February 10th, 2009
One 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.
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.