What do you get the children (adults) who need nothing at Christmas time? Mum’s answer to this was a Cocktail Masterclass Gift Experience. Being no stranger to cocktails, my siblings and I (and our other halves) cheered when we unwrapped this one.

The course had set dates and we all agreed on May 21st so early on the Saturday morning, ignoring Mum’s advice of having a substantial breakfast (oops) and grabbing a pastry at Euston for sustenance, we all walked through the doors of Shaker Bar School¬†roughly on time and ready to become cocktail pros.

After introducing ourselves to the group and stating our favourite cocktail (decisions, decisions) we were introduced to our first cocktail ‘The Collins’. The day followed a similar pattern: Amit, our long suffering instructor, alongside his bar hand, Archie, showed the group how to make the cocktail, whilst telling us the history of it then left us to our own devices to make our own versions of it, interjecting when we seemed a little lost (or incompetent in my case!)

Next up – the Mule. Due to drinking our spoils (and Amit’s demonstration cocktails) on an empty stomach (note to self – stop ignoring Mum’s advice), I can’t quite remember what was in it other than ginger beer and deciding to make a raspberry version. Here’s a video of Amit trying to put me on the right path…

Things started to get a little hazy after that so here are some photos of us having fun, making drinks and trying not to be too rowdy that we put the other customers off their game.

Cocktail Tutor This Demanding Life Cocktail Straining This Demanding Life Cocktail Finesse This Demanding Life Cocktail Building This Demanding Life

The Cocktails

Other than a quick break for lunch, we spent 5 hours solidly making, drinking, learning about and having fun with cocktails. We made:

The Collins

A Mule



Whisky Sour (although I made it with Benedictine)



The Evidence

More photos of us having a ball:

Cocktails Cheers This Demanding Life Didn't like that cocktail This Demanding Life Group Cocktails This Demanding Life Raspberry & Strawberry Daiquiri This Demanding Life















And here is a video of my brother in law (Ian) and I having a shake off. Apparently the art of a good cocktail is all in how it is shaken. Although I would like to add that the sobriety of the person making it also goes a long way…

What we learned

I have always loved cocktails and felt frustrated that I couldn’t ever make anything drinkable at home. Here we learned the basic structure of a cocktail (it is so much more complicated that those token books on the sale rail at Sainsburys tell you).

All the cocktails we made had either a lemon or lime base and were a scientific balance of citrus + syrup + alcohol, shaken the right way = little drinks of heaven.

I often used raspberry to mask the flavour of alcohol I wasn’t keen on. Take 3 raspberries then balance out the acidity with syrup and voila! A drink of pure deliciousness. Who knew I would love margaritas when they had raspberry added to them?!

Raspberry Margarita Cocktail This Demanding Life

Raspberry Margarita – I will definitely be making this one again.


This was the most fun I have had for a long time. If you like cocktails and are looking for an awesome day then this is the experience to book. Alongside a brilliant day out I have learnt a new skill and am now eagerly awaiting delivery of my newly purchased cocktail supplies (ahem, hurry up Amazon!)

I also learned not to start drinking your daiquiri before taking a photo of the different versions you have all made. Ooops!

Daiquiris Cocktails This Demanding Life









*A note about sponsored posts.. you know how all those lucky bloggers who get to try stuff in exchange for writing about it say ‘this is sponsored but all views are my own, blah, blah?’ Well this post (sadly) isn’t sponsored, we just had an awesome day and I wanted to let you guys know that it’s out there and if you like cocktails then you must book this course. If any cocktail course does want a slightly incompetent, messy blogger to try their course and write about it, then I’m all ears!