By Mark Chesnut
Having a drink with colleagues and clients shouldn’t be limited to ordering and toasting. Many hotels now offer mixology classes, which can provide a new dimension to business entertaining (and perhaps a fresh education for the next time you’re the bartender at home).
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, for example, sometimes organizes cocktail classes and other educational-but-fun events at its various properties. And Park Hyatt hosts the “Masters of Food & Wine,” a seasonal series of culinary and beverage “experiences” at all of its hotel locations. In Germany, the Park Hyatt Hamburg is offering two separate classes on September 22 and 23; one of the classes, dubbed “Hollywood Cocktails,” will teach guests the ins and outs of preparing libations that are fit for a celebrity.In Chicago, the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel offers a monthly mixology class at its Filini restaurant. Each month highlights a different creation; upcoming classes focus on the cognac side car (September 11), bourbon Manhattan (October 9), hot spiced wine (November 6) and homemade egg nog (December 11). Reservations are required, since space is limited.
On the West Coast, visitors can check into the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, where the Wolfgang Puck restaurant offers mixology classes (dates vary; check with the hotel or restaurant for schedule). Further north, in Seattle, the Sorrento Hotel attracts hotel guests and locals alike on the second Wednesdayof every month, when its Hunt Club Bar stages an event appropriately called “Drinking Lessons.” It’s an informative gathering that includes presentations by bartenders, drink historians and distillers. Upcoming classes feature absinthe (September 12), beer (October 10), vodka (November 14) and Champagne (December 12). Sessions cost $35, and reservations are required.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He’ll have a piña colada.