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Cocktail Masterclass

How do you throw the best office Christmas party?

Want a festive celebration for your staff or clients that’s a bit different this year? Find out why Exquisite Cocktail Masterclasses are the ideal Christmas party choice.

The office Christmas party is a wonderful way to show appreciation for employees and co workers. A festive celebration Christmas party with cocktails is definitely fun and colourful. An Exquisite Cocktail masterclass solves the conundrum of pleasing everybody as a cocktail party offers yummy drinks, entertainment and get-involved activities all rolled into one.

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Built In Success

The office Christmas party is a great time to celebrate that another year of success and growth and possibly challenges faced as a team has been shared. Cocktails are the mark of a special occasion that reinforces the message of more than just a ‘’good job’’ and is a memorable way to drink to all of those shared moment with the ‘second family’. Depending on the size of your company or department you can even add a branded bar and welcoming hostesses to mark the occasion and give your team the ‘special VIP treatment’.

Hands On Fun

Now this isn’t a reference to grabbing your colleague after the fifth champagne cocktail.  
Though quick fact for you, research shows that more than a million people have turned up to work the next day wearing the same clothes as the day before – doing the work ‘walk of shame’ after the staff Christmas party, so bring a bag of fresh clothes to the office and no one will be any the wiser!

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Now, imagine the scenario, it’s 10am Christmas day, the Christmas PJ’s are still on, the Turkey is roasting perfectly, and you turn to your loved ones with “Who fancies a lychee Martini, a classic Caipirinha or a Evergreen Swizzle?”  as you pull some mint leaves from your sleeve and crack some ice with your elbow.
These winter warmer cocktails go down nicely in all ways. An Exquisite Cocktails masterclass provides  the opportunity for everybody to get their hands on mixing, shaking, throwing and hopefully catching cocktails shakers and spirit bottles.

Exquisite Cocktails mixologist’s work for some of the biggest brands around the UK and Europe to entertain and showcase cocktails as premier experience. You’ll get to experience first hand some coaching from our expert mixologists as you share each other’s cocktail creations and learn thing or two about what makes a beautiful cocktail.

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Nothing To Prepare

Maybe you’ve been tasked with the job of ringing round bars, caterers, taking office Google polls on who likes traditional, buffet or Pizza, pinning taxi routes, hassling the boss for his credit card and quite frankly spending more time doing a good impression of Anne Diamond on ‘points of view’ as you skill-fully handle the good, the bad and ugly of ideas of office parties.

Well no need to put any ice cubes on as one of reasons why masterclasses are so naturally popular round this time of year is that Exquisite Cocktails bring everything for you. They bring the equipment, the drinks, the ingredients, the host, the set up AND deliver a fun that is an all inclusive experience. What a relief ! This year an office party that isn’t hard work!

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Santa is in town

Exquisite Cocktails prides themselves on Masterclasses that  guarantees office and team parties go down in company history as one of the greats! From 25 to 250 to 2,000 people, in the office or a special location they love to ensure that every masterclass will have your colleagues swept of their feet with laughter quicker than Santa can say “Take me to the stars Rudolph!”. Prices start from only £35pp to help you throw the best office cocktail party ever.  For further information on packages and services across the UK call Exquisite Cocktails on 01865 366 276 today. 

 

 

 

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Oak Aged Manhattan

Whilst trawling the internet the other day looking for new and interesting stuff to experiment with it occurred to us that we had never tried oak aging anything. Everyone knows that hundreds of spirits are oak aged and that it can change the flavour profile of a drink completely, but we thought we’d have a go and get some in depth tasting notes on the change of the drink.

We didn’t just want to try ageing a spirit however; we thought it would be more interesting to have a go at ageing a cocktail, one we could then just pour straight from the barrel and into the glass. We decided that it ought to be something whiskey based and chose one of our old favourites the Perfect Manhattan. We bought ourselves an unused litre sized oak barrel and then set about deciding on the type of whiskey we ought to use.

Generally speaking I personally am a big fan of Makers Mark in my Manhattans; I like its smooth sweet texture. However we thought we needed something a little different for this experiment as we felt the oak ageing could potentially ruin the delicate flavours of a bourbon like Makers Mark. We thought we’d go for something a little more peppery and spicy instead, and see how the fresh oak mellows these flavours out.  We chose Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey as it seemed to match the flavour profile we needed.

So, using the recipe below we filled the barrel with our Manhattan, keeping a small bottle to one side to use for comparisons, and we will check on the drink every two weeks to see how it’s changing, and how fast these transformations are taking place. We also concluded that it would be best to turn to someone with a more sensitive and highly trained palate than we could personally offer, so all of our tasting notes will be coming from our good friend Aljoscha Wright, who is the spirit expert at The Oxford Wine Company.

Recipe:

  • 50ml Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 15ml Martini Extra Dry
  • 15ml Martini Rosso
  • 3 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • 3 Dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters

A few years ago, whilst bartending in one of the very first cocktail bars I ever had the pleasure of working in I came across this recipe and it’s one that I still love to make and drink today. The bar wasn’t the most prestigious; it was the sort of establishment that would see goldfish bowls of luminous drinks laced with peach schnapps and cheap vodka being thrown at customers by the dozen every Friday and Saturday night. However I felt that this was one drink on the menu that I’d happily serve in most places I’ve worked. It comes as courtesy of the manager I worked under, a guy called Lee, and was one of his signature drinks that he was entering into competitions at the time. The base spirit for the drink was Mandarine Napoléon Liqueur; a cognac based liqueur made with mandarins (obviously) and a variety of spices and plants. I think that even as a neat spirit served over a couple of cubes of ice it is a perfectly palatable drink, and as such would probably lose its charm if it were to be overpowered by a huge number of flavours in a cocktail. This is probably the reason I’m so fond of this recipe. It’s simple but at the same time makes for a fantastic drink that you can slowly sip and enjoy without the lip curling effects one usually gets from near enough a neat spirit.

Recipe:

  • 50ml Mandarine Napoléon Liqueur
  • 2 Bar Spoons Soft Brown Sugar
  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves
  •  Shake and double strain all ingredients.
  • Serve in a Martini glass with a mandarin segment floating on a basil leaf for garnish.

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  Floral fizzWe had recently bought some Hibiscus flowers in syrup for the first time, and upon tasting them, we realised that they were the solution to our needs. The sweet pink syrup that they came in with an almost raspberry flavour was perfect for a summer champagne cocktail. Wanting to keep the drink one of summer ingredients Grey Goose Pear vodka was an obvious accompaniment to the syrup. The vodka itself is not all that sweet so combined with the syrup it would make a great combination. To finish the drink off we decided that a small amount of fresh vanilla was required; not wanting to use any more syrup we took it at its most natural form and cut about an inch off a pod, scraped out the seeds, and muddled the whole lot together before shaking the vanilla and other ingredients over ice. We then double strained the resulting mixture into a flute, dropped one of the hibiscus plants in and filled the glass with champagne. The bubbles cause the flower to open slightly and you are left with a pink cocktail, with a blossoming flower in the bottom. What could be more perfect for a wedding?

Recipe:

  • 1 inch of vanilla pod cut open and scraped out
  • 30ml Grey Goose “La Poire”
  • 20ml Hibiscus syrup
  • 1 Hibiscus plant
  • Muddle the vanilla, add the vodka and syrup, shake and double strain into a champagne flute.
  • Place Hibiscus plant in flute with drink.
  • Top with champagne

 

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A few years ago, whilst working in one of the more prestigious bars that I have been employed by over the years, I found myself confronted with a challenge from a customer. This gentleman stood and looked over the whole of the cocktail menu for quite some time before closing it and questioning why he could rarely ever find a recipe that used his favourite spirit? Obviously my next question was to ask what his favourite spirit was. I was confronted with the response “black Sambuca”. Not shy of a challenge I confidently said “leave that with me Sir, I’ll bring your drink over shortly.”

As I turned and looked at the bottle of ‘Opal Nera’ that we served as our house Sambuca, all sorts of ideas starting going through my mind. I decided to keep the drink simple however. I started with some raspberry puree and Chambord, pouring both into a shaker, about 25ml of each. I then added about 30ml of the Sambuca, not wanting to overpower the drink but wanting it to be the prominent flavour. Once I gave these a shake and tasted it I was reasonably pleased. There was obviously something more needed though to soften the harsh alcoholic flavours. Once lengthened with cloudy apple juice I concluded that I had created something I wasn’t ashamed of serving. Thankfully the customer agreed.

The following day I decided to refine the recipe: swapping the raspberry puree for fresh raspberries, and adding some fresh muddled Granny Smith apple for a slightly sour bite. Serving the drink long in a Catalina, and garnishing with an apple fan, and whole star anise I decided I was finally happy. This is still a drink that I will proudly serve today.

Recipe:

  • Muddle 6 fresh Raspberries, ¼ Granny Smith Apple
  • 25ml Chambord
  • 50ml Cloudy Apple Juice
  • Shake hard over cubed ice
  • In a Catalina:
  • Fill with crushed ice
  • 30ml Opal Nera
  • Double strain raspberry, apple, Chambord and apple juice on top so the drink layers.

Garnish:

  • Apple Fan
  • Whole Star Anise

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