On the second Tuesday of every month, and some weekends too, the Harvey Nichols store- in Cabot Circus, Bristol – run a cocktail masterclass.
The evening was simple: at a slow pace, 2 bar tenders mixed 3 chosen cocktails from their menu of past and present, which progresses into the chance for you to head behind the bar and mix your very own cocktail creation. The session lasted for 2 and a half hours, with Vicky, the head bar tender, taking us through the history of each cocktail and why certain combinations were used.
It was fascinating! The time whizzed by, and whilst I’m no alcohol connoisseur, learning about each cocktail and its components was a special and informative experience.
The venue for the masterclass was the little cocktail bar tucked beside the second floor restaurant in Harvey Nichols. It was intimate and impressive, with a beautiful array of every spirit you could imagine dominating one wall, and floor to ceiling glass windows giving an incredible view of Bristol city centre.
Our 3 cocktails included: “Chase It”, which was rhubarb and vodka based, a rum based “St Lucian Swizzle” (seen above) and “Tiffany Blue”, which was true to its name.
Towards the end of the masterclass we turned into bartenders ourselves. My favourite cocktail is a classic Mojito (it reminds me of Barcelona and being tanned), but impressed by the rhubarb tones of “Chase It”, I created my own Rhubarb Mojito. It was sweet but incredibly fresh and I will definitely make it again.
I was lucky enough to attend the masterclass with two of my lovely housemates, Cat and Eloise, who let me share their recipes with you too. Eloise made an Apple Crumble Martini, with Cat making a “Mine Not Terry’s”, based on a classic Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
Overall, it was an incredibly fun evening. A nice touch at the end was that Vicky, who had lead us superbly through the session, sent us an email detailing the different cocktails we has tasted and tried throughout the evening so that we could recreate them at home.
The evening doesn’t have to end there, if you wish you can follow the masterclass with a 3 course meal in the restaurant for a humble sum of £15, which Eloise and Cat enjoyed.
The masterclass cost £30 per head, but considering the range of cocktails you get to try, this price seems very reasonable. This masterclass would be a perfect birthday gift, mothers day present or just a fun evening out- for both men and women. The link to book can be found here .
Also, the wildlife advocate within me couldn’t not include something about this special Elephant Gin. 15% of profits from every bottle is donated to an elephant sanctuary, with each bottle being named after a different elephant. It’s a yes from me!