AD- I was invited to attend this event in return for blog and social media content. All thoughts are my own.
What better way to start the countdown to Christmas, than with a cocktail masterclass from the experts at Craft Gin Club? Personally, I couldn’t think of anything better! I’ve been a subscriber to Craft Gin Club since November 2020 and I have to say, it’s probably one of the best subscriptions I found in lockdown!
In case you’re new to Craft Gin Club, let me explain who they are. Founded in January 2015 by two friends – Jon & John! - they made it their mission to reinvent the way gin lovers discover and enjoy new gins, all while supporting amazing craft producers. They’ve even been on Dragon’s Den where they gained investment from Dragon Sarah Willingham who now works closely with the company as a member of its board.
Every month they send out a different, surprise Gin of the Month box through the post, containing a full sized bottle of very special craft gin – including brand new, one off or specially imported spirits. They also pair each gin with hand-selected mixers, cocktail ingredients and foodie treats, as well as an issue of Ginned magazine.
Like I say, I’ve been a big fan of Craft Gin Club since discovering them in lockdown when I first got a box for my birthday. It’s great value for money and definitely worth the investment if you’re a gin fan! If you fancy taking a look for yourself, then click this link:Refer a friend to Craft Gin Club
Countdown To Christmas Cocktail Masterclass
On Friday 12th November, (the day after my birthday!) I took part in one of Craft Gin Club’s Masterclass events. In these classes, all held over Zoom, you follow along with the experts from Craft Gin Club and guests who guide you through the making and history behind the cocktails.
I hadn’t participated in an event like this before but I was very excited, especially because it was taking place just after my birthday! When you buy a ticket to a masterclass event, you are also sent the ingredients with which to make the cocktails. In this instance, I was sent gins, mixers and garnishes to create four perfect serves.
On the night the team from Craft Gin Club led us through the tasting of the gins and the making of each serve. We heard the stories, dreams and ideas that have gone into each drop of liquid being served and of course we had lots of fun along the way!
Despite it being an online event, it really felt like I was in the room with everyone as we had a chat going on within the Zoom application and everyone was just as excited as I was to be there. During this Countdown to Christmas Cocktail Masterclass event, the four cocktails we made were as follows:
Velvet Espresso Martini
Pink Sloe Gin Spritz
The Cocktails – Making & Tasting
I thoroughly enjoyed making all of these cocktails, I must admit I got a kick out of all the miniature bottles I had for this cocktail masterclass! There’s just something cute about using miniature bottles and a miniature cocktail shaker, the perfect size for a single cocktail!
First up: Elderflower 75:
15ml Cotswolds Cloudy Christmas Gin
20ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
La Gioiosa Prosecco
Lemon peel, to garnish
Method: Shake the gin, lemon juice and elderflower liqueur with ice and strain into the glass. Top up with sparkling wine, garnish and enjoy!
I really enjoyed making and tasting this cocktail, previous to this I had never tried St Germain Elderflower Liqueur and I found it to be really rather delicious! Having it with the gin and prosecco made it feel very sophisticated and the perfect cocktail for Christmas, either as an aperitif whilst preparing Christmas lunch, or as a replacement for Bucks Fizz on Christmas Day morning.
Second: Velvet Espresso Martini
25ml Tarquin’s Cornish Christmas Gin
25ml Disaronno Velvet
25ml Tia Maria
25ml Solo Cold Brew Espresso Shot
Optional: coffee beans to garnish
Method: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add your ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a Martini glass, garnish and enjoy.
First up, I should state that this one isn’t suitable for vegans, so after having a small taste (purely because I had never tried an Espresso Martini previously and I wanted to see if I liked it!) I gave the one I made to my Mum – which she enjoyed immensely and wanted to come back for more!
After tasting it initially, I actually quite enjoyed it which is quite sad due to the fact it isn’t dairy free. Perhaps this means I’ll have to go on the quest for a vegan version! This cocktail could definitely be a replacement for dessert on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, especially if you’re not into any of the usual Christmas desserts!
Third: Pink Sloe Gin Spritz
25ml Warner’s Sloe Gin
25ml Craft Gin Club’s Pink Gin Spritz Cocktail Syrup
London Essence Soda Water
Dried lime slices to garnish
Method: Add all the ingredients to the glass, along with plenty of ice. Stir, garnish and enjoy!
I have loved Sloe Gin ever since my parents picked loads of sloes and made their own sloe gin during lockdown. It was the perfect liqueur to have after dinner and ever since it’s become something we make seeing as they now know where the sloes are located!
This cocktail was definitely one of my favourites of the night, the Warner’s Sloe Gin was absolutely delicious.
Fourth: Cranachan Fizz
25ml Copperfield London Dry Gin Volume 3
25ml Avallen Calvados
2 tsp Tiptree Pure Honey
Marlish Sparkling Raspberry Flavoured Spring Water
1 egg white or 2tsp aquafaba (optional)
20ml lemon juice
Fresh raspberries and cinnamon powder, to garnish
Method: Put all of your ingredients, except the raspberry spring water into the shaker. If you’re using egg white or aquafaba, shake once without ice. Add ice and shake, then strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top up with spring water, garnish and enjoy!
Again, a note to say not vegan if made with the honey, but obviously alternatives are available. You don’t have to even use aquafaba here if you don’t want to – I didn’t and don’t think I missed it. I enjoyed this one, the calvados being made from apples gave a slightly different taste to the cocktail. I didn’t have any fresh raspberries to add to this cocktail so it didn’t come out pink, but it still tasted good and could be one I’d go for if I was ever offered Calvados in the future.
Final Thoughts On Craft Gin Club’s Countdown To Christmas Cocktail Masterclass
Having never attended a cocktail masterclass before, I didn’t know what to expect, but thankfully this one was the best one to start with! The chat function was full of friendly ‘Bobs’ from Craft Gin Club and the experts on hand to guide us though each cocktail and talk to us about their craft were incredibly informative and knowledgeable.
If you’re already a subscriber to Craft Gin Club (or if not, why not sign up here and experience their Cocktail Masterclasses for yourself?!) then I can highly, highly recommend signing upto one of their various events. As a member you already get money off a ticket, so really it’s similar to spending in their gin shop!
I want to thank the team at Craft Gin Club for inviting me to attend this Countdown To Christmas Cocktail Masterclass event. I didn’t really know what to expect, being alone in my sitting room with just a laptop and a variety of gins, mixers, syrups and tonics. But I couldn’t have been more welcomed by both the team (thanks to a birthday shout-out at the beginning! Thanks team!) and also the other ‘Bobs’ in the chat!
I’m keeping an eye out for any other events they’re holding as I will definitely join in! Who knew Zoom could be quite so friendly!?