Cocktail master-classes are back in town. No, seriously, Blackdog Ballroom NQ or NWS (both in Manchester town) has re-launched its cocktail master-classes with a welcome new twist. I headed along to a taster evening of three classes to try my hand at cocktail mastery.
Masterclass 1 - The Boardwalk
Tucked around the corner from the main bar space, The Boardwalk was an intimate and suave setting for cocktail mastery. The Prohibition era theme shone through, as the barman sported braces, a bow tie and a charming hat. The cocktails on the agenda included the Sazerac, Bellini and Bloody Mary.
First-up: The Mary Pickford
The bartenders really know their stuff. Not only do they talk you through the method of making the drinks, they also give you a little run-down of its history. We were told that the Mary Pickford, for example, was named after the silent film actress who asked bartender Fred Kaufman for a drink whilst on holiday in Havana with Charlie Chaplin! I won’t divulge all the secrets of this gorgeous drink, but the key ingredients are…50ml Bacardi Carti Blanca, 40ml Pineapple Juice, 10ml Grenadine, 5ml Luxardo Marachino. Served in a Coupette glass and garnished with a cherry, I eagerly welcomed this frothy delight to my repertoire.
Masterclass 2 - Poco Loco
A Mexican line-up of Tequila Sunrises, Frozen Margaritas and Hurricane cocktails, this class teaches you how to turn up the heat. A little more playful than the classy Boardwalk, this bar came with sombreros, bright props and smiles all around.
Next up: Flamin’ Tequila Sunrise
It was my turn to make a cocktail again. I’m a massive fan of tequila and drinks that are set alight, so this one was an easy choice to make. Ingredients included…50ml El Jimador, 50ml Orange Juice, 20ml Lime Juice, 10ml Grenadine, crushed ice.
The star of the show was easily the half lime filled with rum that I then set alight with a blowtorch! Needless to say, I was starting to feel like a pro.
Masterclass 3 – Studio 54
This is where the truly classic cocktails came alive. Cosmopolitans, Manhattan’s, Long Island Ice Tea and New York Sours were all up for grabs at this bar.
Next up: Espresso Martini
By this point, I was in need of a little pick-me-up. So naturally, I chose to make an Espresso Martini. This drink was apparently created by Dick Bradsell in 1983 when Kate Moss wanted something that would “wake me up and f*ck me up”. Ooh, er. Ingredients included…40ml Finlandia, 10ml Kalhua, 40ml Espresso, 25ml Gomme 1:1. It was totally delicious.
Blackdog Ballroom’s cocktail master-classes are perfect for stag or hen do’s, birthday parties or just a different kind of evening with your pals. Not only can you try gorgeous cocktails, you’re also equipped with the knowledge to make them again, and again, and again…