‘What’s your signature drink?’
If signature somethings are meant to do anything, they’re to impress. So, I’ve had to say goodbye to the days of just throwing fruit, red wine and liquor into a jug and calling it Sangria. Also, serving whisky straight has led to some level of disappointment with the effort I’ve (not) put in. (Featured image: Louis Hansel)
So if you’re anything like me, why not take a cocktail masterclass and make sure that hands down your signature drink knocks the socks off everyone you’re with.
1. Pony Dining, The Rocks
Pony is famed for their wood-fired grill, and is often seen as the pioneers in Sydney for this cooking technique. However, the skills behind the bar are just as top-notch as the ability showcased in the kitchen, with countless of their cocktail creations standing out amongst the other cocktail creations in the city.
Their signature cocktail list is updated seasonally, and is made sure to include a little something for everybody’s taste. And now, you can learn how to make some of Pony’s signature cocktails as well. Get them right and they will certainly impress.
$75pp, bookings are essential.
To enquire, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Pony Dining at corner of Argyle Street and Kendall Lane
2. Tippled, Multiple Locations
With his experience mixing drinks beginning at Sydney’s The Basement before taking him to Soho House London, Chris Thomas is an alchemist making magic happen. Now that he’s back, Chris’s focus is on native plants because his philosophy is to use what is around you, when it is around you. And there’s little better than highlighting the Australian bent to your signature drink when your mates start asking about the ingredients.
Tippled’s courses are on average two hours in length and are available as both private or public events, which is great if you can’t round up a large group of friends.
For a truly special experience, start mixing cocktails on the rooftop garden at Yerrabingin, where Australia’s bush tucker, botanicals, and medicinal plants are being grown and cared for.
$95 per person
Find Tippled at multiple locations.
3. Manly Spirits Co., Brookvale
Dabble in the art of mixology ‘seven miles from Sydney (and) a thousand miles from care’ at Manly Spirits Co.
Founded in 2017, the distillery produces gin, vodka, whisky and liqueurs with local marine botanicals to give their drinks a distinctly Australian flair. Since opening, their name and knowledge have grown considerably and for good reason too.
Now, they’re offering Cocktail Masterclasses to help you shake, stir and strain your way to the top of your friendship group with three signature cocktails inspired by the native botanicals used in their spirits.
And if you want to taste the spirits on their own, you can. Simply add the tasting set to the masterclass and nibbles package (mixed cheese, fruits, crackers and cured meats) to really let the fun times roll.
$105 Masterclass + Nibbles; $185 Masterclass + Nibbles + Tasting
Find Manly Spirits Co., at 4a/9-13 Winbourne Road
4. The Roosevelt, Potts Point
Take a step back in time and step into The Roosevelt, the bar where American soldiers used to take their Australian girlfriends, where you’re now able to take part in any one of four cocktail masterclasses treating you to 90 minutes of knowledge and three cocktails made by you.
Choose from Light, Fresh and Fruity (think Aperol Spritz and Sours), Big and Boozy (Old Fashioned and Dark and Stormy), Fun for Everyone (a combination of the previous two), or the Martini Masterclass because you are a man or woman of class.
Communal sessions run every Saturday but private classes can be reserved for groups of six or more.
$75 Cocktail Masterclass; $95 with matching canapés
Find The Roosevelt at Ground Floor/32 Orwell Street
5. Archie Rose Distilling Co., Rosebery
Archie Rose Distilling Co. has been doing things right for some time now and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. In the past, they have teamed up with the likes of The Opera House to produce two gins as well as with their Rosebery neighbours to produce the Neapolitana ice cream in spirit form.
What does all this mean? This Cocktail Masterclass is a damn very good one (and one of the best worldwide). And if you’ve been to their bar before and tasted their drinks, you’ll know why.
For 1.5 to 2 hours, get swept up by an entertaining and insightful history into the cocktail while you learn how to make three timeless classics.
Included in the masterclass are your three cocktails to enjoy as well as three syrups to take home. But if you want to get straight into mixing once you’re out of there, be sure to include the tasting set which will set you up with Archie Rose’s Signature Dry Gin, Original Vodka and White Rye.
$99 Masterclass only; $179 Masterclass + Tasting Set
Find Archie Rose Distilling Co., at 85 Dunning Avenue