Tricks of the trade

We’re not experts but we do love getting behind a bar. Preferably a fully stocked one. That’s why we’re rather partial to the odd masterclass. For amateur enthusiasts like us they’re the perfect opportunity to pick up lots of invaluable tips from the professionals before trying out our newfound techniques on our patient friends. Mostly we’ve learned bits and bobs about the classics – preparation, shaking, stirring, free pouring, that kind of thing – however, we upped the ante a few weeks ago and tried our hand at mixing it up molecular stylee at Shaker BarSchool…

Let’s get this straight from the jump, we’ll never, but ever be a threat to Tony Conigliaro or Tris, Thomas, Brian and Matt at Fluid Foundation. That’s not the point. This one-day Molecular Mixology Course has been put together for anyone who wants to have some fun in the cocktail department. That goes for borderline geeks like us through to fully fledged bartenders wanting to up the ante.

Bloody Mary with celery and tarragon air

And we can’t recommend it highly enough. The day started with an introduction to what mixology is all about, namely opening up your mind and devising cocktails in 3-D.  Confused? Think working with the base ingredients, breaking down the components and reintroducing them to the glass in an unusual and exciting way.

The ingredients in TCL Bitters

We had a go pimping up all kinds of drinks with our airs and foams (a Bloody Mary with celery and tarragon air followed by a margarita with a salt air worked extremely well), conjured up a recipe for bitters (very successful) and tried to create vermouth caviar to add to a classic martini (woefully unsuccessful). We also picked up some fantastic tips by way of demonstrations which included how to smoke citrus fruit in a bag, making amazing homemade sodas, the secret behind serving up an quick-fix gin fizz and how to create an express herbal infusion using a retro soda syphon.

The Molecular Mixology course is a fantastic way to stand out and be a bit different with your cocktail making and we got as much from the session as the bartenders who had signed up for it. Amit Sood, Head of Training and his team do a fantastic job of coaxing out the Heston Blumenthal in each participant, giving tips and offering guidance at every stage of the day. Try it, you’ll have even more respect for Tony C and co…

Shaker BarSchool, 75 East Road, N1 6AH. T: 020 7060 6877

1-day Molecular Mixology courses, running from 10.30am-6.30pm on 5 August; 12 September; 3 October; 24 October, 25 November 2011, priced £249.

See for booking information and details.



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