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Make like a bartender with the five best cocktail classes at NYC bars

Written by
Dan Q Dao

Fancy yourself a cocktail enthusiast? Looking to take your Brian Flanagan-style tumbler shaking to the next level? You're in luck—some of NYC's best bars now offer handy cocktail-making classes that are completely open to the public. Whether you're a total rookie or a home-bartending pro, you'll be able to hone your shaking-and-stirring skills using our guide to boozy workshops led by some of New York's top bartenders. For bartending classes in New York, click here.

LeyendaOn May 7, the team behind this pan-Latin critical darling will launch the first of their new home-bartending class series, taught by co-owners Julie Reiner, Ivy Mix and Tom Macy. Head to Cobble Hill for one of four professional-level courses (the following three take place in June, August and September), such as the introductory Home Bar Basics: Essential Bottles, Tools, Techniques and Recipes and a summer-ready Summer Cocktails to Beat the Heat! featuring refreshing fair-weather sips. Take note: each session is limited to just 12 students, so check out the full schedule ahead of time and snag your tickets here$95 

MaceFor those looking to save a buck while still getting a quality drink education, look no further than Nico de Soto's pocket-sized East Village watering hole. Joining forces with barware company Cocktail Kingdom, Mace offers free (yes, free) weekly bartending classes every Tuesday from 7 to 8pm dedicated to a specific drink. Upcoming sessions include the margarita on May 3, the mint julep on May 10 and an array of gin cocktails (Southside, Bee's Knees) on May 17. Classes are first-come, first-seated so get there early to guarantee your spot. Free 

Genuine LiquorettePhotograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Genuine LiquoretteAt his bodega-inspired bar, master mixologist Eben Freeman offers a comprehensive crash course to bartending, including how to set up and take care of a mixing station, which essential bar tools to have and fool-proof techniques for stirring and shaking. Afterwards, guests have their photos taken and hung on the wall to signify they've mastered the class and are welcome to make their own drinks anytime they visit the bar. Tickets are available here$75

ApothékeThis Chinatown apothecary-themed bar offers four different classes through its Apothéke Academy, led by head mixologist Chris Marshall. Get schooled on drink-making using seasonal fruits and veggies in a Market Fresh course, or zero in on tequila and mezcal libations in the Agave masterclass. Classes are held every other Saturday from 2 to 4pm, and students learn three or four different cocktails each session. Tickets are available on Eventbrite$150

Proof + Gauge: Interested in craft distilling? Love gin? At Astoria Distilling Co.'s tasting-room outpost, founder-distiller Chris Murillo offers a private, hands-on class featuring his award-winning Queens Courage gin. Students dive head first into drink making (and drinking) with three specialty cocktails, before participating in a discussion about the past, present and future of craft distilling and enjoying gratis small bites. Classes are limited to 4 people to ensure a personal touch, and tickets can be purchased here$50 

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