The Connaught luxury cocktails masterclass

THE ART OF MIXOLOGY – THE SERIES mastering the perfect cocktails at the Connaught Bar
4 perfect luxury cocktails events will be taking place in London during September, October and November. The first one is being held on Saturday 5th September.

The Connaught Hotel Mayfair - Champagne Bar
The Connaught Hotel Mayfair – Champagne Bar

There will be those who wish to attend because you are avid cocktail aficionados and others because they like the taste! and think it sounds like a fantastic idea to gather friends. Both are excellent reasons but to me I thought it was a lovely occasion to take someone special, to do a little bonding or as a thank you. This could be father and son, mother and daughter or maybe you are dating. Either way it’s a beautiful occasion where not only will you be in refined surroundings but you get to learn and take part as well as enjoy the fruits of your labour, so to speak.

Gentlemans Butler shaking cocktails at the world famous Connaught Bar in Mayfair, London
Gentlemans Butler shaking cocktails at the world famous Connaught Bar in Mayfair, London

You will be learning from the best as award-winning Director of Mixology Agostino Perrone introduces a series of mixology masterclasses at the world-renowned Connaught Bar. Not only was he recently voted GQ Magazines’s Best Bar, and previously named as the World’s Best Hotel Bar by Tales of the Cocktails Award, the Connaught Bar being a must-visit destination for any serious cocktail connoisseur, but to me I think you will enjoy the company of a charming Italian who will make you feel very welcome.

The Connaught - Agostino Perrone and Michael Grenville, Editor-in-Chief of Gentlemans Butler
The Connaught – Agostino Perrone and Michael Grenville, Editor-in-Chief of Gentlemans Butler

The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
+44 (0)20 7499 7070
www.the-connaught.co.uk

Connaught Bar opened in 2008 after a refurbishment creating an iconic Mayfair cocktail bar known amongst other things for their two classic signature cocktails: The Connaught Martini and The Bloody Mary.

The Connaught Bar .... making of the iconic Bloody Mary
The Connaught Bar …. making of the iconic Bloody Mary

For those who have always wanted to know how to effortlessly stir and shake their way to the perfect blend, Agostino, along with his highly trained team, will share his 18 years’ of knowledge and unique experience that have won him several national and international accolades worldwide, including the prestigious World’s Best Bartender Award at Tales of the Cocktails.

Connaught - Welcome Drink from Georgio..Orange Shrub, Champagne...
Connaught – Welcome Drink from Georgio..Orange Shrub, Champagne…

During the masterclasses, guests will be welcomed with a glass of champagne and canapés from the Connaught’s Executive Chef, before being taken behind the bar with the experts, where they will learn how to master the innovative bar techniques that make the Connaught bar so special, from making your own bitters and syrups to the art of ice carving to how to shake the perfect martini.

The Connaught Bar tasty nibbles
The Connaught Bar tasty nibbles

Four classes have been carefully tailored to explore the strengths and complexities of the bar’s four key cocktail themes – from Champagne and martinis to cognacs and whiskey, all you have to do is pick your poison…
Last Tuesday Gentlemans Butler was part of a select group of 4 journalists trying this out for ourselves, learning about the history and importance of ice…… when in 1806 The US commercialised ice… about how ice was originally transported by ship……the history of the cocktail and cocktail bars in London through to standing behind the iconic bar ourselves and pretending we were in some 1940’s Graham Green story.

Gentlemans Butler tasting his own Shaken Vodka from The Connaught Bar in Mayfair
Gentlemans Butler tasting his own Shaken Vodka from The Connaught Bar in Mayfair

We started making the Connaught Martini made with a selection of 8 bitters Grapefruit, Coriander Seeds, Ginger, Green Cardamom, Lavender, Liquorice, Vanilla, Ginseng and Bergamot – Served in the Martini glass, bespoke to The Connaught Bar…..Vermouth, Bitters, Olive or lemon, learning how to pour with control i.e. holding the bottle from the bottom and the right way to twist your lemon..
Afterwards I had a go at making a Shaken Vodka with Ginger essence

Gentlemans Butler twisting lemon at the world
Gentlemans Butler twisting lemon at the world

Then they showed us The Connaught Bloody Mary: Tomato juice, using the throwing technique from Cuba, juicing the celery creating an aroma like a froth and finishing with Nutmeg on top
This was the afternoon before my birthday and what a lovely appetiser it was too. I learned, I took part, I relaxed, conversed and enjoyed the company of liked minded souls in a delightful setting and I think these are exactly the qualities that I hope you will get to enjoy too.

The Connaught Bar - Number 10 Cocktail Cabinet, one for The Prime Minister David Cameron
The Connaught Bar – Number 10 Cocktail Cabinet, one for The Prime Minister David Cameron

Below are listed the four individual events:

THE ART OF MIXOLOGY – MASTERS OF CHAMPAGNE Saturday 5th September While purists may argue that it is not to be mixed, when done correctly, Champagne can create some of the most decadent of cocktails, and here, guests will learn the art of mixing classic versions, from a French 75 to the perfect Bellini, while sampling perfectly paired canapés – all you need to know to throw the perfect summer soirée.

Ice being cut at The Connaught Bar in London's Mayfair
Ice being cut at The Connaught Bar in London’s Mayfair

THE ART OF MIXOLOGY – MASTERS OF COGNAC Saturday 19th September Traditionally, a fine cognac is enjoyed alone, lest anything threaten this finest of distilled spirits. However, during this class, guests will learn how to break the rules and mix a cocktail that will enhance the intense aromas and flavours of a fine excellent cognac base. From the famous Sidecar to Agostino’s infamous Sazerac, this is not a class for the faint of heart, and guests will learn how to understand the flavours within each cocktail, and how to personalise them to taste.

The Connaught Bar - Spherical ice making machine which uses heat and gravity to make a perfect ice sphere
The Connaught Bar – Spherical ice making machine which uses heat and gravity to make a perfect ice sphere

THE ART OF MIXOLOGY – MASTERS OF VODKA & GIN Saturday 31st October ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well made.’ – James Bond, Casino Royale.
As Bond returns to the big screen, 007’s classic Martini will once again take centre stage in the cocktail world and there is no one better to explain how to make the perfect shaken-not-stirred version than Agostino Perrone. With a dedicated martini trolley, The Connaught Bar has long had a reputation among aficionados as one of London’s top destinations for the perfect martini. Donning the bar’s famous white gloves and exploring each of the bespoke bitters, guests will learn how to create this iconic cocktail in a variety of flavours, from coriander to cardamom, and of course, a straight Vesper, à la Bond himself.

The Connaught Bar ....bespoke and elegant glassware
The Connaught Bar ….bespoke and elegant glassware

THE ART OF MIXOLOGY – MASTERS OF WHISKY Saturday 28th November Whisky is a drink that can take a lifetime to master: what to add and when to save or savour is knowledge that only comes with time. However, this class will give guests a serious boost in their whisky skills as Director of Mixology Agostino Perrone takes them on a sensory journey from Scotland and Ireland, to Kentucky and Japan. Guests will learn how whisky is blended, and how to mix elegant cocktails to complement the spirit’s intense flavours, including Agostino’s famous 1815 Whisky Sour.

Outside The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, London
Outside The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, London

Classes will take place at the Connaught Bar, from 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Each class is priced at £150 per person and groups are limited to 8 people.

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