Chicago native Ty Nicole is a licensed mixologist and owner of SoMixxy, Inc, a boutique brand offering bespoke mixology experiences and products, based in Atlanta, GA. She has always had an undying affection for culinary arts, however, it was not until she became a bartender that she recognized her talents with spirits and liquors.
A graduate of Howard University, Ty's passion for curating cocktail recipes extends her interest in crafting her own line of infused cocktail syrups. A serial entrepreneur, SoMixxy has given Ty the opportunity to work with a variety of prominent clients and is always eager to share new techniques through her mixology courses. Her main priority is to provide an enjoyable experience that her clients will reflect on when they craft cocktails from the comfort of their own homes.
Here's how Ty got started as a mixologist:
Boss XL Mag - What is a mixologist and what motivated you to get into this industry?
Ty Nicole - A mixologist is defined as someone who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks while understanding the history and significance behind each ingredient and the impact of the mixing techniques used. Mixologists combine their innovative ideas with traditional knowledge to create new and unique cocktail recipes.
Funny thing is, I actually stumbled into mixology. Five years ago, I started bartending as an interim between leaving my corporate career in insurance and moving abroad to complete my MBA. I knew bartending was a good way to make some good money, but without the commitment of a traditional 9-5 job. So I took a bartending class in order to get my certification which allowed me to start bartending around the city of Atlanta. At that time, I had no idea what being a mixologist would entail or the achievements I would reach in the coming years. It was simply just a hobby.
Before I officially moved abroad, I had an idea about a concept involving bartending, which eventually became my company, SoMixxy. However, I was still growing in the nightlife space and wasn't quite sure of how to navigate. So I set those thoughts to the side as I completed my MBA and focused on a completely different start-up idea. When I returned back to the States over a year later, due to COVID-19, I wanted to get back behind the bar, but in a non-traditional way. I wanted to make my own syrups that could add my own twist to traditional cocktails. So I started playing with various ingredients and techniques. Since the pandemic was still in full bloom, I decided to start teaching classes virtually. Little did I know, these two actions would become the basis of my business model.
Boss XL Mag - How do you come up with some of the unique drinks that you promote?
Ty Nicole - I have always had an undying affection for culinary arts. I remember spending my childhood watching my grandmother in the kitchen each Sunday and every holiday. I always loved the combination of different flavors and aromas circulating throughout her Chicago 3-story flat brownstone. So I guess a part of me always channels those times when I'm curating a new recipe. What flavors could I use that would enact those feelings of nostalgia? Which ingredients are uniquely on-trend that can be incorporated into a cocktail that others may not have considered before? I try to find fun ways to incorporate more unusual flavors into a balanced drink that will enhance the overall customer experience.
Boss XL Mag - Can you, for us, define the difference between a mixologist and a bartender?
Ty Nicole - Usually the differences between a mixologist and a bartender are distinguished between their knowledge of the industry/spirits and creativity. The communication skills, organization and memory maintenance are all necessary but prevalent in both bartenders and mixologists. Mixologists elevate themselves from traditional bartenders based on their passion and innovation when it comes to pairing flavors and creating a unique customer experience. This could be shown in the layers of colors, garnishes, ingredients used, or even presentation. You will notice more mixologists showcasing their skills at a local speakeasy or high-end bar/restaurant.
Boss XL Mag - What are your next moves for expanding your brand?
Ty Nicole - Since I recently won the Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Uncle Nearest Whiskey, there has been a great deal of exposure for both SoMixxy and my personal brand. So needless to say, we are very excited for the upcoming year! From products to services, we have a vast offering that we are looking to rollout for our clients (new and returning). For SoMixxy, our growth will continue with our team as we hire more #Startenders and move to increase our product reach. As we analyze our niche market needs, we will also improve our product and service offerings. This includes more sessions of our mixology classes and Canvas & Cocktails, a unique combination of sip and paint with a mixology twist! In addition to this, we look forward to partnering with other brands within the industry.
To schedule Ty's mixology class, buy her products, or even book her for your next event, check her out at www.somixxy.com and follow her on IG @somixxy