The ability to mix drinks or make special cocktails that meet the needs of drinkers is a rare one. One that bar and hotel owners, and drink manufacturers, are willing to pay massively for.
Do you have a passion for mixing elixirs to make exceptional drinks? Do you wish to work for one of the best bars or hotels in your area as a mixologist? Or you’re looking to learn mixology, so you can set up your own bar or club? If yes, then one of the top US schools for mixology mentioned in this article might be ideal for you.
While becoming a mixologist does not require formal education, you will need to learn the How, the skills required, and most importantly, what you need to stand out from other “drink mixers” in your area. These and many more are what top schools for mixology in the US can offer you. Plus, the connections and enough ground to practice, implement and tweak your skills until you reach the desired height.
In this article, we shall explore all these aspects as well as the top schools for mixology (both physical and online), mixology courses, job opportunities, and more.
But first, let’s discuss what Mixology is all about.
What is Mixology?
Mixology may be defined as the science of Cocktail making.
Or, as some may say, it is the art and craft of making drinks. Think of it as training to be a chef, but for drinks.
While one could think that pouring a drink is a simple chore for the bartender, mixology calls for real chemistry of ingredients to produce creative and outstanding cocktails.
A good cocktail is made up of a decent mix.
Knowing your everyday ingredients, such as spirits, liqueurs, syrups, cordials, herbs, fruits, juices, and refreshers, as well as paying close attention to details, are requirements for mixing drinks.
Who is a Mixologist?
A person who studies Mixology is known as a Mixologist. Or, as I call them, “Einsteins of bartending”.
A mixologist is a person who has studied the history of concocting drinks and cocktails.
He focuses more on cocktails, with a flair for creating unique and tasty drinks rather than making the classics.
Now that we know what mixology is, and who a mixologist is, let’s discuss where one can acquire knowledge of mixology.
Can you go to school for mixology?
Yes, you can.
Several schools offer mixology classes/courses, especially in the US.
Ranging from Online, Virtual or physical schools, you have a lot of options to choose from.
Where can I take a mixology class?
You can take mixology classes by attending a school for mixology, best known as Bartender school.
A Bartender School is a private educational institution that instructs people in the various aspects of serving drinkers from behind a bar.
It also covers classes on the local alcohol laws of the city, state, or province where the school is located, as well as classes on topics such as Mixology, which covers the finer details of concocting drinks and presenting them.
In many locations, there are bartending schools that provide a broad education, job placement, and bartending or mixology experience.
Don’t let the name scare you. Both Bartenders and mixologists go to bartending school.
It all boils down to what you want. Do you want to learn how to run a bar or want to become an expert mixologist?
All mixologists are bartenders. But not all bartenders are mixologists.
I will explain what this statement means further in this article.
Is mixology school worth it?
Besides learning how to mix spirits and liquors, mixology classes offer a wide range of courses for students.
The fundamentals of glassware, bartending tools, liquor and liqueur brands, mixology cocktail recipes, and drink presentation are all taught to students.
Attending a school for mixology may also provide opportunities to network with professionals in the field.
You will also learn the history of cocktails and how to create quality modern cocktails as well as traditional ones.
Become job-ready in the bar industry as a mixologist.
A quality mixology school offers courses such as:
- Molecular mixology 3° level
- Vintage mixology 2level
- Cocktail training
- Menu Creation.
What are the requirements to get into mixology school?
Other than being 18 or above, there are no major requirements to enroll in mixology school.
Some schools might require that you have a high school diploma. But that is a rare case.
What are the top schools for mixology?
There are many bartending schools to learn mixology. Here are some of the top schools in the US to learn mixology. In no particular order, of course.
1. EBS Bartending Academy
The European Bartending School (EBS) is the world’s leading bartending school. They’ve redefined the art of mixology with bartending schools located all over the world. And their online bartending schools offer equally amazing programs.
EBS Bartending Academy in New York offers a wide range of courses to meet the needs of its students. They offer courses in bartending, mixology, flair, barista, and spirit tours.
Founded in 1999 with support from well-known drink brands such as Bacardi and Martini, Hendrick’s, and Patrón, EBS has all you need to be an exceptional mixologist.
A certificate from EBS is recognized and accepted anywhere in the world. Visit the school website for more information.
2. Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending
The Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending is a bartending and casino school in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founded in 1983 and licensed by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending, has trained many great minds in the hospitality industry.
The school offers many qualifications, including, and not limited to, Mixology Certification, Bartender License, and Blackjack Dealer Certificate. They also offer training on the business aspect of running a bar. Courses like inventory and human resource management, cost control, and marketing are included in their mixology programs.
Upon graduation from Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending, you’ll be an expert in beer, spirits, and wine making. You’ll also have the management skills to secure good employment opportunities or establish your own business.
Visit the school’s website for more information on its programs.
3. The New York Bartending School
The New York Bartending School is renowned for producing the city’s best mixologists. With their ultra-modern facilities and experienced instructors, the school ranks as one of the best schools for mixology in the US.
The New York Bartending School offers programs on Bartending-Mixology certification, advanced mixology, and bar and restaurant wine service
Visit the school’s website to learn more about its programs.
4. Florida Bartending School
The Florida Bartending School (FBS) offers a two weeks program on bartending and mixology. You’ll get hands-on training in bartending and mixology in a real working bar setting. They offer training on wines, beers, liquor making, alcohol and state laws; drinks and shots, glassware, customer service and bar set up.
If you are new to the bartending industry or you are trying to enhance your skills, this bartending school is the one to ensure you become a certified mixologist in the shortest possible time.
You can visit the school website for more information.
5. Ace Bartending School
Few places pay bartenders as well as Las Vegas, so it’s understandable if you dream of starting your bartending profession there.
And count on finishing your courses in just two weeks, meaning you can join at some point during the long holidays and not disrupt your other activities.
Ace Bartending School has training during the day and night, and you can attend on weekdays.
So, if you desire to understand the rudiments of mixing and serving over 200 drinks, acceptable glassware, and garnish cutting, Ace Bartending School is one of your pleasant options.
Ace Bartending School also offers job placements to its students, as local employers tend to recruit primarily from the school. They’ve successfully placed their graduates in casinos, taverns, sports bars, biker bars, hotel bars, stadiums, etc.
You can visit the school website for more information.
Are there online schools for mixology?
Who says you can’t learn from the comfort of your home? Take the classes at your own pace and schedule.
Here are some top online schools for mixology.
The leading online bartending school, Barsmarts, was established by the second-largest wine and spirits distillery in the world.
They offer extensive lessons such as cocktail history, traditional cocktails, the spirits category, serving techniques, and provider management.
Multiple assessments that will assess your applied skills will be given to you throughout these classes.
Click here to take the course.
7. A bar above mixology
This online bartending school prepares you to earn a professional certificate in mixology in three steps. First, you’ll learn to master the ingredients you work with and how to utilize them.
Secondly, you’ll learn to master balance and flavor in mixing your cocktails. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to draft out your plans on paper before working with real products.
Lastly, you’ll take a two-part certification exam that assesses your knowledge of the entire program.
You can take the course here.
Are there virtual mixology classes?
Virtual mixology classes are usually hosted on Zoom or Google Hangout, depending on the number of people attending the class.
Virtual mixology, taught by master mixologists, allows the students to interact with their instructors in real time. And also follow along with the recipes and techniques of cocktail making.
These are some of the best virtual mixology classes available.
- MasterClass with Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardan
- Pre-made Cocktail at your doorstep
- Jeff Solomon’s YouTube tutorial class
- Shaken & Stirred: Cocktail Competition
- “Sip N Shake” Cocktails masterclass.
- Virtual Happy Hour (Cocktails + Trivia)
How long does it take to study mixology?
It will take you two to three weeks to learn mixology and become a certified mixologist.
This applies if you choose to attend physical bartending schools. Whereas, taking online mixology courses might take a shorter time period. Also, this only applies to those that have their bartender’s license.
Remember when I said, “All mixologists are bartenders, but not all bartenders are mixologists”?
Well, this statement applies here.
To be a certified mixologist, you have to first study to get your bartender’s license. Think of it as your high school diploma in the bartending world.
Learning Mixology does not take a long time and it is very simple.
Is there a degree in mixology?
Like any other course you take at a higher institution, Mixology has an associate’s degree.
Some community colleges or technical schools offer degrees in mixology.
Online schools offer mixology certificates for completing the courses.
How much does a Mixology school cost
It depends on the school or course you choose to take. And how comprehensive the classes are.
Online bartending schools are cheaper as they range from as little as $30 – $500.
Physical or live bartending schools are more expensive as they range from $400 – $2000.
Is bartending and mixology the same?
While they are both very similar and you can get information about each in the same place, they have distinctive differences.
A bartender serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to customers from behind a bar.
They keep records of the beverages in stock and maintain the bar.
They are the people you often see on the other side of a bar. Whereas a mixologist is more behind the scenes.
They focus mainly on cocktails. Designing and creating new cocktails, adding their creation to the menu, which the bartender then serves to the customer.
Conclusion on schools for mixology in the US
Mixology is an interesting field, one you’ll find very interesting and a bit challenging. According to Albert Einstein, “a bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.” Even with just two to three weeks of study, you can achieve a lot mixing drinks and chemicals.
Hopefully this article has answered all the questions you have about schools for mixology in the US.
Frequently asked questions about schools for mixology in the US.
No, you do not have to be. The minimum age is 18.
Some universities offer mixology courses in their hospitality program.
An example is Columbia University.
So while you’re getting your bachelor’s degree, you can also bag an associate’s degree in mixology.
Many consider mixology an art of mixing drinks, pouring techniques, and the rest.
But looking at it from an in-depth and observation point of view, there are measurements of drinks before mixing, alcohol percentages, knowing how to balance spirits and refreshers in a mix.
It involves real chemistry to concoct a good cocktail.
According to Salary.com, mixologists earn an average salary of $23,300 per year. However, the salary ranges from $20,300 to $27,700 per year.