Back to school: cocktail edition

Last weekend, we decided to take a cocktail class.  We took a ride into Boston and it turned into a nice evening out.  The class was at the Kitchen at the Boston Public Market, and was hosted by a mixologist from the Saxton’s River Distillery

Class started with us all finding our stations.  There were about four or five tables, which we shared with some ladies who were attending the class as part of a bachelorette party.  We ended up with the calmest ladies from that group, which made for pleasant company.  Our stations were set up with all the tools and ingredients we needed to make the three cocktails in the evening’s lesson.

But first, we had to taste the spirits we would be using, which were all made by Saxton’s River Distillery, whose tag line is, “From our river to your liver.”  First we tasted their Sapling Maple Rye, which gave me the warm, cozy feeling of a lazy Sunday pancake breakfast.  Next was the Perc Coffee Liqeur, which is one of the better coffee liqueurs I’ve tasted.  The coffee smell was like the perfect morning cup, and the taste was not too sweet.  Last was the Snowdrop Dry Gin, which was quite aromatic and had just the right amount of burn.  Being a gin drinker, I loved it, but it was pretty clear during the tasting who was a was not a gin drinker.  Personally, I feel that if you can’t at least appreciate the tast of gin, you’re not a real drinker, but that’s just my opinion.

After our tasting, we made our three recipes, with time to taste in between.  The first recipe was: 

Boiling Night

• Add 2 oz Sapling Maple Rye to iced shaker glass.

• Add ½ Dark Rum .

• Add ½ Fernet Branca.

• ¾ oz apple cider vinegar.

• SHAKE!!!

• Strain into iced glass.

• Top with ginger beer.

• Garnish with ginger candy and apple slice.

This recipe felt as comforting as a mulled cider, except cold.  
Next we used the gin to make: 

Jack’s Elders: Featuring Jack Rudy Tonic

• Muddle grapefruit in mixing glass. Add ice.

• Add 2 oz of Snowdrop American Dry Gin.

• 1 oz of Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic syrup.

• Add ½ oz of Aperol liqueur.

• 3 dashes of house made bitters.

• SHAKE!!!

• Strain into iced glass.

• Garnish with grapefruit slice.

This was the perfect drink for brunch with friends, and I love that they included Jack Rudy tonic here – I’m a big fan of their products.
Our last drink used the Perc Coffee Liquer.

Mocha Joe-tini

• Chill glass.

• Add 1 oz of vanilla vodka to iced mixing glass.

• Add 1 oz of Perc Coffee Liqueur.

• Add 1 oz of Irish cream liqueur.

• Add 4 dashes of Aztec Chocolate bitters

• SHAKE!!!

• Remove chilling ice and drizzle choc sauce to glass.

• Strain cocktail into drizzled glass.

• Garnish with coffee beans.

This was a perfect dessert.  It tasted like my favorite expresso martini.  The chocolate syrup was pretty, but I didn’t really feel like I needed it.

Here’s our finished products:


The class was definitely a fun experience, although it was a little different from what I expected – I had hoped we would learn more techniques and ideas for how to develop our own recipes.  Still, I left knowing how to make three tasty drinks, and with some purchases of their spirits (bought after class in the market), which I am sure we will enjoy!