Cocktails with Craig: Margaritaville Masterclass

“Do you want to come to a cocktail making class tonight?”

OMG yaasss, I’m there”


I’ve worked in bars but it’s always been on the stage, on the bar (rarely behind it) or on the floor, and when it comes to drinks at home a Poor Tom’s and Tonic with an Orange Twist is about as complex as I get. Cocktails have never been my strong point, so of course i jumped when The Plus Ones invited me to learn a few new tricks with one of Sydney’s best Cocktail tastemakers, Sweet and Chilli.

Sweet and Chilli have developed cocktail menus and experiences for some of the best in the business, from the UK’s Gingerline and House of Peroni to the Bunderbaerg Distillatorium here in Australia. I would have been insane to turn down the opportunity learn from the masters, so off I went.

After warming up with a Prosecco or two we hit the training bar with our Super stylish host Toby for our first Cocktail, A Bourbon Sour (but we called it The Plus Ones in honour of the occasion). With a selection of Bourbons from the sweetness of Bulliet Rye to the smokier Johnnie Walker Double Black there was a flavour for everyone’s palate. I opted for the JW Double Black, because that’s how I like my Bourbon and, thanks to the great instruction and best boutique ingredients even I was surprised at the quality of my The Plus One’s. I could have easily had 10.

plus-one The Plus Ones

Ingredients

  • 60ml Johnnie Walker Double Black (or your preferred Bourbon)
  • 20ml Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 15ml Honey Lavendar Syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Lavender sprig

Method

  • Separate egg and leave to side
  • Combine all other ingredients and shake with ice
  • Add egg white and shake again until fluffy
  • Strain and pour into glass and garnish with Lavender

 

Our second cocktail was all time classic Margarita. Again we had a range of Tequila’s and I went straight from the Patron Silver, because it’s how I roll. A Chilli Salt rim added a unique bite and the boutique Agave Syrup made for the most deliciously delicate Margarita I’ve ever had.

Classic Margarita

Ingredients

  • 60ml Patron Silver (or your preferred Tequila)
  • 25ml lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 10 – 15ml agave syrup
  • crushed rock salt
  • chilli flakes
  • dried lime

Method

  • Mix rock salt and chilli flakes on a plate
  • Line rim of the glass with lime juice, rim glass with chilli salt
  • Combine all other ingredients and shake with ice
  • Pour into glass with ice
  • Garnish with dried lime

 

Thanks to The Plus One’s doing a wonderful job of hand picking our small group of we not only enjoyed the cocktails but had plenty of laughs and stayed late into the night talking after what was a great MasterClass.

What a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday night!

Based in LA, London and Sydney, Sweet and Chilli offer Masterclasses in everything from Gin Tasting to Cocktail Making. They also personalised services including event bar tending , cocktail menu development and creating bespoke experiences.

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