Mixology Badge, Step 2
Step 2 of any badge is to learn from others. Taking an organized class is a great way to do this step if you can find one! Many distilleries offer cocktail making classes a couple times per year. You may also be able to find one on Airbnb Experiences.
At our cocktail making class, we made two fall-themed cocktails: an Apple Pie Martini and the Bourbon Bun. In between making the drinks there was plenty of time to enjoy them and chat with our classmates. The class was informative, though we would have liked some of the history of cocktails we learned in Step 1 thrown in!
The room was set up with a bunch of cocktail making stations, two people per table. The tables were full of supplies, shakers, jiggers, strainers, muddlers… and of course vodka, bourbon, chocolate bitters, several different simple syrups: cinnamon and vanilla. There was also apple cider and a half honey half water mixture for flavoring drinks.
We learned how to pour liquor and syrups from the bottle with a pour spout. The teacher told us to count to 6 (6 seconds) for a shot, or 1.5 ounces. Then just do the math from there – for a ½ ounce pour, count to 2. You can also use a jigger to measure liquid. The ones we used were 1 ounce on one end and 1.5 ounces on the other.
We also learned to shake and strain our cocktails. This really does make a difference! We weren’t straining like you do with tea to keep the leaves out – we were straining out one set of ice to pour them over another set of ice. This keeps your ice from melting too quickly because the liquid has already been cooled in the strainer. I would think this is just for visual effect but the drink really did taste icy cold and wasn’t watered down. I’m not sure I can drink a cocktail any other way now!
In the class we used only ½ a metal shaker and for the other half of the shaker we used a glass. This is a nice option – to shake a cocktail you really just need 2 glasses that fit inside one another. But if you’re interested in purchasing a shaker, we recommend this affordable one.
Our favorite drink we made was the Apple Pie Martini. I’ve never had a martini that I really liked but this one was delicious! The recipe was pretty simple. See below.
Apple Pie Martini
1.5 oz Apple Vodka
1.5 oz Apple Cider
.5 oz Honey Simple Syrup (half honey half water)
.5 oz Cinnamon Simple SyrupIn a shaker, add vodka, cider, and both simple syrups. Shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
We also made one called the Bourbon Bun. This one was fun because it involved muddling! We just dropped a few cloves into the bottom of a glass and mashed them with a wooden muddling stick. In this case, we used a second strainer after shaking our cocktail to make sure none of the chunks of clove were still in the cocktail.
We garnished this one with a cinnamon stick which is the perfect touch for a fall drink!
8 Cloves, Muddled
1.5 oz Bourbon
.5 oz Vanilla Simple Syrup
.5 oz Cinnamon Simple SyrupMuddle cloves. In shaker, pour in bourbon and both simple syrups. Add ice. Cover. Shake vigorously. Double strain over ice.
We were surprised at the end of our cocktail making class with goody bags to take home! Such a treat. Insider were the recipes, a wood muddler, and a metal jigger. I was inspired to immediately jump on Amazon and order a cocktail shaker, pour spouts, and a strainer to complete my collection. My cocktail making game just went WAY up!
For Step 3 of the Mixology Badge we hosted friends and family for a cocktail making party! We’ll share the drinks we made and how teaching our new mixology skills to others went in our next post.