January is finally over – it’s felt like quite a long’un, hasn’t it? What with skiing and LFWM I knew that I could never commit to Dry January, but I know plenty of you guys did, so I saved this post to give you a great way to kick off a new month of boozing. Just before Christmas, the lovely folk at Be At One on the Triangle invited us to try out one of their cocktail masterclasses. If you didn’t know, I’m very partial to a cocktail masterclass (Harvey Nichols definitely need to get me some kind of loyalty card), so I signed Jon and I straight up to broaden our experience.
Although I’d been to the Bath Be At One, I’d never actually made it into the Bristol venue, so as we headed in on a rainy Sunday afternoon I was looking forward to seeing what they had on offer. Bristol is definitely cosier than the Bath location, with more focus on the bar (so you get a great view of whatever’s being made) and it was all festived up, ready for Christmas.
Our bartender for the afternoon was Matt, who greeted us with a bellini and a little bit of info about how Be At One came to, well, be. As with all great alcohol-related stories, it started when a couple of friends had a great idea – to make a really bangin’ cocktail bar. A few years later and they have a whole set of unique venues across the country, each one serving up an awesome selection of stylish and unusual cocktails.
Then it was time for the fun part. We each had the chance to make a couple of cocktails from their extensive menu – choosing them was far from easy! In the end I went for complete opposites, just to make sure I’d had a bit of everything. On Matt’s recommendation, I started with a Jager Mega Drive. I used to love the stuff back when I was student, so I figured it might be nice to find a grown-up way to use it. Getting behind the bar was great – Matt was super-informative and let us be quite independent while we were making the drinks, which was really good for recreating our cocktails at home. I absolutely loved the Jager Mega Drive – it uses this incredible beetroot shrub which is made exclusively for Be At One that gives it such a deep flavour. Memories of Jagerbombs from my teenage years be gone!
Just to keep things balanced, I went for a cocktail from the Virtuous section of the menu for my second drink. It mixes tea and nettle cordial in with vodka to make things a little healthier, which is a nice option to have if you’re looking to make healthier choices. I also am a huge fan of tea, so that little tannin aftertaste was a winner for me.
By this point we were all pretty cocktailed out – the masterclass was absolutely full of knowledge and it really felt like we’d learnt a lot in the time we were there…and drank quite a lot too. The bar was starting to get busy with some Sunday night revellers (living the dream!) so we decided to stay for one more cocktail (for the road) before heading out for some food. We finished up with some dessert cocktails, made with ice cream, whilst we quizzed Matt with any questions we possibly had left about cocktails. I went for the Rhys’ Pieces one, and it was divine…a firm contender to my fave alcoholic milkshake at Meat Liquor.
As we left in a more-than-slightly tipsy fashion, clutching our cocktail recipes, Jon and I both talked about how impressed we were with the masterclass. It was the perfect mix of information, cocktail-making and chilled chatting about all things alcohol, and well worth the £25 fee. I’m definitely up for doing another one with a group of friends, especially as Matt also mentioned that with bigger groups you can do cocktail-related games and activities – you can only imagine the hilariousness that would ensue! You can find out more about the masterclasses here, or just take a look at the menu here…I’ve been making eyes at another one of those dessert cocktails.