I’m more than comfortable in the kitchen, following a recipe or baking up a storm, but when it comes to mixing a decent drink I get as far as vodka + mixer and potentially add a straw if I’m feeling fruity. I love a cocktail, but they are so overpriced in London and any old barman seems to think they can get away with serving up something brightly coloured and slapping a £10 price tag on it. A really amazing cocktail, like a good meal, sticks in your memory though. The one that springs to mind for me is the the Italian Job at The Connaught Hotel bar – a blend of orange, passionfruit, vodka and Campari made it worth the hefty cost. So I was pretty excited but also apprehensive about a cocktail making class, a part of me was expecting to be taught Woo Woos and Tequila Sunrises, the sort of drinks I used to drink in vast quantities as a student (and that’s definitely not a good thing).
Mixology is based on an unassuming street near Old Street and looks amazing inside. There are work benches with all the tools we would need, set up in the centre of a room surrounded by alcohol of all sorts, vintage mixing paraphernalia and ingredients that you would never guess to put in a drink (although it turns out the chorizo we saw on our arrival was just a pre-class snack for our teacher. Phew!).
We were taught the official names of the tools on our work benches, directed towards the liquids we’d be needing and then we cracked on with our four cocktails: a french martini, an elderflower julep, a triple rum daquiri and a flaming zombie. The daquiri was, without a doubt, my favourite, although each drink got progressively stronger (and more delicious) as we went through the evening. Cocktail making is a fine-tuned business, the measuring needs to be precise or the flavours are all wrong, even the type of ice can change the way a drink tastes. And it’s physical work! If you don’t have any upper body strength like me, then shaking your cocktail for a full minute and then attempting to break the shaker away from the glass are both hard tasks! The night finished with us hollowing out half a lime, filling it with overproof rum and setting it on fire – not the safest of tasks around flammable liquids and increasingly flammable humans. Did you know that shaking cinnamon over a flame makes it do that exciting blue sparking thing? Far too much fun.
Mixology Studios are in Shoreditch but they also have cocktail making class venues in North London, Central London, West London, South London, The City and Canary Wharf. Check out their Mixology website for more info.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Mixology with eBuzzing with work colleagues and was not expected to write a review. But I enjoyed it, so write about it I did!