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What Does a Mixologist Add to the Mix? 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

I am often asked, "What's the difference between a bartender and a mixologist?"

Well, your bartender can whip out a score of popular drinks, is a good listener, and generally keeps a crowded bar happy. He (or she) is like a good restaurant cook. You don't order a Pinini cocktail made with fresh honey tangerine juice and tiny Tuvalu bananas, but you're safe with a Gin Collins or Margaritas and do they ever know about single-malt scotch.

True mixologists, on the other hand, are more like chefs working exclusively in liquids. A mixologist's responsibilities go well beyond the preparation of a huge number of delicious and, at best, artistic cocktails which please the eye as much as they do the palate. They're also the entertainment. The best of them are part juggler, part chemist, and a big chunk of hot-yet-cool performer.    

Mixologists have moved increasingly into the limelight as a wave of interest in cocktails meticulously crafted from high-quality ingredients and the art of the cocktail party has swept across the drinks world. This has fuelled enormous interest among non-professionals in getting some knowledge about spirits and cocktails and mastering some basic cocktail skills, and I'm here to do my part to help!

Rum is a sweetly complex spirit distilled from sugarcane molasses, a taste that transports you to the tropics without you even having to go to the airport. Rum comes in a range of very mixable styles: light, gold, dark, aged, spiced or flavoured, and overproof.

Here are some winning rum-based cocktails from a world "Mixologist" competition.

 
Millionaire

  • 1½ oz. Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old Rum
  • ¾ oz. Plymouth Sloe Gin
  • ¾ oz. apricot brandy
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with orange zest pierced with three cloves.

Created by Edward Viita from the U.K.

 
Hemmingway Grenade

  • 2 oz. Appleton V/X Rum
  • ½ maraschino liqueur (or triple sec)
  • ½ oz. pomegranate syrup
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. red grapefruit juice
  • 2 tsp. crushed raspberries
  1. Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into an old fashioned glass.
  2. Garnish with lime wedges and a small handful of blueberries.

Callum Bachelor from Christchurch, New Zealand, won the Appleton Estate Cocktail Challenge with the Grenade.

 
Dark Blue

  • 1½ oz. Bacardi Superior Rum
  • 4 oz. cran-blueberry juice
  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Add Rum and juice. Mix well.
  3. Garnish with a fresh cranberry and blueberry skewer.

Recipe from the Bacardi Company.

 

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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