What Does it Take to Be A Good Mixologist?
I asked Matty Gee, our guest mixologist for the July edition of our online blog, to sling us a few pearls of mixology wisdom. His response:
"Good ice is key, always squeeze fresh juices, make simple syrup in advance so you have it in the fridge, always add ice last, and always have two pounds of ice per person per hour so you don't run out."
It’s Not That Easy…
Just like studying to be a chef, Becoming a beverage expert takes time. Matty has learned from years of bar tending that having all of your beverage elements prepped and ready for serving are vital for the perfect beverage experience. Need ice? Well, then the party is over until you get some. Be prepared.
Beverages As Art
Mixology is an art, with fruit, herbs, spirits and ice acting as color, light, tone and mood. A true mixologist is aware of the subtle nuances of a flavor; how the flavor begins, peaks and ends, whether the flavor is salty, savory, sweet or rich.
Mixology is not about getting drunk, just as gastronomy is not about overeating. Mixology is the art of the beverage.
Practice and Patience Makes Perfect
Look for fresh, local seasonal fruit that are at the peak of ripeness. Is it prickly pear season? Let's make Prickly Pear Cocktail. Are the oranges fresh off the tree? Let’s Make a Cucumber Orange Cooler.
Arrange your bar and bar tools so you can work quickly. Get to know all of your ingredients when they are at their best. Superior ingredients and practiced techniques will add incredible flavor, and convince your friends that you actually know what you are doing.
Matty Gee’s Prickly Pear Cocktail Recipe
- 3 oz tequila
- 1 fresh prickly pear peeled and quartered
- 1 1/2 oz lime juice
- One quarter of a fresh pear, Anjou, Bartlett, your choice
- 1 oz simple syrup
Add all of the ingredients to the bottom container of a cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or a large wooden spoon, muddle all fruit and liquid. Add about 1/2 cup of ice, affix the top of the cocktail shaker, and shake well. Strain the beverage into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with pear and prickly pear garnish.