Ah, cocktails. Like beer, only more posh and fruity. Most of us like a crafty cocktail but mixing a tasty mojito or margarita is an art – it’s not just a case of chucking a shot of Jägermeister in a glass of Red Bull. That’s not a cocktail!
I’ve found plenty of UK cocktail making and tasting experiences, which make an ideal gift for the drink-lover in your life.
Alasdair’s recommended cocktail gifts
I recommend this cocktail class as a great UK gift. It’s a nice price and it’s in a couple of locations too, not just London. Why look any further?
What’s the difference between cocktail experiences?
Cocktail making classes
Do you remember the film Cocktail in the 80s? Thought not, I’m far too young too 😉 But from what I’ve heard, this was the first time the role of a cocktail mixer got really famous. There was flipping glasses, chugging shots and Tom Cruise being all flamboyant. Fast forward to today, and cocktails are now the drink of choice, with experienced cocktail mixologists treating their job as a real science (but still with a bit of showmanship too).
These classes will teach you just a bit of the art of mixing these delicious alcoholic drinks. This can include everything from chopping and squeezing fruit, to measuring and shaking the ingredients. It’s not just a shopping list or ingredients list, it’s an education into how the ingredients work together, and how best to combine them like the best cocktail mixologists in the business. You’ll get the chance to sample everything you make, but don’t get too carried away and start glugging them down before you’ve made a note of the recipes!
First thing’s first – cocktails aren’t like wine. There’s only so much you can learn from the taste of a cocktail. There’s certainly a skill around creating one, as you’ll find out on these special occasions, but you’ll want to sample a cocktail in a fun environment, rather than a sterile tasting-lab or something.
Cocktail tasting gifts are really just an excuse to scoff cocktails, but who needs too many excuses for that. Bring it on!
These experiences are usually based on bar hopping around some top cocktail lounges. The locations are almost exclusively based in London which is a shame if you’re a long way away, but unfortunately London is the home of the UK’s favourite cocktail bars.
Here’s a rundown of all the cocktail tasting gifts available from the big providers today.
Everything else with cocktails.
Do you know what goes well with cocktails? Chocolate, that’s what. And cupcakes. And any food really. So if you love cocktails, you don’t need to limit yourself. Take a look at these experiences that are based around the lovely blended drinks, but have a bit of something else thrown in too.
If these have inspired you to find out more about other foody experiences, instead of cocktail classes, you can find them here.
Here’s a brilliant twist on a recipe for a Cosmopolitan that I learnt during one of these masterclasses I attended back in 2013. I’m not sure I got the hang of twizzling the glasses and my arms got tired too quickly with the vigorous shaking, but it was worth it for this deliciousness
Ingredients for one Cosmopolitan.
- Glug of vodka
- Dash of triple sec
- Big spoon of cranberry juice
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Orange peel twist
- Loads of ice
How to make your Cosmo.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with all the ingredients
- Shake for 30 seconds until nice and cold
- Strain into a Martini glass, leaving the ice in the shaker.
- Garnish with orange peel twist
- Repeat previous steps until you pass out.