I have absolutely no excuse to not be able to make a cocktail anymore after Finney Isles hosted a fun and informative (and delicious) cocktail masterclass evening inside their alluring big blue door.
The Finney Isles team had chosen four cocktails to share with us and they were all in fine form. My friend also swore they must have chosen their most handsome barmen – worked well for the photos!
We were provided a bit of a history lesson around each cocktail, perhaps a history story would be more accurate. They guys were full of hilarious quips which made the history to each drink highly amusing – a little poetic licence never hurt anyone! I won’t go to much into the history of each drink as I won’t do them any justice. You’ll just have to go in and visit for yourself!
Our welcome drink was a gin rhubarb peppermint and armaro spritz. I loved the peppermint hit – made for a really unique and refreshing cocktail.
First up, we learnt how to make a margarita which was apparently originally called a daisy! This was lost in translation in Mexico. The most important note I remembered from this cocktail was to use good tequila! 100% agave is sooo much better and worth the price tag. Fresh citrus is an absolute must – it activates your tongue! I’m not sure what activating your tongue means but I like the sound of it.
A beautifully balanced margarita is created from tequila, tripple sec and citrus as well as the all important salt rim!
Hilariously, in Mexico this was just to keep the flies out – they didn’t know that they were creating something delicious.
Next up, a mojito! Would you believe rum was considered to be for the slaves way back so this was how the higher class people dressed it up to make it taste nice.
There was a lot of debate from the team on how much soda should be used at the end. Majority were on the slim to none side – contrary to popular belief.
The other important note, slap your mint, don’t muddle it. Muddling bruises the leaves whereas slapping activates the flavours.
A Martini Tuxedo was up next. Again we were reminded not to use sh*t ice. Also interesting was to rub the lemon skin on the glass stem. This transfers the smell onto your hands while you drink the cocktail for an integrated experience. So thoughtful.
Last but never least, we made pinã coladas. I love a properly made pinã colada! Fresh coconut cream and pineapple makes all the difference here.
After our lessons we were able to jump behind the bar and make our own cocktails. Of course I chose the pinã colada… mainly because I wanted to drink another one but also because it didn’t involve any challenging moves.
Hot tips for delicious cocktails
• Use bigger ice cubes (freeze water in a big container and smash it up). Otherwise they dilute too fast and water down the drinks. We can’t have that now.
• Always have fresh citrus in the fridge.
• Quality alcohol is important. Especially quality tequila.
I’d still prefer to visit Finney Isles to have my cocktails made – their expert knowledge is undeniable and the taste and experience is on point.