Over the past year or so Dublin has experienced a pop-up wave. Shops, restaurants, and concerts venues have been appearing all over the city, often only promoted through social media and word of mouth. By far my favourite pop-up has been The Blind Pig, a 1920s style speak-easy bar. The Blind Pig appears at various locations over the city. To get in, one must go to a location and call a telephone number and ask to see “The Blind Pig”. Once you have been collected and brought to the venue, a great night of cocktail drinking awaits.
But for those of you who are looking to bring the tasty cocktails home, to enjoy or impress, luckily The Blind Pig runs cocktails classes. Run by the exceedingly knowledgeable Paul Lambert, the classes promise to take you through the history and the crafting of a number of cocktails. Before you ask, yes you can drink them at the end.
On Saturday 8th June I decided to book into the Prohibition Cocktail Class along with my trusty companion and RC Blog’s own Patrick Haugseng. They are held during the day so make sure to line the tummy with a good lunch beforehand, these cocktails are definitely for grown-ups. First up we were treated to a Bacardi Buck. It was light, refreshing and not too heavy for the hot weather we are having this summer. Saying that none of us guessed correctly what the alcohol was, none of us being regular rum drinkers.
Next we learned how to make a proper Tom Collins, hint, it is with Old Tom Gin! Patrick was delighted as it is his favourite cocktail and it was delicious. It was freshening and almost like drinking liquid sherbet. Saying that, I could have done without knowing about all the sugar that was included.
For a treat, Paul then took us through a Blind Pig special, the Sine Metu. Made with Jameson, orange bitters, Chartreuse and shaken up. It was served in a dainty 1920s style cocktail class. It was very tasty, actually my favourite cocktail of the session, and with the herby taste it could almost be good for you. However it was quite strong so grown-ups, be responsible!
Last was the Old Fashioned. Hot Press named The Blind Pig’s as the best in Dublin, so I was excited to get my Don Draper on and give it a go. We were warned that sometimes bars refuse to make these as they take too long, but Paul reassured us that a good one should not take more than a few minutes to stir up. So what is in an Old Fashioned? Bourbon, lots of Bourbon. Oh and some sugar, orange and ice. You put some welly in, stirring it about, add the orange and you are ready to go. I have to say it was very, very nice. The orange added a zesty smell and taste that made it drinkable for those of us not used to Bourbon. The sweet after taste took a bit of getting used too, but I may have been over zealous with the spoon. Overall highly recommended!
All the glasses, ingredients and equipment is provided so you just have to bring yourself along.Paul is fantastic, he shows you how to make the drink then calls up small groups to the bar to oversee the process. So don’t worry if you can’t remember all the measurements first time around. Paul also provides the cocktail he made himself you you can compare your handy work. Throughout the class Paul took us through the history of cocktails,how they have been defined through the years and the origins of the cocktails that we made that day. It was fascinating listening for fans of the history of alcohol.You can also take this opportunity to ask Paul any questions about where the best places are to get a cocktail, not just limited to Dublin!
I am not going to give much more away than that as it is a great experience that you should go and do for yourself. I will be back hopefully at another class. Previously The Blind Pig have held a Japanese Whiskey Tasting class so if something else comes up (fingers crossed for a strong gin presence) I will be there.
The next prohibition cocktail class is taking place on Saturday 10th July 2013.