After a wonderfully cultured day exploring the Edinburgh Castle grounds, Gemma and I jumped on a train to Bellgrove Station in Glasgow. As we arrived a little early for our Cocktail Masterclass we found a nice spot in a nearby café where we made great friends with the waiter!
After a short time, we made our way across the road to Tennent’s Training Academy. The UK’s largest beer attraction can be seen a mile off thanks to its recognisable large red T marking Tennent’s Brewery (we will soon be releasing their Brewery Tours so keep an eye out!). Today we were heading to Tennent’s Training Academy located next door to the Brewery. Inside was the check in desk where we handed over our names and vouchers, we were then given free access into Tennent’s Story Heritage Centre. Here, we explored the grand history of Tennent’s and discovered exactly how they got to where they are today – fascinating!
Once our group had all arrived, we were led to the masterclass building at the back of the complex. We then met Becky, our cocktail instructor for the evening, she was very friendly and easy to talk to! We wandered into the bar area where we greeted with a complimentary cocktail and delicious table nibbles.
Our first awaiting cocktail was a gorgeous raspberry and passionfruit caipirinha. The Brazilian speciality drink was super refreshing and had a sweet tang to it, which both Gemma and I loved! We drank these whilst introducing ourselves and declaring our favourite cocktail to the rest of the group (for me it had to be a Pornstar Martini).
Becky then described and demonstrated our next cocktail masterpiece – a strawberry and watermelon margarita! She explained that every cocktail must balance the four main flavours in order to create the perfect drink; Strong, Weak, Sweet and Tart. For example, this drink included the strong flavour of tequila, a weaker strawberry and watermelon liqueur, a sweet sugar syrup and finally using strawberries and freshly squeezed lime wedges to add a sweet and tart flavour. After a full professional shake with ice, Becky poured the red mixture through the miniature sieve into the chilled glass. Top tip! Before you begin, fill your glass with ice and soda water to instantly chill the glass. Garnished with a few tiny strawberries, the cocktail was complete – Delicious! One by one we went up behind the bar to test our memory, as well as our cocktail making skills. Gemma was very delicate with her performance, carefully adding the quantities together and shaking with class! I on the other hand, a little more heavy-handed poured in the shots acting as if I’d done it for years – one day I’ll get there. After a final shake, I poured out the drink and served it to myself (top customer I must say!).
We then went back to the tables in front of the bar to finish our drinks, top up on a few nibbles and enjoy the background music! Once we were all ready to begin our next drink, Becky surprised us that this time, in pairs, we would be creating our very own cocktail using whatever drinks we wanted…(no that doesn’t mean pour in every spirit in sight – keep to one 50ml shot of the strong flavours to keep your cocktail tasting incredible). A note pad sheet was laid out in front of us so we could start jotting down ideas. Gemma and I luckily like anything alcoholic with tropical juice inside it so we were straight down the martini route. After choosing vanilla vodka as our strong shot, we went for a half shot of peach schnapps and passionfruit liqueur to get the sweet fruity sensation! A little Vanilla and few shots of orange juice, and we were ready to add ice and shake…a few Instagram boomerangs later, we were ready to pour. To finish, we garnished our drink with an iconic halved passionfruit, and there we have it the ‘WillGem’. It had come to life and made a huge impact on the room, we were all very impressed with the tropical flavours and delivery of the drink – tick!
Gemma and I had a fantastic evening at Tennent’s, we can even confirm that our cocktail abilities weren’t half bad! A huge thank you to Karen for organising our visit, Becky for her wonderful hosting skills, and the rest of the Tennent’s team for making our evening a success!!