Having only played around with cocktail making at home, I am by no means an expert so thought I should get behind the bar and learn how it should be done. What better place to learn from than with the cocktail making extraordinaires at The Plymouth Gin Refectory Bar?
I arrived at the bar armed with my white t-shirt so I’d fit in with the team behind the bar. In no time at all, I had an ice scoop in my hand and was making my first cocktail. We started with a Classic Martini. Here they opt for stirring too; maybe James Bond had it all wrong.
Next we moved on to the ever popular Espresso Martini. Here I learnt a valuable lesson – when the recipe says shake, you must really shake. Not enough shake = not enough froth in this case. Second time round we had a beautiful frothy Espresso Martini with the darkness of the Espresso against the lightness of the froth. It is clear to see why this is one of the top vodka cocktails – it looks stunning, tastes incredible and has a real kick. Not as difficult to make as I had thought either.
The cocktail making continued. I learnt to pour the required measures a lot quicker, scoop the ice and get most of it in the glass, shake, stir, muddle, spritz, twirl. We made a Bloody Mary, Raspberry Bellini, Black Russian, Tom Collins and many more. Creating beautiful, delicious drinks is a lot of fun. The best bit, after admiring the finished cocktail, is watching the customer drink it and enjoy it. In my case this was our photographer Emma. She was in charge of tasting as well as taking the photos. She went home with a very big smile on her face and rosy cheeks.
What fascinated me most was all the preparation that goes into making a great cocktail. There’s a fridge full of a wide selection of garnishes from samphire to raspberries and so many bottles of freshly squeezed juices and sugar syrups. These fresh juices and syrups are what make the cocktails taste so incredible. Having a chilled glass is a must too with many cocktails and I was delighted to see they had a glass chilling draw.
Thanks to Craig, I now have the basics of cocktail making mastered and have the perfect serves for Cove Vodka for our tasting events. You can view all of the cocktail recipes on our How to Enjoy page. For details of tasting events visit our stockists page.