I love to recap events I’ve gone to. It’s fun to type them up and remember what I found fun/interesting and it is great to have this as somewhat of a journal I can look back on in a year or more from now.
On Thursday, June 23, 2016, we attended the Hazen Bottle Shop Mixology Workshop held at the Hazen Golf Club. For $20 you could buy an advance ticket to reserve your seat. There were about 45-50 spots available and I think they sold out or at least were pretty close to being sold out.
Mixology is making a bit of a comeback. A mixologist is something like a bartender chef who focuses on the art and craft of mixing drinks. I’m talking mixed drinks a step above a vodka/diet or typical bar drinks you might find. These drinks are elevated and reimagined using new techniques and methods.
I arrived a bit early with a girlfriend and we snagged some front row seats. When it comes to alcohol, I want to be first in line to learn whatever I can. Each place setting was perfectly set up with a menu, muddler, shaker, glasses, water and more. We were met at the door with a Krause Collins which featured gin, fresh raspberries, thyme, lemon, simple syrup, club soda and tonic. This was light and refreshing, served in a mason jar – the perfect start to the evening.
By the kitchen was a large table of snacks – always an excellent idea when drinking. We grabbed some snack mix for our table and tasted pretty much everything – beautifully presented.
D – one of the owners of Krause’s and Hazen Bottle welcomed us to the event and passed the presentation over to two young ladies who would teach us about mixing and shaking cocktails. The lead instructor informed us this would be a “shit show” in that we would probably be making a bit of a mess between all the mixing, the ingredients and well, of course, booze! The group did a great job of getting each drink ready for us with appropriate pour amounts of mixers and booze. Each table had a large container of ice to mix our drinks with.
Our instructor (above) was kind enough to answer all questions and explain why certain things paired together and when to add ice or not. Some of the basic takeaway to make a good cocktail include:
- Lots of ice
- Simple syrup
- Fresh (or dried) herbs
- Fresh fruit
- Juice or soda mixers
- Experiment and find what you like
- Don’t be afraid to add more mixer if your drink is too stiff/strong
- Simple techniques on how to stir or shake a drink
These items individually add to a drink and combined create a fabulous drink. We ended up making five more drinks in addition to the Krause Collins.
- Classic Cosmopolitan – served “up” in a martini glass this is a popular drink among women.
- Irish Manhattan – the Luxardo cherries served in this were most excellent (stir this drink with a bar spoon from 12 to 6 o’clock).
- Side note – Luxardo cherries are amazing. These are the original, Italian maraschino cherry except instead of neon red and full of sugar, these are dark (like almost black) and a bit nutty in taste. These are sold at Krause’s and I could have eaten half the jar. These will make you feel special, not like you are drinking a Shirley Temple. I think these would be good in a sour beer!
- Perfect Palomino – made with tequila and I actually liked it.
- Honey Peach Smash – we learned how to muddle on this drink. To get the taste out of the mint you gently “spank” it. For real – that was her advice!
- Strawberry Pineapple Mojito – made with rum, this was a winner, loved the fresh berries in this.
My favorites were the mojito (above) and the Krause Collins.
I am extremely grateful for Krause’s Market and Hazen Bottle on putting on these fun events. We are lucky in our small town to have such a diverse grocer and a liquor store willing to try fun things for our citizens. Great event, as usual!
As parting gifts we took home a 375mL of Absolut Vodka, a muddler, a shaker cup and other miscellaneous glassware. Guess I better start making some cocktails!