*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, As originally published in The Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady
“Mixologist”: it’s a term we hear bandied about quite often these days in the height of the Cocktail Renaissance, usually as reference to a cadre of bartenders that are exceptional at their job. But what does it mean, exactly? And how is a mixologist appreciably different from a regular bartender?
The term “mixologist” dates to a period described by David Wondrich in Imbibe as “The Baroque Age” when the role of the bartender and the beverages served across the mahogany evolved into sophisticated tipples. Good, fresh New England ice became widely available no matter how hot the season. American tipplers, with their rugged individualistic spirits, grew keen on individual cocktails mixed to order rather than the communal cup that was the punch bowl. As beverages and tastes evolved, so did the skill set of the man behind the pine and his palette of flavors: fancy syrups, bitters, and liqueurs from across the pond began to flow into the glass along with liquor, with elaborate fruit garnishes to topping them off.
“Mixologist” first appears in 1856 as a tongue-in-cheek reference to this new breed of bartender in a humor piece penned by Charles G. Leland for the Knickerbocker Magazine. The narrator describes a sporting man’s reference to the bartender as “a ‘mixologist of tipulars’ and ‘tipular fixings’”. Before long the term evolved into sincere definition describing a bartender, as The Washington Post put it, who was “especially proficient at putting odds and ends of firewater together.’”
Nowadays the term is used to describe pretty much the same thing, but we LUPEC ladies feel that all too often it becomes a harbinger of pretense. There are many, many breeds of fine bartender out there and so much more to the job than concocting showy cocktails with esoteric ingredients. As summer slowly retreats, we suggest you raise a glass to all who’ve chosen this profession and their continued commitment to keeping us pleasantly buzzed in a myriad of ways with an Imperial Royale. It’s a delightfully refreshing sip, perfect for the beach or porch, and so profound it took not one but two mixologists to concoct.
by the Mixology Twins
1.5 oz St-Germain
1 can/bottle Bud Light Lime
Combine ingredients in a pint glass with ice. Stir twice gently to combine. Garnish with one market fresh raspberry.