People behind the bar: Difference between a Bartender and Mixologist

After a week full of office work, deadlines and running around, Friday night comes as a relief to many, a chance to let your hair down and relax. A Bartender making these amazing cocktails and doing his drinks choreography with swift motions of mixing and serving behind the bar is often a sight to the sore eyes.

Unless you belong to the food and beverage industry, you might not know that there are two kinds of champions behind the bar, a mixologist and a bartender. For a successful establishment, one needs both kind of super heroes to make customers’ experience wholesome.

You can be a bartender without being a mixologist but you cannot be a mixologist without being a bartender. Mixologist was a term given to the bartenders who were good at innovating and experimenting and hence the demarcation started,

Who are they and what’s the difference?


  • Mixologists are like innovators or scientists of a good cocktail! They have certain culinary skills when it comes to mixing drinks.
  • Mixologists can work on their own accord experimenting with tastes and flavours or as per requirements of the enterprise they are working with. This could be designing a menu on a certain theme or with ingredients.
  • Mixologist can work in his lab or at times behind the counter catering to the taste buds of a guest. It is becoming a trend where the guests request a drink as per their mood without looking at the menu and voila! we have an expert to serve you just the right blend to satiate your soul.
  • Mixologist is responsible for selecting and readying all the ingredients behind the bar as per the quality standards of the establishment.


  • A Bartender will typically work as per the recipe designed by the mixologist.
  • A bartender will generally make and serve the drinks from a set menu
  • A bartender is focused on servicing guests, making and serving the drink in the best possible entertaining and engaging way
  • Speed, efficiency and style defines a good bartender. Presentation is an important art and a crucial element of the wholesome experience at a bar.

Also read: Want something new? Propose a toast with Green beer!

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