The most wonderful time of the year is upon us yet again, it’s time for cosy nights, mince pies, chocolate logs and of course, Christmas cocktails. Luckily the good folk at Dirty Martini have catered to Christmas fanatics with a gorgeous range of festive themed cocktails.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to a ‘Bloggers Christmas Cocktail Masterclass’ at Dirty Martini Cardiff, where I would be learning how to shake my way to festive cocktail perfection.
Decked out in gorgeous art deco interior, with beautiful booths, Welsh inspired murals and stylish bars, Dirty Martini is surely the swankiest spot for a cocktail in Cardiff right now?
I was ushered to a booth where I met with other blogger friends and was presented with a lovely peach Bellini, I do like cocktail classes that kick off with a little welcome tipple.
We learned that we would be making two of the Christmas cocktail range, The Christmas Cheer and the Mince Chai. Both sounded smashing frankly.
We were called up behind the bar to start learning how to be cocktail pros, with step by step guidance from a cocktail master to achieve shaking success. We first made ‘The Christmas cheer’ by combining Tanqueray Gin, cherry liqueur, raspberry Syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, pomegranate juice and secret ingredient, a dash or two of orange bitter.
For garnish we got to use edible gold spray to give some amarena cherries a touch of Christmas class, I got very ‘spray happy’ and may have accidentally sprayed everyone around me. Apologies.
The time came to one of the most important parts of our journey to become cocktail masters, shaking. We filled our shakers with ice and instructed in the fine art of shaking skills. It turns out, what I lack in talent I make up with vigour, probably like most other areas of my life. Then we carefully strained, placed our cherry garnish on top and then began instagramming the results, #Bossingcocktails
The ‘Christmas Cheer’ has a lovely festive zing to it, I do love a gin cocktail and the sweet flavours of cherry and raspberry balanced it beautifully.
After breaking to enjoy our cocktails and a delicious festive sharing platter, we were then up to make our second cocktail of the evening, The Mince Chai, featuring Bold London Spirit, Bitter Truth Pimento Dram liqueur, ginger bread syrup, chai tea syrup, apple juice, egg white, cherry bitters and citric acid.
The key to a successful Mince Chai was apparently the foam and to achieve great foam, one must shake with great enthusiasm. There were a few more technical skills and a bit of cocktail flair to learn on this cocktail as well. Our cocktail master tried repeatedly to teach me how to quickly lift up two bottles upright, at the same time and pour into the cocktail shaker, only to find that I completely lacked the dexterity and spatial awareness to accomplish this. Much of the liquor ended up over me/the bar/the staff. It turns out, I am an enthusiastic but sadly not a skilled bartender.
After much shaking, we poured our finished product into our glasses with much ‘foam anticipation’. My fellow bloggers did some great work whilst mine was sadly a little on the limp side, better shaking for me next time! Still, it looked quite pretty after I popped a star anise on an apple slice atop the foam and what it may have lacked in presentation, it made up for in taste if I do say so myself. It also tasted exactly like Christmas, warm festive flavours that make you think about curling up by the fire and waiting for santa by the fireside. After all, I have been ever such a good girl this year.
I had a fantastic evening of attempting to become a cocktail professional, there were lots of laughs, lots of spills [mostly down to me] and some great cocktails. Massive thanks to the staff and my blogging companions for an extremely enjoyable evening! I would highly recommend gathering friends or colleagues and having your own ‘cocktail off’ at this fabulous venue.
You can book your very own Dirty Martini cocktail class on their website.