Maybe a misleading title.


I taught my first solo cocktail basics class on April 8th at Rock Lobster. Seeing as how being an actual teacher would involve someone else’s curriculum, this seems like a great way for me to share what I have learned about making cocktails with some other industry professionals without having to cater to what some aging bottle flipping, blue drink loving dork says is bartending.


I had this class coincide with the changing of the cocktail menu at Rock Lobster so that I could train my staff as well as open it up to the public so that everyone benefits. The drink you see above is what I’m calling The Improuved Whisky Cocktail. It is pretty close to the cocktail of the same-ish name in Jerry Thomas’ book, but made with Crown Royal and less sugar syrup, because of Crown’s sweetness.


I went through why drinks are made certain ways and where they came from, passed some books around and then started making some drinks from the new list.


Other than the above mentioned Improuved Whisky Cocktail (spelled like that on purpose) I went through the Julia Sullivan, which is a cilantro infused gin and tonic, the Spicy Papa, which is a take on a daiquiri but using Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and All Gone, Quinn!, which is an Algonquin but using Bulleit Bourbon in place of rye.


Once we were finished with the Rock Lobster list, I asked all in attendance if there was a drink that they had gotten ordered from them but weren’t sure about. So we went through a Bourbon Sour, a Sazerac, a Manhatten, an Old Fashioned and a Margarita in the hopes that there will be some consistency, not only behind the bar at RL but at other places in the city.


Everyone seemed to take something away from it and hopefully I got some people excited about drinks that are more interesting than anything with coke in it. I will more than likely being doing either another class like this, or an expansion on this one in the next month or two, so if you are interested, please get in touch.

Phtos by the always lovely Jessica Blaine Smith