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Cocktail courses and events roundup
Learn to mix your own with the help of our boozy education calendar.
Fri Jun 3 2011
The Bartender's Garden: Cocktails from the Greenmarket
Learn how to work seasonal ingredients into your beverages: Begin by covering the basic techniques of mixology, such as shaking, stirring and muddling. Next, get creative with Greenmarket-inspired liqueurs, infused spirits and garnishes, and try to come up with a few delicious drinks of your own design. Feel free to go all mad scientist on the ingredients; previous students have made Bloody Marys with tomato water and a fizz out of chamomile-infused Scotch and Knoll Krest Farm eggs. Astor Center, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7501, astorcenternyc.com). June 20, July 11 6:30--8:30pm; $65.
Introduction to Mixology
Kick off this entry-level class by sampling the essential spirits of a home bar with instructor Michael Cecconi, including gin ("the Brits' best gift to us," according to Cecconi), bourbon ("our gift back to them") and rum ("the cheapest way to experience the islands"). After a crash course in the boozes and the tools you need to get started, you'll be executing classics like martinis, mojitos, pia coladas and French 75s. The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W 23rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (800-522-4610, iceculinary.com). June 23 6:30--9:30pm; $85.
Applewood Cocktail Social
Break out of the classroom and put your palate to the test at Applewood's monthly Sunday social, featuring live music, guest bartenders and five cocktails (including a punch). Buy drink tickets at the door for $8 each (or six for $40), then trade each one for a libation created just for the evening—previous concoctions have included ramp-infused gin and watermelon old-fashioneds. Chefs David Shea and Sam Sherman also prepare three snack plates each night—sweet, meaty and vegetarian—available for a single ticket. 501 11th St at Seventh Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-1810, applewoodny.com). July 3, Aug 7 at 8pm.
Introduction to Cocktail Techniques Workshop
This intro class takes place at Amor y Amargo, a store and education space run by artisanal-bitters creator Bittermens and DeRossi Global (the group behind Cienfuegos, Death & Company and Mayahuel). Workshops are kept small (eight people max) and the cocktails are tailored to the class's abilities and interests. You'll get comfortable with tools like a jigger, a two-part shaker and a mixing spoon, while making three to five drinks. Take your tools home and practice your skills in your own kitchen. Amor y Amargo, 443 E 6th St between First Ave and Ave A (amoryamargo.com). July 5, Aug 2 7--9pm; $90.
Samuel Merritt—a certified brew sommelier and founder of the Civilization of Beer consultancy—will school you in beer trends, before teaching you to sling five or so sudsy cocktails, which might include a Guinness Caribbean Punch with condensed milk, or a Franco American made with Miller High Life and elderflower liqueur.The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W 23rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (800-522-4610, iceculinary.com). July 9 6:30--9:30pm; $75.
Blender and Boat Drinks: A Celebration of Summer Cocktails
If you've got a blender at home, sign up for this class and start stockpiling tiny umbrellas. Practice whizzing and whirring summer fruits and tropical ingredients into daiquiris, pia coladas, hurricanes and zombies. Once you've got a handle on those tiki standards, instructor Anthony Caporale will start you on a couple of more-challenging recipes, like a Machu Picchu made with pisco and aai, or a Black and Tan float with vanilla ice cream and Guinness. The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W 23rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (800-522-4610, iceculinary.com). July 14 6:30--9:30pm; $85.
Educators, take note: Studying is more fun when it commences with a welcome champagne cocktail. The opening libation in this class follows a recipe from 1862 and will prepare your palate for a tasting of champagne, cava, prosecco, moscato and sparkling cider. Once you've familiarized yourself with these basic building blocks, try your hand at mixing a Bellini, Moonwalk, Death in the Afternoon and an original creation—start thinking of clever names now. Astor Center, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7501, astorcenternyc.com). July 29 6:30--8:30pm; $65.
America Walks Into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns, Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops
Discover the historical significance of America's watering holes from Christine Sismondo, author of America Walks Into a Bar. She'll regale you with anecdotes of women's rights, gay history, Prohibition and even gangland—some set in New York nightspots like McSorley's, the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel and the Stonewall Inn. The cult of the celebrity bartender will also be explored, as well as modern speakeasies like Angel's Share and Milk and Honey. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St at Canal St (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org). July 13 noon--1pm; $16.