Category: blogging
blogging, Mixology Monday, Rule 2

The Mixology Monday Revitalization

One of the most important things in the history of the Cocktailosphere's development was Paul Clarke's establishment of Mixology Monday. The putatively monthly blog carnival helped foster a sense of community in the early online cocktail community and gave people an assist in maintaining posting momentum. In the early days, MxMo was an event, and a top source of traffic for many blogs. Over the course of several years, however, Paul (and others) became more involved in professional writing for more traditional outlets. The MxMos started being monthly-ish, and they did not spark the pre-event chatter and excitement, nor the number of participants, that they once did. Mixology Monday was withering on the vine. I actually hosted the last of Paul's carnivals that got off the ground right here, with the theme of Tiki. Paul finally announced that he was going to put Mixology Monday to rest around the same time that one time traffic king Darcy O'Neil was composing his darkly thoughtful post, Cocktail Blogging is Dead. Both are symptoms of the same very real phenomenon. And neither makes sense without the other. No, Darcy, this is not my support/rebuttal to your post. Expect that in November, when I have time to write thoughtfully about it. But this is by way of a preview. Because when Paul announced that he was going down for the third time, Fred Yarm, the Hardest Working Cocktail Blogger on the Internet™, stepped up to the plate and took on the task of reviving MxMo. (Oh, while we are talking about Fred, buy his damn book.) Things are going well. The second MxMo of the Yarm reboot (everything gets a reboot nowadays) is up this morning at Wordsmithing Pantagruel, with the theme of Bein' Green. Ed managed 38 entries for this one, a damn good number. Go to his site and get to exploring the world of green drinks, ingredients, and garnish. Mixology Monday embodies what cocktail blogging is really, sustainably about: Individuals writing about all aspects of drinks, out of love and a search for knowledge and entertainment. The posts are all over the place, and that's more than just a good thing. It's the thing.
Hey Doug! You're right. Ed's roundup looks great. But I think I missed something. Where is your MxMo post?
Shut up. abc
Bartenders, Rule 2

Mixology vs. Bartending, from the Bartenders’ Perspective

Everyone who in in the bar industry, or who simply orbit it as I do, has some vision in their head of the difference between Bartenders and Mixologists. Yes, I know there has also been argument over the term Mixologist in the past. But let's face it, we've all sort of settled on it as a term for craft bartender, at least in the professional context. Most of the folks I talk with who think about the distinction, do some from the perspective of the Mixologists. It's who we are, or who we most often are looking at over a bar. When we do talk about Bartenders, it often is in a lightly condescending fashion, as in this tweet of mine recently. The reason for this is simply that all Mixologists are pros. It is in the definition. (Not all are good, but all are over-trained pros.) Where as most Bartenders are not. Most Bartenders are transients, going with temporary employment on their way to somewhere else. But not all Bartenders are inexperienced amateurs. A small minority are serious pros in their own, different, right. But since there are so vastly more Bartenders than Mixologists, that small minority is likely much larger than the whole body of Mixologists. And some of those pros blog too. And do it entertainingly, with plenty of valuable things to say. I recently highlighted Tales From a Bar as one of these Old Pro Bartender Blogs. And that was all an over-long introduction to another of these Old Pro blogs, The Truth About Bartending. A recent post, Mixology vs. Bartending, is one of those funny reads I mentioned that has a lot to say. The post breaks down a lot of the key differences between established professional Mixologists, and established professional Bartenders, both from a customer's viewpoint, but also as a career choice for each. Each area he breaks down is a very valid point of comparison, and for his non-professional reader of either stripe, he has a good sense of which terms need definition to understand what he's talking about. I'll add that, like CaveMan of the above mentioned Tales From a Bar, "Freddy" blogs anonymously. If you look around at the Old Pro Bartender Blogs, you'll see that another difference Freddy doesn't mention is that Mixologists blog under their own name, while Bartenders blog anonymously. Read Freddy's About page for an in depth list of the practical reasons for this. Then read around his blog for lots more interesting stuff, including his excellent taste in cocktail pundits. To be clear, I recognize that you can in some cases, and to one degree or another, meld the two species. Take some talent, subject it to enough pressure for 16 years (as of this week), and you get a diamond like this
Bartenders, Rule 2

Another Bartender Blog You Shold Be Reading

Here's a bar blog that you might be interested in: Tales from a Bar. The author calls himself "Caveman", and it is likely a good thing that he blogs anonymously, since he pulls few punches about his own workplaces. Tales from a Bar is less that a year old, but Caveman already has made over 60 posts. Further, he posts regularly, so he shows every sign of sticking around. I read him a bit a while back when he was starting out, then lost track. Fortunately, he followed Rule 1 and sent me a blogroll request, which reminded me that he is out there. Caveman is worth reading because he writes well, leads an "interesting" life, and likes to share it. Most of his posts are tales from a recent night's work, with lessons to be learned for other bartenders and customers alike. He is a career bartender and a few of his posts discuss issues of how the industry has changed during his career, and how it will change more in the future. He also isn't above link posts to his favorite humorous video, or keeping interesting and entertaining quotes and trivia in his sidebar. You can get a good idea of his writing style from a recent post Top Ten Most Annoying Cocktail Waitresses, or the entertaining Top Ten Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender. He's also not above some salty language, so keep that in mind. One final thing I'll note about Tales From a Bar is that his posts are pretty consistent in length. They are all long enough to give you something to think about, but short enough so you don't need to scroll to finish them. This is a lesson I ought to learn one day when I grow