minutes per mile blog

USN evening class review: classic cocktails

Good morning! I’m starting this rainy day with a fresh cup of juice…omega_NC800HDS_juicerFrom our new juicer! Review coming soon :)omega_NC800HDS_juicerAnd there’s more news on the beverage front. Last night Anthony and I attended a University School of Nashville evening class. The topic: cocktails!university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0473The 2.5-hour course was led by Nashville Scene Bites blogger Chris Chamberlain and co-instructor David Paine. These two knew a LOT about booze!university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0448Chris led the group (there were about ten of us) through a detailed lesson on spirits to start off. We sampled moonshine, white whisky, gin, vodka, whisky, rye, bourbon, scotch, brandy… hmm. No wonder Anthony and I overslept this morning :)_DSC0450Surprisingly, my favorites were the scotch and brandy!_DSC0456 I guess I’m a 60-year old man deep down inside.university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0459With each pour, Chris took us through the flavors and distilling process for each drink. Everyone seemed to prefer the spirits made with a blend of starches (ex: corn, barley, and rye) rather than those that were strictly based on a single starch. The Four Roses small-batch bourbon was probably the biggest winner!

I can’t say I’m very good at drinking things neat (let’s just say I actually gagged a few times on the moonshine and rye), so I was pretty pumped when we moved on to the cocktail portion of the class. And also very pumped when a huge baguette suddenly appeared and was passed around community-style.university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0460David started us off with one of the most classic cocktails: a martini! I’ve had martinis before but never really liked them. This one — a 5:1 gin/vermouth ratio — was really tasty, though! My dad loves martinis, so perhaps I’m finally following in his footsteps.university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0463We also learned how to make some other classic drinks: the Manhattan and the sidecar. Sipping a sidecar made me feel like I was living in the Great Gatsby days…university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0473and speaking of great, how impressive is this table? Our host had an amazing house in the Hillsboro area which was stocked with some great snacks, too! At the end of the night, all the guests went around and noted their favorite menu item of the evening… and I said that mine was the cheese and crackers :)university_school_nashville_cocktail_class_DSC0446Quite a wild Monday night, right?! Time to go pour myself another glass of juice.

  • Favorite spirit?
  • Favorite cocktail?
  • Have you taken any continuing education-type classes? If so, on what topic?

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