Secret #23 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Take a stand: are you pro-blender or anti-blender? Being anti-blender makes you appear an uncompromising purist while being pro-blender makes you seem breezy and efficient (which sometimes leads to a bartending job, so be careful.)
Secret #22 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Strut around like a fairly-well regarded physicist who occasionally enters Tough Man competitions.One of the best things about being a mixologist is you not only get to use outrageous terminology to explain something relatively simple, just like a wine snob, but also get to cast yourself in the dual roles of Guardian of the Great Mysteries and Rugged Creator of Something Pretty Okay that are the bailiwick of home brewers.
Use language to manage expectations. If your drink leans toward a turgid muddle, tell them it’s highly nuanced. If it is utterly bland, call it well-mannered. If cringingly bitter, warn that it has a lovely bite. If it’s godawfully beastly, label it devilishly untamed. Saying your cocktail is not for beginners will make nearly all novice drinkies suppress their taste buds and gag reflex.
Secret #19 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Do not refer to your fans as drunks. Refer to them as drinkies, much as amateur gluttons are now called foodies.
Secret #18 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Always spell rum as R H U M. It’s fancier and signals that you might just know something other people don’t. You should also make an effort to pronounce the “h,” i.e.: ra-HUM!
Secret #17 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. If you publish an original recipe on your blog, minimize the possibility of criticism by making it impossible to replicate. First, insist on very specific ingredients—the juices must be hand squeezed from fruit plucked from a branch within jogging distance, the water must be glacial and unshaped by tray or mechanical device, the liquor the finest available (unless you are a brand ambassador, in which case the liquor need not be so very fine), the bitters homemade. To be doubly safe, include an ingredient so exotic, so difficult to acquire, that the average Joe would have as much chance of making and, therefore, judging your cocktail as a some gap-toothed yokel finding a Picasso in the town dump. For example: The middle yolk of a Duckbill Platypus egg (freshly laid!).
Secret #16 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. A substandard drink recipe, delivered at booming proof, will traverse from ridiculous to sublime in four cocktails. Three if sunk quickly.
Secret #15 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Discovery is the mean step-mom of reinvention. Sometimes you’ll invent an absolutely wonderful new cocktail only to discover that some jerk ripped you off a hundred years ago. For example, if some blabbermouth observes your Mexican House Fire has the exact same ingredients as a Tequila Sunrise, put on a tight little grin and say, “Yes, it’s a reinvention.” Then all you have to do is change up the ratios and add a pickle and it’s yours. Be careful not to reinvent a reinvention or you might end up with the old recipe and then you’ll have to tell them it’s an homage.
Learn to carve ice into orbs. It’s very de rigueur to ice-pick big chunks of ice into orbs about the size of a cue ball, which you then put in a cocktail in place of boring old ice cubes. It looks really cool, and if they tilt the glass back far enough, the ball hits them in the mouth, which is pretty funny. Hint! When attacking the ice, do so with a furrowed brow of concentration, as if you were Michelangelo deciding if God’s hair is big and fluffy enough.
Secret #13 of the 44 Secrets of Mixology. Make a big deal about bitters. Like the Matto Grasso, you don’t have to know exactly what bitters are, you just have to make a big deal about them.