The Mixology Skill
The introduction of Mixilogy as a secondary skill in the Late Night expansion was an inevitable move on the part of the development team not simply because it made sense, but because a means for delivering a more convenient mood management system for moodlets was clearly both desired and required for the game. The reasoning behind that has to do with the impact that moodlets have on game play -- and in particular the hidden impact that they have in ways that are not always obvious to the players.
Passive improvements to skill gain and specific actions (including interrelations between Sims outside of the household) have always been influenced by elements like luck, though the application of moodlets and their influence to both the negative and positive consequences are not a clear element of game play for most simmers -- though the effect that they have can easily be seen when gamers are trying to acquire new skill levels or attain specific accomplishments. Previous to the Late Night expansion the process of managing moodlets was largely a product of reacting to negative moodlets by either finding a way to counteract them, or more often, simply not attempting to complete specific actions while a Sim is under the influence of the negative effect of the moodlet.
The introduction of Mixology and the convenience that it brings to the game has changed all of that, offering Simmers a level of expanded control over the lives of their Sims that they have never had before -- so while this skill is not necessarily one that should be chosen as a non-traditional profession or occupation, it is nonetheless one of the supporting skills that should seriously be considered for early inclusion in the inventory of household skills as you create your primary social unit in the game. Ideally the skill should be learned by one of the supporting Sims -- the stay-at-home Sim type whose daily responsibilities include cleaning the home, repairing the appliances in it, and in general providing the support system that the more active members of the household require.
Adding this skill to the toolkit for your support Sim(s) is certainly not an effort that the serious Simmer will ever regret, but as you contemplate that it should also be emphasized that combining this skill with related skills will ensure a much more effective use and benefit to your household -- so when choosing the Sim that will offer this service to your household it would be an idea to also have that Sim be your designated Gardner Sim as well for reasons that will soon become apparent.
There is not a lot of money in bartending but there is good moodlets
-- Reflections Upon Mixology --
One of the oddest aspects of The Sims game series is that they tend to use names that although clearly representing the thing that they represent, also can be considered neutral... One example of that is Nectar, which though it is clearly wine, and is a beverage that children cannot drink, is nonetheless called Nectar and not wine... Another example is Mixology -- which is clearly Bartending -- but again, not called that. This pattern is generally recognized as a nod to the fact that while adults are a primary audience for the game, a significant number of children also play (in spite of the ratings that the game has received from the different regional game rating organizations, it is not uncommon to find children as young as 7 or 8 playing the games).
Presenting the adult-oriented skills as morally-neutral alternatives makes a certain sense in that respect, and it is agreeable as well to find that the potentially negative value for those adult-oriented skills and activities is morphed into actions that can be easily dismissed as harmless with respect to their use by younger gamers. Considering the overall significance of these sub-skills to successful and strategic game play, finding ways to remove the potential for adult objections to their exposure to younger gamers is a necessary evil that is easily tolerated.
-- Acquiring the Mixology Skill --
While Mixology follows the well-established pattern that exists in the game for acquiring sub-skills, it also happens to be a perfect example by which the use of training books is far more economic in terms of money and time than the traditional method of development over time. In particular having early access to the skill for your household dictates that the more convenient book-based approach is preferable to the alternative, but it should be noted that this alternate method for acquiring mastery of the skill is not without its drawbacks, and in particular the expense of acquiring the books is a noted example, though this is partly mitigated by the fact that unlike recipe books, which are destroyed in their use, the Mixology manual scan be re-used by later generations, as once purchased they become a permanent element in the household library when stored within the bookshelf.
There are three books that can be purchased from the Bookstore in town and used to obtain mastery of the skill, and these are:
-- Mixology Volume 1: It's all in the Pour ($50)
-- Mixology Volume 2: Shaken or Stirred? That is the question? ($500)
-- Mixology Volume 3: Strategic Drink Mixing for Professionals ($750)
This new skill is learned by either attending a class at a restaurant, or making drinks at a/your bar, and the drinks that you make -- which are naturally similar to Nectar in that they cannot be consumed by children or teens -- offer various moodlet bonuses (which is as noted the fundamental purpose of this addition), some of which are very special. The regular drinks will not have much effect, but work well at parties; the special class of Mood drinks on the other hand are a very powerful tool for managing the progress of your Sim and their development...
As with most of the other non-traditional professions, there are a number of challenges and opportunities that are attached to Mixology, and any Sim serious about the skill/profession will want to complete as many as they can...
The trick to success in Mixology is to practice it at home extensively until you have raised your Sim's expertise with each specific drink to the point that they are not likely to make a bad version of it when it counts -- meaning when they are making and serving the drinks to a celebrity. One bad experience and one bad drink from your Sim can potentially kill their career!
Another aspect of the skill is the ability to devise and name your own drink recipes... It has been suggested that when you devise a winning combination that has positive effects you can gain extra Fame by naming it after the first celebrity that you serve it to. It is never wasted effort to raise your quality with a new recipe before you try it out in public.
-- Abilities by Level --
Level 1 Your Sim can mix Drinks with other Sims.
Level 2 Your Sim can start moonlighting.
Level 3 Your Sim can make Party Drinks.
Level 4 Your Sim can make Skill Booster Drinks.
Level 5 Your Sim can make Romantic Drinks.
Level 6 Your Sim can create Unique Drinks.
Level 7 Your Sim can make Energy Drinks.
Level 8 Your Sim can make Sorrow Annihilator Drinks.
Level 9 Your Sim can make Crazy Mood Drinks.
Your Sim can moonlight as a Mixologist in clubs and bars, and they can also stack the deck in their favor by growing the fruit that they use in their drink recipes so that they always have the highest quality ingredients. Rarer and higher quality ingredients (think Life Fruit) almost always obtain better results...
-- Drinks and their Moodlet Effects --
Note that it is speculated that a minimum of 55 Drink Recipes is required for complete mastery of the Mixology skillset, though the rare and reward recipes are not included in that assessment. It should be noted that many of the drinks on the list below are specific to location, so Simmers who choose to have their Sims live in a town other than the City of Bridgeport may find the acquisition of these drinks to be more problematic than may seem reasonable. One alternative to outright failure in that respect is to either temporarily separate the Sim who is leveling the Mixology track and have them temporarily live in Bridgeport on their own until they have acquired the full repertoire of drinks and then move them back to their home town and re-integrate them into their alpha household; or move the entire alpha household to the city temporarily in order to accomplish this.
Alternatively you can simply start out the Sim who will be mastering Mixology as a solo household in the City and, once the level of mastery that is desired has been reached, have them move to the town of your choice and begin to build a household by recruiting locals into your Sim's social group through the practical application of romance skills.
Beverage Name -- Beverage Class (Special Notes / Moodlet) -- Beverage Ingredients
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Alien Brain -- Skill Booster
Aristocratic Gimlet -- Party
Bad Cheerleader -- Romantic
Bad Referee -- Regular
Band Slam -- Energy
Barnacle Breeze -- Regular
Big Mistake -- Crazy
Black Mood -- Regular
Carribbey Cooler -- Regular
Cherry Casanova -- Romantic
Dark Energies -- Energy
Deathflower Drop -- Crazy
Deep Despair -- Regular
Ectoplasmic Residue -- Regular
Falling Forever -- Romantic
Fan Fizz -- Regular
Feng Shui Fountain -- Regular
Flaming Flotsam -- Party
Flaming Waylon -- Party
Glow Goo -- Energy
Hemoglobin Shooter -- Party (Vampire Beverage)
Hogan’s Deep Friend Juice -- Energy
Kneecapper -- Regular
Kozui Kooler -- Regular
Kthxbye -- Crazy
Kyoto My Heart -- Romantic
Llama Head -- Party
Melted Snowman -- Sorrow Annihilator
Morcubus Molotov -- Regular
Neon Breeze -- Party
Party Popper -- Party
Pink Bunny -- Regular
Plasma Punch -- Regular
Pomegranate Passion -- Romantic
Purple Gnome -- Regular
Red Water -- Regular
Rockin' Roller -- Party
Sakura Shoji Sweetness -- Party
Sanguine Slush -- Romantic
Sapphire Samurai -- Regular
Shillelagh -- Energy
Simoleon Sunrise -- Sorrow Annihilator
Simsmopolitan -- Regular
Spine Reticulator -- Regular
Spotlight Polish -- Party
Starry Sea -- Regular
Stomach Churner -- Regular
Sweet Hijinks -- Energy
Tombstone Topper -- Regular
Tropical Twister -- Energy
Vera’s Glass of Sass -- Energy
Winning Streak -- Sorrow Annihilator
WooHoo on the Beach -- Romantic
Zen Zinger -- Energy
You begin a skill raw but progress quickly and look less stupid...
-- Mixology Skills and their Statistics --
The use of the Mixology Skill is tracked by the game regardless of whether it is employed as a hobby or as an alternative profession, with the following elements being statistically tracked by the game:
-- Cumulative Income Earned from the Mixology Skill
-- Cumulative Number of Sims Served
-- Drinks Made
-- Great Drinks Made
-- Terrible Drinks Made
-- Unique Drinks Created
-- Mixology Challenges --
As with all of the other non-traditional professions, the Mixologist has a number of challenges that they will be presented with. These are:
Cool Creator: Available after your Sim has created 25 unique drink recipes. Improved quality in the drinks that they make.
Master of Mood: Available after your Sim makes 200 Mood Drinks; drink moodlets last 50% longer and have a 25% plus-moodlet bonus.
Master Mixologist: Available after your Sim serves 60 drinks to Sims while Moonlighting in a bar/club; allows your Sim to earn better tips.
Poseidon: Available after your Sim makes 500 mixed drinks in total; your Sim can no longer make a foul drink.
Professor of Drinks: Available after your Sim learns 42 drinks from bars and clubs; your Sim can serve special custom drinks.
-- Observations on Mixology --
Unlike the other non-traditional skills or professions that have been added by the current and previous expansions this skill was clearly not intended to be used as an alternative career. While it is possible to make money doing it, it seems unlikely to be a source for a sustainable level of income, though I suppose that it could easily qualify as an income-producing hobby... No, the point of Mixology appears to be evenly split between encouraging and promoting social interaction, supporting social gathering, and to a larger extent, serving as a boosting activity for increasing celebrity status and fame.
Of course anyone who saw and remembers the Tom Cruise movie Cocktails might wish that they could become a poem-slinging master bartender (I know I do), which would be a very cool alternative means for making a living if there was money in it, but for Mixology even if you decide not to base your Sim sin the new city of Bridgeport it is still a very useful skill in that it allows, as stated above, the ability to lubricate your group social activities, and it serves as a very convenient means for mixing and consuming beverages that potentially add positive moodlets, which can hardly be considered a worthless skill or outcome.
When your Sim reaches the point at which they have obtained enough wealth that you can safely begin to expand and redesign their starter home, it would be an idea to build in a dedicated space for their Mixology station (a home bar) and assuming that your Sim is not living in an apartment in the city, it would also be a good time to set aside a bit of their yard and turn it into their official gardening area, and start thinking about developing their gardening skills.
Using the Collection Helper to find rare seeds for Mixology ingredients.
With respect to that the obvious choice (since they are not playing at Gardening as a profession) is to head into town and purchase the three books on Gardening there which permits your Sim to master that skill by reading these alone. Once they have done that, in my experience the fruit you can purchase from the grocery store and plant in your garden is a good place to start the process of refining and growing through the generations of plants -- using high-quality fertilizers -- towards the ultimate goal of developing a high-quality generation of each of the fruits you choose to grow. Why? Excellent question!
As noted above one of the core ingredients for the beverages that your Sim creates using their Mixology skills is fresh fruit. The higher quality of the fruit the better as far as results are concerned, and of course the rarer the fruit is the better depending upon the formula. And there are the formula or recipes that your Sim invents to take into consideration. Basically your efforts should be divided in three ways: building into your Sim's life a designated garden spot in which you have provided as many benefits to the process as possible, from sprinklers on a timer that will water your garden before, during, and briefly after the growth cycle each morning, the related (but not required for Mixology) additional kit, such as the wine making machine and perhaps a storage box or fridge nearby for keeping your fruit properly stored, and finally a collection of seeds to use and specifically "found" seeds of the mysterious variety since those are more likely to produce the desired special fruits and plants.
Bearing in mind that any Sim that is interested in Mixology is also a Sim that you should consider having master the wine making (Nectar) skill, Gardening, and Cooking, and perhaps Fishing since that is both a source for fertilizer and for cooking resources. The idea of rounding out their skills in that respect really is a good one, and it also adds to their potential income as it provides a number of non-traditional methods for earning money both by selling the fresh produce you do not need, the fish you cannot use, and of course the wine you make.