I was lucky enough recently to be invited to try out the new, revamped cocktail masterclass at Revolution in Birmingham. Now, if you follow me on Snapchat you probably already know, but if you don’t…. I love cocktails. My sweet tooth loves cocktails. My ginger tooth loves cocktails. All parts of me love cocktails! So, the chance to attend a class on making them? You bet I was there, and I’ll break it all down for you so you can read for yourself what such a class entails.
Before we even got started making drinks, our very own cocktail-making guru presented each of us with own ‘Vodkaccino’ – a twist on the usual iced frappuccinos, with vodka. They were bright, electric blue and really enticing to look at. I thought it was also a great touch to get everybody a drink in their hand straight away – usually at cocktail classes I’ve been to in the past, you have wait until your turn. With these, I was additionally impressed by the flying saucers on top – they made the drinks more silly and set the tone for 90 minutes of fun.
Tip: eat the saucers before they get soggy!
Our Bubblegum Daiquiri Vodkaccino’s tasted almost like actual bubblegum, which delightfully matched the colour. I couldn’t even taste the vodka, so it went down very easily since I like my cocktails sweet and as pop like as possible. Although, that is also dangerous because…. they’re not pop! Drink responsibly folks!
It starts with a game
At the start of the class we were told we all be playing in an ongoing game (Flavour Bingo) that was easy but quite nerve wracking at the same time, since the forfeit was a chilli vodka shot! Basically, you have to remember a number and a flavour each at the beginning, and then the cocktail masterclass (ours was a really friendly guy called Paul) guru shouts out numbers throughout the class. Then you have five seconds, if it’s your number, to shout the right flavour back. The prize is a shot of that flavour. (Thankfully, when my number was called I just about managed it. Phew! I recognised the number but couldn’t remember which flavour I was, and ended up chattering like a fool: “Yes, Me! Oh, Shot? Uh. Tart! Bakewell tart!” ).
After some brief introductions, Paul showed us a few demonstrations on the various cocktail-making techniques, like muddling and so on – my favourite was on the “shaking” method. I’m sure it has a technical term but it’s the shaking, smacking and pouring with a cocktail shaker thing that the experts make look easy and us mere mortals suddenly discover is a real skill. Which we lack. Okay… I lack! However after the demonstration, the fun really begins as each of us was invited behind the bar and given the opportunity to make our own cocktail using the aforementioned techniques!
Once everybody had their turn behind the bar, it was time for games! There’s a few different types of games, which I won’t go into too much detail about because I don’t want to spoil it for you! But they’re good ice breakers, although if you have issues with personal space perhaps have a quiet word with your cocktail masterclass driver because in quite a few of the games personal space is somewhat… missing. However, I was with five (very lovely) complete strangers and was okay. I’m a big lover of my personal space too! Seriously, stand too close to me in a queue and feel the burning gaze of disapproval I will silently give! But whilst a bit awkward, nothing was too daunting or uncomfortable. We were all pretty much in the same boat so just went with it – so it strikes me as a good idea for things like hen parties, where not everyone knows each other but wants to have fun.
Most cocktails are are made by 1 – 2 people, and sometimes they’ll face off against another team’. Interestingly, when teams are involved, each ‘version’ of the cocktail tastes different. Somehow, there was often one stronger than the other depending on who was making it and what their favourite tastes were, I think. For example, I’m not a massive fan of pineapple juice – so when a cocktail I was making involved pineapple juice I leaned towards an underpowering of the stuff, rather than an over-pour.
All the cocktails!
We made quite a few cocktails during the games, all to enjoy amongst our little group, including:
- Blueberi cheesecake
- Gin ’n’ juice
- Blank canvas
- Rum bongo
- It’s a rum ting
- Classic mojito
I can honestly say I tried a little of each and each one was really good! Some of my favourites were It’s a rum ting, gin ‘n’ juice and the blueberi cheesecake. But there wasn’t a single one I tried and pulled a face at. Though, thinking about it… perhaps that says more about me!
There was even a vodka train at the end – which a member from the winning team got to do (alas, not my team! But that meant I got to watch the magic falling vodka shots instead.)
After the class, we all got a cute little certificate (which I still have!) to take home. It’s a small thing but a very nice touch to make the evening feel that bit more special, and kind of makes you feel a bit proud.
On to the food
Our masterclass included some extras that took it from your standard cocktail class (arrive, make drinks, done) to another, more special, class. And where there’s food… Well, I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on it, wouldn’t I!
During the class, we were bought some snacks to devour in between (and during) games. Since they’d asked about dietary requirements in advance, even I was catered for! The snacks included several vegan options (to my tasty delight):
- Vegetable crisps
- Green olives
- Salted pretzels
- Avocado on toast
There was some kind of meat on some of the avocado, but it disappeared very quickly so I wasn’t quite sure what it was, to be honest. The rest of snacks (above) were happily vegan however, so I munched away to my heart’s content – especially on the olives and pretzels. They were very nice in between the sweetness of the cocktails we kept taste-testing! Since we were all bloggers, and largely into our food and cocktails, the avocado on toast disappeared quicker than you can say avocado. There’s something about eating olives and sipping on a cocktail that feels very special.
After the class, we had the ‘Party Nibbles’ option. I’d let them know in advance I was a vegan – which I recommend doing for any members of your class that are vegetarian, vegan or have any other dietry requirements. By letting them know in advance, they know bring out some alternatives.
From a non-vegan point of view, the party nibbles included some very nice looking:
- pizza (a pepperoni and a margherita)
- mini burgers
- garlic flatbreads
- popcorn shrimp
- chicken skewers
For the plant-based amongst us, there was:
- sweet potato fries
- salad skewers
- mini taco wrap.. with salad
So… from a vegan nibbles perspective it feels more like an afterthought, I admit. As much as I love salad, after a game involving drinking (thankfully I was being very adult and watching what I drank) I would of rather than something more substantial in my belly (like a flatbread or a pizza!). Since all the main ‘dishes’ contained dairy, meat or fish, I would have preferred the mini taco wrap to have had something like lentils or beans, or even some tofu to round it out. However, I am being harsh here – all dietary requirements are catered for without feeling like an issue at all, and the sweet potato fries were addictively good. I finished off basically a whole portion to myself, pretty much. I sort of, edged them very close to me and kept on edging away until they were all gone. I mean, for just ‘nibbles’ there really was an extraordinary amount of food! I’d been expecting just the the bar snacks to be honest – and given that with the class included it would of only been £30pp, I thought it was actually very good value. I was just jealous of their pizzas!
All in all, the class was really fun. I’d definitely go on another! Our cocktail guru Paul was lovely, fun and still very knowledgeable.
Price wise, the masterclass options start a £25pp and go up to £38pp, which includes a three course meal! If you’re booking a masterclass for 8 people or more, then you can even get one place free! Just use the promo code bloggerMC. Thank you to Taylah and Paul for inviting us and showing us such a good time.
I received the cocktail class free of charge, but all the opinions expressed here are completely my own.