Saturday, November 15, 2014

Spot-Light: Cocktail Classes at Harding's in NYC

 A Reason to Toast Tuesdays

Liquor lineup for Hardings NYC Mixology Class

Imagine walking into a room and seeing a spread like the one above on your table. If you're like me, you get extremely excited. So. Many. Spirits! And they're for my tablemates and I to mix cocktails? Yes please! Well, this was exactly the scene at Harding's NYC recently when I attended their "First Tuesdays" mixology class. 

Derrick Turner, bartenderDerrick Turner Hardings NYC preps CocktailBartender Derrick Turner of Hardings NYC and Cocktail

Lead by Derrick Turner, master mixologist (but don't dare let him hear you use that word) and lead bartender at Harding's, the class took us through the preparation of three amazing cocktials featuring artisanal offerings from St. George Spirits. Derrick eases participants' inhibitions with humor, charm and an interactive style. Or maybe it was the fact that started the class with shots for everyone. Actually, I'm almost sure it was a combination of both. 

The Rockerfeller Cocktail at Hardings NYC

First, we made The Rockerfeller, a cocktail that combines St. George Spiced Pear Liquor, rye whiskey, and bitters. It was smooth, balanced and just strong enough for me. If you'd like to try it at home, here's the recipe:
The Rockerfeller
1 oz St. George Pear Liqueur
2 oz rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 dash simple syrup (if you prefer sweet drinks)
Blend ingredients over ice in a shaker or mixing glass and stir with a bar spoon. Rub orange peeal around the rim of a coupe glass. Strain ingredients into the coupe and garnish with rolled orange peel. 

Blood of the Woods Cocktail at Hardings NYC

Next, we mixed apple cider, bourbon and St. George Raspberry Liqueur to create the Blood of the Woods.  I thought this drink would be super sweet because of the liqueur, but I was delightfully surprised to find that I was wrong. Unlike many of the other liqueurs I've tried, this one tasted like the actual fruit instead of tasting like syrup. In this cocktail, it added depth, complexity and a bit of tartness. Per-fect for for fall. At-home bartenders, here's the recipe: 
Blood of the Woods
1 oz apple cider
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 charred cinnamon stick (broken into small pieces)
1/4 oz maple syrup (if you want it sweet)
Top with St. George Raspberry Liqueur
Mix bourbon, cider and cinnamon in a shaker over ice. Shake and then do a loos strain into a rocks glass. Top with liqueur and watch it settle to bottom. 

Our last cocktail, the "Simply Wicked", was inspired by a Broadway musical we all know. "According to 'Wicked', the good witch was kinda an A-hole. That was my inspiration," said Derrick before instructing us to mix St. George Absinthe, gin and agave syrup to create this cocktail.  I must confess that I made a wicked F-up because I somehow ended up pouring my ingredients into the leftovers from the previous cocktail (blame it on the...). Derrick made a note of it after sampling the mixture and said it might get added to the lineup at the bar. Luckily, a tablemate let me take a picture of her cocktail for the sake of this post. Here's the recipe: 
Simply Wicked
1 1/2 oz gin
1/4 oz St. George Absinthe
1/2 oz agave syrup
pinch of watercress
Blend gin, absinthe, watercress and agave in (empty) shaker over ice. Shake and then strain into a coupe. Garnish with watercress. 

I'm a whiskey girl, but apparently my business card prefers gin cocktails. Ha!

Ready to join in the fun? Here's the scoop on the next class:

32 East 21st Street (between Broadway & Park Ave. S.)
New York, NY

Date / Time/ Concept: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Get the Party Started: Champagne Cocktails

$35 per person
Tickets: 212.600.2105
Space is limited, tickets strongly recommended.

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