Just in time for the weekend, I received a surprise notification that I had won two places at Obika's Cocktail Masterclass at the Poland Street branch. I say 'surprise' because I never quite remember what I have entered, and it's always more exciting when it comes unexpectedly.
Accompanying me for the evening was Marcin, dance buddy, and now newly appointed drinking buddy.
When it was time, we were brought downstairs to our table in front of the bar. And of course the usual flurry of photo-snapping took place before we started as each of us winged out our smartphones and cameras to take photos whilst everything was still in order!
We were treated to some refreshing aperitivo to start with - Aperol Spritz, one of my favourite cocktails, a classic Italian summer aperitif.
Settled down in our seats, we introduced ourselves round the table and were briefed by the lovely Mario about the bar equipment laid out before us on the table.
Mario demonstrated how to make each cocktail behind the bar before we had a go at each of them in our pairs. We also tried and tasted each others concoctions to compare flavours.
| Negroni |
I do love negronis - it's hard to go wrong with it, for which we used one part Bombay Gin, one part Martini Rosso, and one part Campari, on the rocks.
| Basilico |
Not quite used to handling the cocktail shaker, we did end up making a huge sticky mess on our side of the table...
But we added more vodka to compensate, so I guess it worked out alright (!)
| Smoked Martini |
Marcin had a little play around behind the bar, and in his excitement, may have gone a bit heavy-handed on the smoked brine...
Not quite the type of drink that I would normally order, but I became more used to the taste after a few sips.
| Valentina |
My favourite cocktail of the evening - sweet, fruity, and who doesn't love strawberries?
Perfectly paired with a luscious spoonful of chocolate mousse.
After we had finished making all four cocktails, there was a little quiz, and the birthday guest of the evening who answered correctly had a whiz at concocting his own cocktail behind the bar.
A really fun interactive cocktail session and alcohol-fueled evening amongst fellow cocktail lovers.
And many thanks to the superb Mario, Rob, Jane, Olga and all the kitchen staff for all their hard work.
May our (alcoholic) paths cross again sometime in the future!
The Cheekster, signing out x