Swapping the pint for a Blackpool cocktail masterclass

When I was younger I can safely say vodka was the only thing I ordered on a night out.

It didn’t matter what it was mixed with, vodka was always my go-to alcoholic beverage.

James Graves at the Cocktail Masterclass at Slug & Lettuce Blackpool

James Graves at the Cocktail Masterclass at Slug & Lettuce Blackpool

But following too many awful hangovers I can’t touch the stuff now and haven’t for a number of years. The only things I drink now are lager or cider.

Even with the recent crazes of Prosecco and gin taking over the country’s drink menus, I have still stuck to a classic pint of Carslberg or a Strongbow Dark Fruits.

So, I was perhaps not the best person to be offered a cocktail masterclass in Blackpool to try out a variety of different spirit-based drinks.

However cocktails are certainly on the menu at Blackpool’s new Slug & Lettuce which opened last month. The Queen Street bar’s cocktail masterclass is described as the ‘perfect party solution’ or what I would have called the perfect hangover creation.

The cocktail masterclass section at the Queen Street bar

The cocktail masterclass section at the Queen Street bar

But I was optimistic and went along to find out what it was all about. I was joined by my Gazette colleague Suzanne Steedman and her daughter Amy.

We were warmly greeted with a glass of Prosecco (which I had one sip of and abandoned) to start the night and found we were taking part in ‘The Original’ masterclass, the other two being ‘Something For The Boys’ and ‘Sparkling’.

The building, which used to be The Litten Tree, now has new bar and décor of bold prints, on-trend neon hues and flashes of gold throughout. The class takes place at it’s very own VIP cocktail masterclass station.

The cocktail masterclass involves making two cocktails, in our case a cosmopolitan and a bramble but there are a choice of five cocktails.

Plenty of cocktails are on offer.

Plenty of cocktails are on offer.

I have never attempted to make a cocktail before and despite knowing a few of the drinks I couldn’t tell you the ingredients of them so the class was a good eye-opener for me.

The cosmopolitan was first and the masterclass involves some fun and games. One person had to be making the cosmopolitan blind whilst being directed by their partner through the process. This was after a demonstration of course.

It was very enjoyable and was certainly better than just doing a taste test.

After a short buffet break, our next challenge was who could make a bramble cocktail the quickest.

I succeeded with a time of 52 seconds, Suzanne achieved 55 seconds and Amy, who went first, did it in a commendable 57 seconds.

The two-hour class was great fun.

I was well out of my comfort zone but I would recommend it as something different to do on a night out.

Suzanne said: “I love cocktails so it definitely enjoyed it.

“But it was also good fun to learn how to make them and I can see how it will appeal to groups of friends on a night out.”

Find our more at www.slugandlettuce.co.uk/blackpool/cocktail-masterclass

Some of the cocktails on offer:

Rumberry Mojito

Bacardi Carta Blanca, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqeur, mint, lime juice and pomegranate juice

Popcorn Caramel Old-Fashioned

Haig Club Clubman whisky, caramel syrup, stirred down with Angostura bitters

Rocktail

Smirnoff Red Label vodka, Red Bull Sugarfree, lime juice, strawberry puree and passion fruit puree

Bramble

Tanqueray gin, lemon juice and blackberry liqeur

French Martini

Smirnoff Red Label vodka, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqeur and pineapple juice.