What To Know Before Your First DTLA Cocktail Class
by Bennett Rea, Tasting Expert
Coming out to LA’s Distillery District and ascending into our Skybox Tasting Room is exciting, especially for first-timers. But we know there’s a certain amount of apprehension new visitors can feel coming into this brand new situation. “Cocktail culture” can be overwhelming and intimidating: will we expect you to be a cocktail connoisseur, do you need to know exactly how to shake, should you talk like a mixologist?
No. We cut the nonsense and concentrate on helping you make great tasting drinks. After only a few minutes, all our DTLA cocktail class visitors feel comfortable, adventurous and ready to experiment… regardless of their experience level.
Arrive Ready To Experiment
To me, the big difference in a Greenbar Distillery cocktail class, is that you’re taking part. We don’t do powerpoints. It’s not a 90-minute college lecture. You don’t have to grow a handlebar mustache (though we won’t turn away our handle-barred friends). You get to taste, try out, and work with the organic spirits in a hands-on way that’s suitable for every knowledge level. This cocktail class is an adult playground where none of your creative decisions are wrong — not even mixing together SLOW HAND Six Woods whiskey and TRU Garden vodka (it’s been done and done well). You learn by doing.
Our DTLA cocktail classes are by far my favorite time of the week — these sessions are when people turn from appreciators into enthusiasts; from people who’ve never ordered anything beyond a Jack n’ Coke into people who can make their own customized Old Fashioned at home. It’s a wonderful transformation. Even folks who come in with a deep love and knowledge of cocktails tell me afterwards, they love how much they learned and how much fun they had.
Transform Your Understanding of Mixed Drinks
Not to take too much credit, though – while I may be the person behind the bar spouting off tips, tricks, instructions and cracking the occasional joke at the expense of lesser whiskies, it’s really our Greenbar Distillery overall method for cocktail creation that causes the transformation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s eyes light up when they take a sip of a completely unique cocktail they just invented and they “get it.”
It happened with my wife, Elise, just the other night! She’s attended a few DTLA cocktail classes because I’m a fabulous husband who wants her to love cocktails as much as me. At home, she had friends over for drinks, so I texted to ask if she needed a recipe. She texted back, “Nope! I know what I’m doing now, I’ve got the formula to make something awesome. Just need to know where the Hawthorne Strainer is.” Elise whipped up a round of custom cocktails with ease. I hope I still retain some semblance of usefulness around the house now…
Make The Cocktails YOU Want To Drink
That’s what it’s all about: empowerment. It’s what makes ours the best cocktail class in LA. People may walk in a little anxious; they leave as the perfect hosts, ready to impress every future guest with their new cocktail-crafting skills, even if that guest is just them.
So while the class may begin with nerves for some, it ends with inspiration for all (and usually some new friends, too). I can’t wait to meet the next group of future home-bar heroes at our DTLA cocktail class.