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Learning from the cocktail masters at Hotel du Vin 

A few of Team RB, the Picante Pals and friends recently spent a Monday evening gathered round cocktail maestro Pasha in a private wine tasting room at Hotel du Vin to enjoy the Cocktail Masterclass available for groups. Don’t be fooled into thinking this class is reserved for the guests of this seafront hotel – it’s available to everyone and is perfect for hens, stags, teambuilding, birthdays, or even just a Monday night with friends! 

RB Team, Picante Pals and friends at cocktail masterclass at Hotel Du Vin.

What to expect

The £50pp (with a minimum group size of six) price tag on this experience gets you way more than a few cocktails, though those are included too – three, to be precise. After being welcomed with a refreshing glass of fizz, Pasha guided us through the making of the cocktails, which we could choose in advance. We went for the Basil Smash, Old Fashioned and Pina Colada. 

Pasha sipping alcohol in small cup. Cocktail masterclass at Hotel Du Vin

Pasha imparted practical knowledge throughout meaning it would be more than possible for us to take home our new found skills.  Between tutorials, we relaxed on the sun terrace with the delicious drinks we’d made. We also tucked into some delicious snacks and had the opportunity to ask questions; from simple things like when to use sugar cubes or syrup, to more complex queries like the best angle to set a Pina Colada alight without the need for a fire extinguisher. 

Shaken, stirred, smashed

Unlike us at the time of making the first cocktail of the night, our basil was smashed. With the use of a muddler and some top-quality gin, these utterly refreshing cocktails were a summer thirst quencher, slightly savoury but with some sweetness and citrus balancing it to perfection. These were a great way to ease us into the evening. Everyone had a chance to flex their muscles with the cocktail shaker and put their skills to the test by comparing the vibrancy of the green in their tumblers.

Megan and George making cocktails at Cocktail masterclass at Hotel Du Vin

Old Fashioneds are in Fashion

Fun fact: An Old Fashioned cocktail (which, if Google is to be believed, dates back to the 1800s) is named after the glass in which it is served, otherwise known as a lowball or a whiskey glass. There’s something to be said for the fact that it’s still being served in every cocktail bar worth its salt rim after all that time: don’t fix what ain’t broke. Pasha gave us tips on how to enhance the zesty orange flavour which finishes the mix and was able to share seemingly untapped knowledge on which whiskey to use, in this case a smooth bourbon. I confess that I usually dislike whiskey, but was determined to make it anyway, and I thoroughly enjoyed every sip. 

shoot of a lady making cocktails

If you like Pina Coladas…

We’ll take a pass on getting caught in the rain, but anyone with half a brain knows to keep those fiery Pina Coladas rolling. Pasha gave us the core information we needed – measurements, where to find the pineapple juice, which spirits to add – but then left us to have some fun with this one. We’re talking edible flowers, pineapple leaves, passion fruit boats filled with flammable booze and sparkling cinnamon showers. If you’re making an occasion of this masterclass, make sure you let the team know when you’re booking directly with Hotel du Vin that you want some flair. We can confirm, they’ll deliver. 

Want to know more about Hotel Du Vin Brighton restaurant and bistro?
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Opening Hours
Breakfast: Monday - Friday 7.00am - 10.00am Saturday - Sunday 8.00am - 11.00am. Lunch: Monday - Friday: 12noon - 2.00pm Saturday: 12.30pm - 2.00pm Sunday: 12.30pm - 3.00pm Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 7.00pm - 10.00pm Friday - Saturday: 6.00pm - 10.30pm