Life has a way of taking over sometimes, doesn’t it? Where’s the Pause button when you need it? It feels like forever since I was able to write a blog post. However, I’m back now and excited to share my stories with you again. 🙂
Every once in a while it’s great to get some friends together and try something a little bit different. I had a special birthday this year, and that seemed to me like a perfect time to do this! Day 23 of #100DaysNoTV was an excuse to get dressed up, meet with a group of girlfriends and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon at a Cocktail Masterclass.
In my little city of Ely we’re fortunate to have a few bars and pubs that offer some seriously good cocktails. I chose Ely’s only boutique hotel, Poets House, as the venue for our masterclass as I knew their bar would be a little more private – plus, it’s beautiful!
As I mentioned, it was a Sunday afternoon and it felt a little bit naughty putting on a frock, make-up and heels. But, sometimes naughty is good! A few of us met for Prosecco at mine beforehand, and as it’s a 10-minute stroll to the Poets House, I swapped my heels for Converse for the walk!
Fashionably late as always, a few girls were there when I arrived. You know you have a good bunch of friends when they’re happily nattering away with people they met only a few minutes ago. Having met most of them at different points in my life, many of them hadn’t crossed paths until that day. The perfect mix of cousins, school friends, workmates, neighbours, mummy friends & bloggers got on so well. ♥
At this point I want to emphasise my admiration for the Poets House Bar Manager, Vio, and Mixologist, Daniel. The normal masterclass format is for the group to choose two cocktails, they’re shown how these cocktails are made and they each get a chance to make them.
However, due to a little mix up behind the scenes, we were sent the full cocktail menu in advance and asked to choose two cocktails each . . . There were 23 of us, and not many of us chose the same. So, if you do the maths, Vio & Daniel had their work cut out! Still, they were determined to rise to the challenge and they were fantastic. Hats off to them. 🙂
After our (very) welcome glass of Champagne, Vio talked through how our afternoon would play out, then it was time to start.
Between Vio & Daniel, they took us in groups to the bar, demonstrated the cocktail magic while talking passionately about the flavours and techniques of cocktail making. They certainly know their stuff, and I had never before appreciated the science behind it all. The guys then invited us to take our place behind the bar to mix our chosen cocktail!
I have to admit I was so nervous when first invited behind the bar. I was sure something expensive was going to end up on the floor and my hands were genuinely shaking! But, it was such a fun experience, and I’m so glad I didn’t shy away from getting stuck in.
So, what did we make? As there were many, I won’t list them all! These were the most popular: Cham 69, Margarita, Kir Royal, Bora Bora Brew and Grapefruit Ginspiration!
Each cocktail looked so elegant and those that I tasted were mm mmm! The afternoon was full of giggles and happy conversation, and what should have been a three-hour masterclass ended up being nearly five by the time the last of us left! Vio & Daniel were in no hurry, which we appreciated no end.
Everyone went home with a little gift that I hope will help bring back fond memories of the afternoon. Big shout out to the lovely Beth, from Emily Rose Everyday. I found her little wine glass charms on Etsy and she did a brilliant job for me, despite the fact I didn’t confirm all the names until the last minute! 🙂
Cocktail masterclasses seem to be pretty popular at the moment, so if you want to give it a go there’s bound to a venue close to you. If you are in Cambridgeshire, I would highly recommend the Poets House.
Ely train station is within walking distance – the return walk is downhill 😉 – and there are regular trains from Cambridge, Norwich, Peterborough and further afield.
Have you been to a similar event? Let me know about your favourite cocktail experience.
Bye for now!