some mixology drinks are simply delicious and refreshing. For example, we can mention the Piloncillo, created by mixologist extraordinaire Carlos Valdez Ávila from Villa La Valencia Los Cabos.

Valdez mixes rum with a little whiskey, Amaretto Disaronno (Italian almond liqueur), and piloncillo syrup infused with star anise and lemon juice, to finally crown the drink with a slice of lemon and rosemary. This creation has earned him much praise and recognition.

You may be interested in 10 Mexican drinks to try on your vacation.

The Mixologist

In many cases, mixologists started out as bartenders. Before becoming mixologists, they had to learn all the classic cocktails recipes until they were prepared to perfection. Once they identified all the flavors and aromas contained in them, they were able to modify recipes by removing, replacing, or adding ingredients. 

Their skills are quite impressive. They can identify the predominant flavors in a drink just by tasting a sip. Mixologists are highly experienced people who have tasted every drink at least once and take their craft very seriously. Mixologists are modern-day wizards, so what’s your poison?

If you are interested in dabbling in the arts of mixology, we recommend that you start by making classic cocktails for your friends until you become an expert. Once you identify which liqueurs go well with which ingredients, then start taking risks and experimenting!

Let’s get you started on your mixologist journey with some brief descriptions of popular classic cocktails:

  • Margarita: This is one of Mexico’s well-known cocktails. It is made with tequila, lime, and triple sec and served with salt on the rim of the glass which adds a special touch that combines so well with citrus flavors. Its freshness is undeniable and its popularity is unrivaled. 
  • Piña colada: The piña colada is a drink whose main ingredients are pineapple, coconut cream, and rum. There are several versions of the origin of this cocktail. The oldest known story is of the Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cofresí, who supplied his crew with a coconut, pineapple, and white rum concoction. 
  • Strawberry Daiquiri: The strawberry daiquiri is a Cuban drink originally made with ice, lemon, strawberries, and white rum, although you can also replace the rum with vodka. It is ideal to enjoy it in tropical climates, either during your vacations at the beach or during any sunny afternoon. You can also prepare this drink without alcohol and it is equally refreshing.
  • Dirty Martini: A dirty martini is a classic vodka or gin and vermouth martini with a little olive juice added. It is a very simple drink but has a lot of room for customization. Martinis were traditionally made only with gin. However, in the last decades, vodka started to be used more, and nowadays it is the most commonly used.
  • Espresso Martini: The famous espresso martini is a classic cocktail of vodka, Kahlua, and coffee invented by Dick Bradsell. According to the legend, a supermodel approached him and said, "Can you make something that will wake me up and then get me drunk?". Thus, the espresso martini was birthed.
  • Old fashioned: This cocktail is made with sugar, bitters, and whiskey then garnished with a citrus twist. It is traditionally served in an Old Fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass, which gave the cocktail its name. There’s also a modern version that is prepared with honey.

If you want to learn how to make a sangria, check out this article.

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