Do your eyes light up at the mention of Angostura? Rather a cocktail bar over a pub? Do you mock your straight-shootin’ wine and beer friends for their lack of elaboration? If you answered yes to one of these questions, you need to begin your journey into mixology with some of London’s best cocktail-making classes. If you answered yes to all: are you the human embodiment of a cocktail?
The city is spoilt for amazing cocktail bars – and even more amazingly, the wizards behind those bars are willing to share their knowledge with us. It’s time to get scientific at a molecular cocktail night; learn to create sophisticated concoctions in equally grand settings; and even perfect the art of bao bun making while brushing up on your liquid education.
Claim your rightful title as the King/Queen of Cocktails with this curated list of the best cocktail-making classes in London…
Sauce by Langham | Marylebone
Laboratories are exciting. Period. They are steeped in novelty, experimentation, secrecy, and esoteric information. Plus, they harbour the very human drama of crushing failure and miraculous success. Now imagine you could experience making three exquisite cocktails and at some point visit the magical potions laboratory of the award-winning Artesian bar at The Langham Hotel. Alcohol-fuelled intrigue awaits.
Details: 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA | More info & booking here
TT Liquor Masterclasses | Shoreditch
Just imagine how plastered you’d be if you drank five cocktails in two hours. That’s not officially the sell for TT Liquor’s cocktail making classes, but it’s a bit of information worth thinking about. The official sell is that you get your own fully-kitted-out bar with up to five people of your choice. You receive expert tuition on how to make five cocktails in a laidback, classroom-like setting. Then, if they weren’t enough, there’s also a rooftop and a moody basement bar to continue the frivolity.
Details: 17B Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | More info & booking here
69 Colebrooke Row | Islington
The power of a cocktail isn’t solely its alcohol content. It’s the story, the people behind the recipe, and the drama. At 69 Colebrooke Row, the smartly jacketed bartenders will deliver the basics on how to make classic, people-pleasing cocktails, but they’ll also give you the history and the mixology folklore. As always, it seems imbibing history is the only sensible way to do it.
Details: 69 Colebrooke Row, N1 8AA | More info & booking here
Rogues | Hackney
If you’re in Rogues and you’re asking your mate did Marcelo Gonella just shake his “old Boston tin” at me? Well, you’d be in bloody luck, because he’s one of the best old Boston tin shakers in town. In the zippy time of one hour, you will absorb Marcelo’s cocktail wisdom, recreate three of Rogues’ house cocktails, and nibble on some nibbles. You’ll be shaking your old Boston tin all over town in no time.
Details: 460 Hackney Road, E2 9EG | More info & booking here
Rules with Brian Silva | Covent Garden
This is for those who enjoy their cocktails in elegant, sophisticated settings, and an earnest conversation on the art of a good cocktail. Brian Silva is an expert cocktail-crafter who cares passionately about his Dry Martini (“always stirred, not shaken” – take that, Bond). The experience at Rules in Covent Garden offers two hours of cocktail tuition and a max. group size of four. Expect it to be intimate, informative and undeniably delicious.
Details: 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7LB | More info & booking here
Opium | Soho
This maze-like bar complex in Chinatown plays on the illegality, mystery and thrill of an Opium den by obfuscating three cocktail bars inside one. The cocktail-making classes here offer the melding of spirits, mixers, liqueurs, dry ice, shrubs and “unusual ingredients” (sounds like classic Opium). Wild cocktails in a den serving dim sum? Mmm, yes please.
Details: The Jade Door, 15 – 16 Gerrard Street, W1D 6JE | More info & booking here
Royal Cocktail Exchange | Fitzrovia
The drinks at The Royal Cocktail Exchange are jazzy and experimental, but their cocktail masterclasses are designed to be simple. There’s no funny, fluffy business here. You won’t have a mixology meltdown when you get back home and attempt your first cocktail because you don’t have any jiggers. These guys have put together 4 masterclasses (cocktail, whiskey, vodka/gin and rum) where you develop the key foundations to making the best-tasting drinks at home with minimal stress and time at home so you can put all your effort into just enjoying them. Isn’t that nice…
Details: 31 Windmill St, London W1T 2JN | More info & booking here
Like looking behind the scenes? Why not check out the best breweries in London…