When someone mentioned doing a cocktail masterclass, I literally jumped at the chance. Learning how to make all the cocktails I love to drink has always been on my bucket list, and on Saturday I finally made that dream a reality.
Opening just over a year ago, Emily’s bar is a little hideaway, down a road that you probably wouldn’t usually go down. But you definitely should take a trip there, as the venue itself is beautiful. As you walk through the entrance, with fairy lights around the windows, the bar is bright, white and has the floor to ceiling mirrors (which gives the effect of even bigger rooms!). The bar is located in the first room and is filled with everything from spirits to champagnes.
On the bar, the cocktail station is set up waiting for you, with shakers, crushed ice and even a bunch of roses for the garnish on the French martinis. Behind the bar, and our guide for the afternoon, is a very smiley bar manager Yani.
Greeted with a glass of prosecco, the host Vicky showed us to our table and explained how the afternoon was going to run. Ensuring that we were feeling relaxed and comfortable, we had popcorn and sweets waiting on the table, which all definitely got us in the mood for the afternoon ahead.
I was first up to make a cocktail, and I did feel a bit nervous, but Yani explained everything in great detail. From how much alcohol goes in, to how to shake the cocktail up. If I had any questions, he answered them very quickly and always with a smile.
The first cocktail I made was a cosmopolitan, and if I may be so bold and blow my own trumpet, it has never tasted so good. I finally know how bartenders get that orange flavour and smell and learnt that there’s a certain way to shake these cocktails.
Then we were allowed to sit down at our table while the others made their cocktails, and actually, drink the one we have just created. The reason I’ve never done a cocktail masterclass before is that I was worried that after making a cocktail I wouldn’t have time to drink it, and would be rushed to make the next one, so I don’t run overtime. But we were walked back to our seat and allowed time to drink and enjoy what we have created while watching the others make theirs too.
Next up, I chose to make a raspberry Collins, which had gin in it (my favourite!). I was instructed to muddle the mixture in the class with a muddler (for those who don’t know what it is, it looks like a little hammer), topped it with crushed ice and soda water. It was lovely, fruity and fresh!
My friend then made the classic Long Island Ice Tea. I never knew what actually went into one, so it was a learning curve for me when I found out that tequila is the main ingredient! You learn something new every day.
After the making part of the masterclass, we were allowed to sit down, relax and order another cocktail of whatever we wanted and watch the master at work, as Yani made the drinks for us.
I went for something off Emily’s brand new cocktail menu – the Amaretto Twist, made with Amaretto, gin, passion fruit and Campari. It was delicious (and looked it too!).
My friend went for a mocktail this time (as the tequila from the Long Island was taking effect!) and he went for a virgin porn star martini. I love the alcoholic version, so was eager to see what the non-alcoholic equivalent would taste like. I was pleasantly surprised. Served with a shot of lemonade rather than prosecco, the overall taste of the martini was smooth, sweet and to be honest, tasted exactly the same as one with alcohol in it!
As Yani and host Rachel said goodbye, I didn’t want to leave! We were lucky with a bit of sunshine in the afternoon, so we even got to sit outside on the newly extended pavement. Sitting there, with the glorious sun beaming and a cocktail in hand, I almost lost myself into believing I was on holiday abroad.
If you are looking for a different type of get together, celebration or even a staff social, a cocktail masterclass at Emily’s Bar should definitely be on the list of things to do. It’s a fun, welcoming environment, and you leave having learnt something new, drunk a couple of cocktails that you can say you made yourself and finally cross creating a cocktail in a bar off your bucket list.
Prices for the masterclasses at Emily’s Bar start from as little as £25 per person which includes anything you drink! Information and how to book can be found here.
Emily’s Bar, 2 Springfield St, Warrington WA1 1BB / www.emilys.bar
Photo credit – Gabi Gbl. Follow him here.