Twice a month, Tony Conigliaro’s boutique bar in Islington offers a chance to learn about the history of selected styles of drinks from a master bartender. Themes are decided about a month in advance. Up next is Japanese spirits and flavours, with Japanese bartending skills, on February 26 2011 from 2-4pm.
£40 per person. Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kick off a decadent Saturday morning at the Harvey Nichols bar with head barman Stani Visciano. Begin with a light, stomach-lining breakfast before being guided through the cocktails of the day. Participants are then let loose behind the bar to practise. The morning ends with a single-course lunch in the Fifth Floor restaurant next door. A few upcoming themes include caipirinhas and mojitos (Feb 26), and sparkling wine cocktails (Mar 26).
9.30am-noon, £60 per person.
Groups of four to ten people can arrange cocktail classes at this highly regarded Soho club. Over the course of 90 minutes in the basement bar, you’ll learn how to make (and drink) at least four styles of cocktail – including, if you want it, a bespoke cocktail to mark the occasion. £40 per person.
This Prohibition-themed bar has a drinks menu grounded in the ‘glorious past’, and is a fitting place to learn about the history of mixed drinks. Workshops (minimum of six people) run from 4 to 6pm. You get the run of a private bar, canapés and a progression through four eras of cocktails with eight drinks to try. Choose your own cocktail from the list to round off the afternoon.
£70 per person.
Specialising in American drinks and whiskeys, this Hackney bar holds fortnightly classes entitled ‘A whiskey (whisky) by any other name’, focusing entirely on techniques for mixing drinks with the malty firewater. Starting at 7.30pm, classes demonstrate a minimum of five drinks, which will include four to enjoy.
£35 per person.
Mixologist Zoran Peric hosts masterclasses on the first Monday evening of every month at the tiny bar inside the Royal Festival Hall’s flagship restaurant. Classes are free to attend – you only pay for what you drink. The next class, on March 7(6.30-9pm), will cover aperitifs.