Mixology Is The Alcoholic Art Form We All Need

Mixology Is The Alcoholic Art Form We All Need

What if, instead of viewing your cocktail as a drink to get your buzz going, you viewed it as a purposefully orchestrated creation?

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You walk into the new bar that everyone is raving about, but nothing seems to strike you as impressive until you take a seat at the garnish speckled countertop. Before you get a chance to scan the happy hour menu, the well-dressed man on the other side of the bar asks you what flavor profile you're looking for. You stutter out an answer, and the man retrieves what seems like 15 different ingredients and begins to measure, shake, stir and pour at an impressive speed.

He produced the best drink you've ever had. You're hooked.

Adding fire to cocktails helps improve the flavor and presentation of the drink. Photo by Amanda Marvin

The skill of crafting alcoholic drinks that was formerly known as bartending is taking on a new form known as mixology among the contemporary bar scene. Mixology is known as "the study of the chemistry of drinks," and the tastes of the new creations are noticeably different from typical drink recipes.

Self-taught Mixologist Tyler Zhorne began his crafting career as a brewer which enabled him to find greater success in the art of experimenting with different flavor profiles. Zhorne says that making drinks is more than just a job that he loves.

"It's kind of another way for you to put your own personality out there. I'm more of an introvert, but my cocktails will help someone understand who I am," Zhorne explains.

Similar to an artist carefully painting their next piece, mixologists use techniques of imagination and innovation to craft a concoction that wows their customers almost every time.

A cocktail smoking box is being used to create another touch of flavor. Photo by Amanda Marvin

In Arizona, bars like Bitter & Twisted located in Downtown Phoenix, The White Rabbit in Gilbert, and The Ostrich in Chandler are changing the original method of bartending by encouraging crafters to create their own reimagined variations of commonly known cocktails.

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A Letter To The Almost High School Graduate

“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” –Kiran Desai
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To the high school senior weeks away from graduation,

Stop.

Just take a moment to look back on all of the things you're used to, all of the things you consider your norm, and all the things you grew up knowing life would be.

Take a drive at sunset and look at the town you call home. Reminisce in all of it –that shop you used to get frozen yogurt with friends or that pizza shop where you went on that date with that guy.

Go past your elementary school. Swing on the swings and hide under that playset you used to call a fortress.

Visit the place you called “home" –your friend's house, the band room, the gymnasium. Any place you truly felt like yourself.

I ask you to do these things before it's too late. Yes, it is actually possible to be too late.

Do those things before everything you've ever know changes. Do those things before you leave. Do those things because one day you'll come home and you won't recognize a thing.

That favorite fro-yo shop you and your friends went to –closed. That playground you used to love –removed. That big oak tree outside of your back door –chopped into pieces, fallen from a storm.

Now, these things may seem meaningless to some, but they are part of our familiarity. Our sense of how life was.

It's a simple concept, yet it's difficult to grasp once you're away from home.

The concept: life goes on, even when you're not there.

It won't hit you as soon as you think, but when it does, it hits hard. It hit me when I Facetimed my parents and they showed me my room. It felt like my brain had glitched; it didn't understand why I could see my room, yet I wasn't there in person to see it.

This glitch is called your reality check. You don't ever ask for it, but you always need it.

The same thing occurs when you come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It happens when the whole family gathers and they see you “post-high school" and now as a “new college kid." They say, “wow, you've changed so much!" but you look the same. They say, “you're so much more aware of everything now –it's incredible!" but you really haven't; you've just been looking outside of a dorm window instead of your house's window.

Why does everyone see you differently, yet you feel completely unchanged?

The answer: your reality check hasn't happened yet.

You haven't begun to realize the dark half-crescent shaped shadows under your eyes from lack of sleep. You haven't seen your sudden weight gain (or weight loss, for some). You haven't seen how differently you interact with people here than you did before you departed.

And just like that, all that change occurs and there's no time to realize it. Until it's too late.

So realize these things now. Soak up the norm and live the life you may call “ordinarily boring." Because one day, it won't be. And you'll have no idea why.

And so, I leave you almost-graduate with this: stop and smile.

Look back on all you've lived through and all you've accomplished. Look at all the memories of you growing up. Remember, reminisce, and embrace your childhood for a little while longer, before it all disappears.

When you wake up on graduation day and you look in the mirror, fully dressed in cap and gown, smile.

Because you've made it to the end of part one, and now you've reached the beginning of part two.

This is your new norm.

Signed gratefully yours,

The Kid Who Wishes She Had

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk (Or High), Do You?

Get in the habit of safe driving practices when alcohol or other drugs are involved!

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As a Peer Health Educator at SDSU, I am required to participate in various community outreach events on campus throughout the year. The most recent tabling event was with one of Well-Being & Health Promotion's partner organizations, RADD (Rockers Against Drunk Driving). The event consisted of peer health educators reaching out to students passing by and asking them to participate in our trivia game or to take an informational pamphlet.

Our trivia game was a spin-the-wheel type with questions related to drunk driving laws and general knowledge that people should be aware of when it comes to intoxicated driving. Sadly, I don't believe many people know the true dangers and risks of drunk (or high) driving. There are several life-altering things that can happen if you are driving under the influence and law enforcement gets involved. Obviously, there's a huge risk that you can physically hurt yourself, your passengers, or other people on the road. Injury can range from broken bones to death. Some may know that you will also lose driving privileges for a while, and you will probably have to spend a night in jail.

However, many people do not know that if you receive a DUI, you will most likely be automatically disqualified from many programs such as medical school, law school, any branch of the United States Armed Forces, etc. Many people also do not know that getting a DUI can cost up to $10,000 (original fines, legal fines, etc.). It can also take up to ten years to get a DUI off your record. And lastly, your BAC does not have to be over .08 to receive a DUI. Police can pull you over if you are driving strangely and it turns out your BAC is only .01. Any poor driving due to alcohol can result in a DUI.

Finally, many people do not realize that driving while high can also result in a DUI! Just because it's legal to purchase and enjoy, DOES NOT mean it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana or any associated marijuana products! There is a .08 BAC maximum for driving under the influence of alcohol, however, there is a zero tolerance for driving under the influence of marijuana. There is no legal limit on how high you can be while driving. Any amount of marijuana can land you a DUI, even if it was from earlier in the day. Many people do not realize that the consequences for driving high are the exact same as driving drunk. You can still injure or kill people, receive a DUI, get arrested, pay thousands in legal fines, and destroy your future.

RADD is a wonderful educational program that teaches people the risks and consequences of intoxicated driving and gives incentives for designated drivers. There are ways to get involved with RADD in several areas of California, just check out their website. Also, many restaurants/bars will give discounted/free items if you tell them that you pledge to never drive intoxicated or that you are the designated driver (just mention RADD).

Intoxicated driving accidents are 100% preventable! Be a part of the solution! Go crazy and wild! Just don't get behind the wheel afterward :)

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