What’s hot and happening on the cocktail front…

Learn how to mix cocktails like a pro at Shaker & Company

Every Monday: Monday Wine Club

BYO bottle to go with the best steaks in town at Hawksmoor. Whether you keep it cheap and cheerful with a bottle of plonk or dig out that prized Barolo from your cellar, all you pay is £5 corkage (plus the price of your steaks, of course…)
Hawksmoor, 10 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ. T: 020 7397 8120; 11 Langley Street, WC2H 9JG. T: 020 7420 9390; 157 Commercial Street, E1 6BJ. T: 020 7426 4850. thehawksmoor.co.uk.

Throughout the month: Make your own gin at the Ginstitute

Start with a tour of London’s second smallest museum – a lovingly recreated Victorian Gin Palace, complete with historical artefacts, vintage cocktail books and cabinets filled with all manner of the juniper spirit.  Then it’s upstairs for a tutored tasting before getting down to the serious business of making your own gin. At the end of the session, graduates will receive a full-sized bottle of their personal gin together with the recipe which will also be kept on file for re-ordering when it tickles your fancy. £100 per person includes cocktail reception, class at The Ginstitute, 70cl bottle of Portobello Road No. 171 gin, 70cl bottle of your bespoke gin and a martini – now, that’s what we call a bargain.
To check availability, call 020 7229 8016. portobellostarbar.co.uk.

Throughout the month: Cocktail masterclasses

The team at this iconic bar will teach guide you through the history behind mixed drinks and cocktail culture and teach you how to make a selecttion of classics and house specials. Mon-Fri 11am-4pm (for groups of up to 25); Sat & Sun 11am-1pm (up to 10 guests). Tickets £70 per person.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. T: 020 7021 1600. harveynichols.com.

Throughout the month: Martini Masterclass

Learn the history behind Dukes’ Hotel legendary martini and other classic cocktails and pick up invaluable tips on how to make them at home. Then relax with your martini and carefully matched canapes in the bar before collecting your voucher entitling you to a martini to enjoy at a later date. Maximum six per class, £85 per person.
Dukes Hotel, St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY. T: 020 7491 4848. dukeshotel.com

Throughout the month: Back To Cocktail School

Perfect as a teambuilding exercise or simply for a group of like-minded friends, these bespoke classes take in a tutored tasting of The Four Cocktail Golden Ages with bar manager Andrea Montague. The group is then divided up and the nominated rep has to make a cocktail worthy of the £50 bar tab* awarded as the prize. Bookings for 10-25 people; £40-£50 per head.
*To be used at a later date.
Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY. T: 020 7739 4781.calloohcallaybar.com

Throughout the month: Vodka: The Biography

Two hours of sensory overload focusing in the history of vodka, calling on Back To The Future, Star Wars, Madonna and James Bond for inspiration. Includes six expressions matched with food, accompanied by imagery, sounds and scents. £95 per person, including drinks and food.
Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU. T: 020 7247 0015. whistlingshop.com.

Throughout the month: Themed Cocktail Clinics

Mini themed class expertly guiding you through the craft of mixing and shaking specially themed cocktails with the team at Shaker Bar School. Discounts available in the upstairs bar if you stay on to continue the party. 7.30pm-9pm. £70 per person. Five hour, in depth session £149 per person. Call for details.
Shaker & Company, 119 Hampstead Road, NW1 3EE. T: 0870 720 2877. shaker-uk.com.

1 March: Cocktail Masterclass

Good, basic one-and-a-half hour session teaching beginners how to shake and stir classic cocktails. Everyone who attends gets the opportunity to prepare their own creation. 7pm-8.30pm, £69 per person.
Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, SE1 9BU. T: 020 7940 3000. vinopolis.co.uk.

3, 10, 17, 24, 31 March: Classics in the Courtyard

Order your cocktails, wrap up in the provided blankets and munch on gourmet popcorn or an a la carte meal before sitting back and enjoying the quality films on offer at our favourite outdoor cinema. Highly recommended. 3 March: Singin’ In The Rain. 10 March: Pulp Fiction. 17 March: When Harry Met Sally24 March: Rebel Without A Cause31 March: Some Like It Hot. From 7.30pm. No entry fee but £1.50 cover charge.
Hush, 8 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EY. T: 020 7659 1500. hush.co.uk.

3, 11, 17, 25 March: Afternoon Tease

Add a little sauce to your weekend at this tea-time treat served with a generous helping of burlesque on the side. Ticket price includes show, finger sandwiches, homemade scones and patisserie, plus a glass of bubbly. Seating 2.30pm, show starts 3pm. Tickets £42.
Volupte, 9 Norwich Street, EC4A 1EJ. T: 020 7831 1622. volupte-lounge.com.

3, 17, 24, 31 March: Cocktail Masterclasses

Spend two hours tasting and picking up tips on how to make the perfect cocktails, then get behind the circular bar to make your own. Stani Visciano makes sure the classes are informative, friendly and fun. 3 March: Classic; 17 March: Indulge24 March: Botanicals. 31 March: Modern Cocktails. 10am-12pm. £60 per person including coffee and pastries, class, cocktails and certificate, plus one-course lunch in the adjoining restaurant.
Fifth Floor Bar, Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ. T: 020 7235 5250. harveynichols.com.

5, 19 March: Monday Night Film Club

These popular film nights in the City get your week off to a glamorous start. 5 March: Alfie. 19 March: Julie and Julia. Please call for times. £15 per person including cocktail on arrival, film and nibbles.
Prism, 147 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 40J. T: 020 7256 3888. harveynichols.com.

7, 13, 21, 27 March: Burlesque and Blues

Live music, magic, burlesque and fabulous cocktails. Bar opens from 4.30pm; dinner from 7pm. Showtime 8pm. £50 includes 3 courses and show.
Volupte, 9 Norwich Street, EC4A 1EJ. T: 020 7831 1622. volupte-lounge.com.

7 & 21 March: Sipsmith Distillery Tours

A welcome drink gets you in the mood before you tour the distillery and enjoy a tutored tasting of the spirits in the the portfolio. From 6.30pm-8pm, £12 per person.
27 Nasmyth Street, W6 0HA. T: 020 8741 2034. sipsmith.com.

10 March: Classic Rum Cocktails Masterclass

Everything you wanted to know about the sunshine spirit. The two-hour sessions include tastings, Q&As and recipes to take home. From 2pm-4pm. £40 per person including cocktails.
69 Colebrooke Row, N1 8AA. T: 07540 528593. 69colebrookerow.com.

13 March: Does it really matter which brand you use?

The bi-monthly Tuesday Tastings sessions at the Hide Bar tackles the question everyone wants to ask: how do different brands of spirit change your mixed drink? 7pm-9pm, £15 per person including drinks.
The Hide Bar, 39-45 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. T: 020 7403 6655. thehidebar.com.

24 March: Afternoon Tea Dance at Prism

Ladies, take inspiration from the catwalks and slip on your 1920s-style Flapper dress for the new Tea Dances taking place at Prism. If your waltz and foxtrot isn’t up to scratch, book up for a dance lesson or two with Jenni at Simply Dancing Partners. £39 for tea and dance, cocktails extra.
Prism, 147 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 40J. harveynichols.comPlease call Ayesha for time and further details: 020 7256 3873.

31 March: London Gin Cocktails Masterclass

Everything you wanted to know about London gin (and lots more besides) from the masters at 69 Colebrooke Row. Taste and mix cocktails, ask questions and gen up on all things gin. Early booking advised. The two-hour sessions are fun but informative and include recipes to take home. From 2pm-4pm. £40 per person including cocktails.
69 Colebrooke Row, N1 8AA. T: 07540 528593. 69colebrookerow.com.

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