Dan was 19 years old, good looking, fresh off the plane from New Zealand, and had the unenviable task of teaching a group of rowdy 30-something women how to make cocktails. We smelled blood…
I drink cocktails. A lot of cocktails. But make my own?? You must be having a laugh. Actually, that’s exactly what we did. My first ever cocktail class was full of laughter, as well as a few spills and a few sore heads the next day. A makeshift bar had been set up in the corner of Cardiff’s Slug & Lettuce, and Kiwi Dan bravely stepped up to impart his knowledge on all things cocktail-related.
We were shown how to make two cocktails during this class – one shaken and one stirred (or “muddled” as per many a hipster cocktail menu these days). First up was a Cosmopolitan. Dan ran through the process with us, before we all had a go at making our own. Despite forgetting what order to add the ingredients (it doesn’t matter, right?), we did learn some useful facts, for example, how to shake a cocktail properly. I never realised that each shake of the cocktail actually lowers its temperature, and that you know it’s ready when condensation appears on the metal shaker. I also learned that it’s really quite tricky to separate the glass and the cocktail shaker once you have wedged them together, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to sneak back to the bar and add some more vodka!!
Next we tried our hand at making mojitos. The best thing about making your own cocktail, is that you can control exactly what goes into your glass. I made sure to minimise the amount of ice and up the amount of rum…. Maybe I was feeling a bit gung-ho after imbibing more than my fair share of cocktails, but mojitos seemed pretty easy to make – even if I did spill a lot of the ice and some of the rum all over the table. Pro tip: make sure you muddle it well, otherwise you end up with all the booze at the bottom of your glass, like me.
Although I got very drunk and had a bit of a killer head the next day, I have definitely got the cocktail-making bug. I found myself viewing the Slug & Lettuce’s well-stocked bar with envy, thinking about what alcohol I was going to purchase when I got back home, and daydreaming about my very own retro 1970’s-style home bar. The class cost £25 and included a finale of Jagerbombs, plus plenty of food to soak up all the booze. Cute barman not included.