Bartenders make drinks to please customers, mixologist create cocktails to tickle tastebuds. One can be the other and they are both the same. 
James Thomas became the most famous mixologist because he created drinks and published the creation of these cocktails back in 1862,' How to Mix Drinks". Some of the drinks were truly his creations, other can be traced back before his time. 
For my brand of bartending and mixology we follow the house rules and the guidelines of the pH and Brix scales for acidity and sugar content. All of which is subject to ingredients in hand and individual appeal. 
Everyone has their own opinion on what tastes good and what flavors excite  them. It is a combination of a few factors, the spirit being used, what are the accompaniments, how is presented, how is it garnished... All of which and a few more make for a great cocktail. 

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