Shaken not stirred: the best cocktail classes in Paris
World Best Bar
Mar 25, 2019
10 January 2019
Luckily, the bar scene here has upped its game over the last few years and now there are more than just a handful of hotspots where you can get a masterclass in how to make your favourite drinks! Learn to mix and muddle, and tell your Cosmos from your Caipirinhas! Get ready, this is thirsty work.
First up, we have Ballroom du Beef Club. Yes, you heard that right, but don’t judge a book by its name. The bar is brought to you by the masterminds of the famed Experimental Cocktail Club. This is a akin to a speakeasy, pure and simple, hidden behind an unmarked door. Choose from a class covering the 4 main alcohol families that are mixed into your favourite cocktails, or travel through 4 continents as you learn about traditional cocktails from every corner of the world. We’d take a bet on the latter, as you’ll get to grips with everything from Tequila to Sake. The Ballroom’s 2-hour courses introduce the world of mixology, and cover ingredients, decoration, demonstrations and more before you finally can get down and dirty by making your own.
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If you’re ready to splash the cash on an unparalleled experience then head directly to the Hemingway bar at the Ritz. This was the American novelist’s favourite haunt, which is praise enough considering how much drinking he did around Paris, and the bar was in fact named after his honour. In the hands of the infamous Colin Field who has twice been voted the best barman in the world you will spend 2 hours discovering not just the art, but the philosophy behind making cocktails. Shake away as he shares his passion for all things mixology, and imparts his drink-mixing psychology – the customer, the place, the drink. Fancy. Field’s serves are the benchmark for cocktail makers everywhere so this is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Mix up your drink under an expert eye and then soak up the old-world glamour of the Ritz – bottom’s up chaps!
Fans of the trendy Candelaria and Le Coq will be delighted by this offering from Nighthawks which is led by Sébastien Gans, ex-head barman of both those fêted institutions of the Paris cocktail scene. The 2.5 hour class runs right in the heart of the Marais, at the Carbón bar, where you will be taken under Sébastien’s wing for an exploration of vintage and contemporary cocktails. Here you can discover all the essential mixology techniques whilst letting your creativity speak. During the class you’ll master three different cocktails as well as learning to prepare your own syrups (an essential and overlooked cocktail ingredient). When all the creations are made, each guest will walk away with their very own beverage – all bottled up. Time for the after party!
Simplicity is key, or so they say. If you’re a follower of this old adage then Mojito Lab surely has the cocktail course for you. The mojito is a classic of the mixology world: refreshing, zingy and boozy. It’s made on a base of white rum, soda, lime juice, sugar and mint, which makes it the perfect starting point for reinventing it to your heart’s content! This is without a doubt what they do best at Mojito Lab where the selection ranges from fruity variations to unusual themed mojitos. This mixing session packs a punch and won’t break the bank – win win. Mojito school is perfect for larger groups (think team building or hen and stag dos) and you’ll have the chance to make three cocktails during the 1.5 hour class, all served with tapas for the tasting session at the end. We can’t say fairer than this this cheap and cheerful option.
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Les Ateliers Mixologie promises an exclusive step inside the world of mixologist Kévin Ligot for a quirky look at the magic behind the cocktail-making. He might be young but he has plenty of experience on the international bar scene and masterminded Mixomania, a start-up founded around mixology and gastronomy. He brings youthful vision to everything he does, from the gorgeous class locations (rooftops and riverside barges) to the carefully sourced organic and fair-trade products. This is a seriously chic option and no detail is forgotton. The cocktail class will let you shake up some signature drinks in an intimate atmosphere. During a 1.5-hour atelier you’ll get creative with Kévin and be guided by your senses and emotions. Finish off by creating your own cocktail recipes. Sip back and be impressed!
No matter what your poison is there’s a mixology class for everyone in Paris. Now you have no excuse not to get out and learn how to make your favourite cocktails! On our count: ready, steady, shake!
Photo by Sanah Suvarna on Unsplash