Have you ever though about what goes on in our bartender’s head when they create a drink? Or wondered how liquors were created? Mixes from Mars has cocktail workshops for the inquisitive and the aspiring home bartenders. The workshop program was devised by Jo and Louis, bar managers for both Hopscotch and Mars Bar respectively. They decided it was a great idea after receiving many requests to teach their customers bartending. One of the workshops was held for a bachelorette party for one of our regulars. Let’s just say our memories that day were a bit hazy.
The one issue they faced when planning a workshop was, “What do we teach?”. An experienced bartender takes years to learn the trade. It could range from flavor pairing to ice picking. Not to mention the basics of knowing your liquor and shaking or stirring techniques. After some trials, they settled on teaching the essentials.
Types of Liquors
Perhaps the most important detail of them all. It is required to know at least the base spirit of the cocktails. They are Vodka, Rum, Gin, Tequila, Brandy, Bourbon and Whisky. Each of them gives the drink a different taste and character. Our bartenders will teach the students about the production methods for each of the liquor.
During operations, we use different variations of tools for different drinks. The basic equipments like the shaker tins, bar spoons, strainers are introduced. The students are then taught how and why we use the different equipments. Depending on the cocktails that the students will be preparing that day, they might be introduced to other equipments we use.
Shaking and Stirring
Both methods seek to chill the drink but they introduce different depths to it. Shaking aerates the drink while adding more dilution, whereas stirring mildly dilutes hence it is used often for stronger drinks. This is taught to the students including shaking with egg white, if their cocktails require so.
Components of a Cocktail
Possibly one of the more interesting parts of the workshop. The students are given a glance in the minds of our bartenders when they create a cocktail. How do you make it balanced? How do you discern a customer’s palate and create a cocktail for them? They are taught about the sweet and sours that help to balance the cocktail. Sweet could also mean sweetened liqueurs or homemade syrups that we so often use for our events. For the sours, we like to emphasize fresh citrus as the taste is very different from the sweetened ones we find in supermarkets. Who knows, maybe one of the ingredients for the day will be fresh yuzu juice imported from Japan. Additionally students will get to play with bitters, which modifies and adds complexity to a cocktail.
After the lesson comes the practical part, where the students get to craft their cocktails, under the supervision of our bartenders. What’s left afterwards are the tasting of each other drinks and the networking. At the end of the cocktail workshop, students go back with more than just the knowledge to be their own home bartender. They will also go back after fostering stronger bonds with their colleagues or maybe meet a new friend or two at an open workshop. Cocktail workshops currently are popular among our corporate clients as it presents a networking opportunities not only with people in their companies but also with prospective partners. For more information regarding our cocktail workshop, do drop us an enquiry with our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. As always, have a good weekend ahead, cheers!