To earn the Mixology Badge, you will research the fascinating history of cocktails. You will learn about the tools of the mixology trade and the history of fun cocktail accessories. Invite some friends along as you take a cocktail class or learn from another expert. You will then get a chance to share your cocktail cognitions with others by hosting your own cocktail party. We’ve outlined how to complete the badge in a weekend below.
But first, here is a quick rundown of how earning a badge works. We use “Badge Guides” to lay out what it takes to earn the badge.
Badge Guides are printable “recipes” or ideas for learning something new and sharing it with friends. Do something to satisfy each of the three steps to earn the badge:
Step 1. Research
Step 2. Learn from others
Step 3. Take action and share your knowledge
The steps in the Badge Guide are designed to be flexible, so if you want to watch different YouTube videos or read different websites, feel free! Just make sure they are fairly equivalent in length and information shared. You can use our worksheets to take notes, plan how you’ll complete each step, and record your reflections on earning the badge.
Complete Step 1: Research
Research the history of mixology and cocktails. Look up the precursor to the modern cocktail, the origin of the word cocktail, and the 4 ingredients needed to make a cocktail. Investigate mixology tools, how to use them and how they came about. Look into some of the fun history of cocktail accessories (swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins). Be sure to grab a notebook and take some notes, or use this worksheet!
Learn about the History of Cocktails
Visit the websites, listen to the podcasts, and watch the video below to learn about the history of mixology and cocktails.
- Vocal Media discusses the history of the cocktail its connection to New York City and its widespread appeal.
- Our Step 1 Post that summarizes the research we did for Step 1.
- Vine Pair discusses the cocktail throughout modern history and the earliest cocktail recipe books.
Research Mixology Tools
Learn about how to properly mix cocktails and how to use the various tools involved. Look up information about jiggers, muddlers, strainers, and shakers.
This video explores some basic bar tools and how to use them. Find out more about the different type of shakers available on the market.
Mental Floss offers a good list of commonly used mixology tools and a brief history of each one. What is a jigger and how did it get its name?
Research a Cocktail You Want to Try
Pick a cocktail you’ve been wanting to try. You can search online or grab a cocktail/bar recipe book and flip through the pages until you find one that strikes your fancy.
Learn about the history of that drink. What part of the world did it come from? Who is credited with inventing it? Research recipes and variations on the drink. What type of glass should it be served in?
Complete Step 2: Learn From Others
Take a class: Many local distilleries offer cocktail making classes. If you cannot find anything posted, message or email them and ask about creating one! You can read about our experience taking a cocktail making class here.
Find a friend to teach you: Do you have a friend who is a cocktail connoisseur? Ask for a lesson. Volunteer to bring the ingredients and make an evening of it.
Know a Bartender? Or someone who works at your favorite watering hole? Ask them to share their knowledge.
Be sure to ask questions and take notes. What is their favorite drink to make and why? Ask where they get their ingredients. Do they have any insider tips for home cocktail making?
Complete Step 3: Teach Mixology and Host a Cocktail Party
Step 3 is all about taking action and sharing your knowledge with others. Host a cocktail party and teach your guests some mixology basics.
Make a Plan!
The first step in taking action is making a plan. For this badge, you’ll need to plan out what drinks you want to make and what ingredients you will need. Will you have a themed cocktail party? Consider the season or another special event coming up.
Spend some time Sunday morning or Saturday evening planning your cocktail event using the research and planning worksheet. What supplies do you already have? What will you need to buy? What will you serve your cocktails in? Do you need swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins or other embellishments?
Gather Your Supplies
Create a list of items needed and then head to the store. You can buy cocktail making tools at places like HomeGoods or Target. Some distilleries will also sell cocktail making tools. If you have more time to prep, consider this starter cocktail shaker set that we own and love.
As for the alcohol: keep in mind that you may need to go to a liquor store to find more unique items. We were able to find a few different types of bitters and mixers at our local grocery store.
Make recipe cards for your guests to take home. Consider writing the recipe on a chalkboard or printing it in larger font for setting out on the counter or tables.
Host a Cocktail Party!
Gather some friends and get ready to mix some cocktails. Before your guests arrive, prep your space. Set out your cocktail making tools and ingredients and be sure to have towels on hand. If you have multiple people coming it may be handy to have multiple tools available. Pull out the glasses for your guests to drink their cocktails from. Share your cocktail recipes by printing out recipe cards for your guests to take home. Be sure to dazzle your guests with your recently learned cocktail knowledge. You can read about our experience with Step 3 here. We made Apple Pie Martinis and Vegan White Russians.
Tell us about your experience earning this badge!
We want to hear from you! What cocktails did you make at your party? Have you taken a cocktail class before? What did you learn? Send us pictures of your cocktail party (tag us on Instagram or Facebook)! If you completed the steps of the badge, send us your notes and we’ll send you something in return.