Nights out tend to be the same with no one night standing out from the rest. So after being included in an eventful night out that I enjoyed immensely, I thought it was worth sharing. Recently my sister turned 18 and as it’s a big birthday, we decided to do something slightly different. I’d heard about cocktail making classes before where hen do’s, birthday parties and girls nights out spend their time learning how to make their favourite cocktail as an alternative form of pre-drinking in preparation for a night out. But never before had I experienced one of these classes myself, so I went into the event with little expectations.
With a group of 9, it can be difficult to organise something that everyone will enjoy. As our groups age varied from 18-50+, I was unsure if this was the right activity or even if everyone would enjoy themselves. Especially seeing as though two of the women weren’t big drinkers and therefore were not particular fans of cocktails to begin with. Luckily enough, I was wrong.
If you know the Manchester area, then you know that there are countless bars and clubs located throughout the city. I’m a local and everyday I’m hearing about different bars I wasn’t even aware of. With this being said, there are multiple places where a cocktail making event is held. Places such as; Revolution de Cuba, Be at One, All Bar One and The Alchemist to name a few, offer cocktail masterclasses for all kinds of parties and groups. We chose Be at One as it was somewhere new we hadn’t been to before, plus they offered us food while we were there (I mean they had an account with Pizza Express so it was no contest).
As it was for my sisters 18th birthday, we decided to visit another bar named Menagerie beforehand because it was somewhere she really wanted to go and offered a great Instagram opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. For those of you who don’t know, it has a bathtub full of pink plastic balls that people pose next to and even get in themselves (anything for the gram, right?). If anything, a quick cocktail and photoshoot had us in great spirits ready to begin our class.
The Cocktail Masterclass
Welcomed with a fruity Bellini for each of us, we all immediately felt comfortable and put at ease when we were introduced to Nigel and Shaun, our bartenders and teachers for the evening. It wasn’t soon after that the laughter and giddiness started as we all had to say our name, favourite spirit and an interesting fact about ourselves that we were scored on, with the loser taking a shot at the end. Seriously though, the banter started straight away with everyone making fun of themselves and each other, I myself confessed that it took me 8 times to pass my driving test. Safe to say I got a lot of laughs from that, especially with my sisters and mum shouting ‘No, it was 10!’ in the background.
We were quickly separated into two teams, The Famous Five led by my sister and The Boozy Brunettes captained by yours truly. The first game we played had one of us from each team going behind the bar and racing to see who made the first cocktail the fastest. It’s safe to say that our competitive sides all came out and soon enough everyone was shouting and cheering on their teammate. Another game had one of us blindfolded, which isn’t the best idea when you’re sober and even worse when you’ve had a drink! Two people were behind the bar, one blindfolded with their arms wound through the persons in front who had to shout out directions in order to make the next drink. It was hilarious but I feel sorry for the person whose job it was to clean up after us. After that we played a few more games and drank (a lot) more, so the rest of the session passed in a blur of laughter.
With our group of 9 women plus Nigel and Shaun, we had an amazing time full of laughs, alcohol and games that had us drawing an audience from the rest of the customers in the bar (I swear someone even got out their phone and was recording us, I dread to think what we looked like!).
Once our 2-3 hours was up, we were ready to continue our night out and wreak havoc on the streets of Manchester.
Out on the town
Afterwards, we hopped from another bar called Albert Schloss to Revolution de Cuba for more drinks and dancing. But the cocktail making was without a doubt the highlight of our night on the town.
In the end, after paying £30 each for the cocktail masterclass, it worked out that we each ended up having over 6 cocktails including the ones we made ourselves during the games and the ones made for us by the bartenders. With a cocktail in Manchester costing around £7-£11 depending on where you go, this was most definitely worth the money we paid.
So if you’re looking for something different to do on a night out or a new way to pre-drink, then cocktail making is the way to go. After going once I’m all up for going again, it was probably one of the best nights out I’ve been on for a good while. For anyone planning an upcoming birthday then consider looking at places that offer cocktail making near you, it’s something I’d definitely recommend for any group big or small.
Is this something you would like to do? Or have you already been to one of these classes? I’d love to know!