February 10th, 2009

Cocktail classes

How to make a molotov cocktailOne question I get a lot is how and where one can learn to mix cocktails (though not the kind pictured here). How about attending a cocktail class? A few places around town offer instruction for making serious drinks. While these classes won’t turn beginners into professionals, they’ll at least have you hobnobbing for an evening with the experts and picking up some good techniques and recipes.

I’ll probably have to start an ongoing list at some point, but here are the classes I know about so far.

Craigie on Main: They have already had two cocktail classes, which sold out very quickly. More are in the works. To get the latest announcements, sign up for the newsletter at the Craigie on Main website. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the link.) $45 per person.

Eastern Standard: I don’t know if any are coming up, or how much they cost, but I know ES has offered some in the past. Again, the newsletter will help here.

Sel de la Terre (State St.): I was pretty blown away to hear about a series of cocktail classes at the original Sel de la Terre (there are now three), which Frank McClelland and Geoff Gardner of L’Espalier fame opened in 2000. Head bartender Ted Kilpatrick is leading classes with titles like “Prohibition Era Cocktails — What the Cool People Were Drinking from 1920-1933″ and “History of the Martini … and Why that Bright Green Apple Thing You are Holding is Not One.” Seriously. I don’t know Ted, and I’ve never had a cocktail at Sel de la Terre, but now I’m forced to investigate. $21 per person with a 21% discount if you stay for dinner.

Stir: It’s worth going to a cocktail class at Barbara Lynch’s teaching kitchen at least once, even if these classes are the most expensive in town.  Stir fits no more than 10 or 12 people, so you get to spend some quality time with your instructor, who is likely to be John Gertsen, Ben Sandrof, Misty Kalkofen or — soon enough — any of the other talented bartenders at Lynch’s bar Drink. $95-$125 per person.

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8 Responses to “Cocktail classes”

  1. JG

    A word of caution on the Craigie classes. I had come across a newsletter saying that they’d soon be holding classes, with details to come in a later newsletter, so I subscribed to their newsletter, and promptly read about the classes happening a month and a half later w/o having heard anything from them.

  2. ljclark

    Oh dear, JG. You mean the announcement of the classes never appeared in the newsletter?

  3. JG

    Either that or my signing up didn’t take – it’s possible that they sent out a newsletter and I didn’t get one … given my history it was probably something that I screwed up :) C’est la vie! They had a newsletter that I saw on another site which announced that the classes were coming up and that they’d give out more details later, but then I never saw anything with the actual details (and then I forgot about them so neglected to track them down)

    Had a question about Stir, a complaint I have with all of Lynch’s websites is that they’re absolutely devoid of any useful information. Do you know if they have a listing online of the stuff that they have, or do you need to call and work it out over the phone?

  4. ljclark

    Yes, JG, the Lynch sites are a little too Flash-y for their own good. Go to the Stir homepage and click on Winter Class Schedule.

  5. JG

    Oh! That would explain it, I don’t have flash (on this computer at least, just looked at the pages from her empire on another computer). Hah, no wonder I always thought that they had absolutely zero useful content on all of their pages. I suppose they should be commended for failing gracefully w/o the presence of Flash but OTOH I had no idea that’s what was happening :)

    I guess now I can only queue my standard rant about companies who use Flash inappropriately, but at least I can’t complain that they don’t have any content :) Thanks!

  6. Adam

    I had the same issue with the Craigie newsletter and class, unfortunately.

    On a similar note, I’m working on some classes if anyone is interested. The first two I’m thinking about are “Bar Tools 101″ and a bitters tasting class where we try multiple types of bitters and compare the differences.

    Details to be finalized, but if folks are interested please contact me via email at class.info@thebostonshaker.com and let me know.

    I’m VERY interested in what topics people are interested in – please let me know that as well.

  7. Craig

    The graphic accompanying this post is amazing.

  8. ljclark

    Isn’t it, though? The “policia” detail makes it.

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