Speaking of cocktails

I’ve just spent an entire blog post talking about how women DON’T get together and drink cocktails and talk about men. Then I realised I mentioned cocktails in the previous post (lack thereof), and I’m about to talk about cocktails again. But not in the context of knitting group!

Lauren, one of my knitting friends (argh!) had some tickets she couldn’t use to a tasting event put on by Courvoisier, and she kindly gave them to me. I invited Tim as my plus one, and when we arrived we realised how lucky we were – there were over 270 applicants for only 15 tickets.

We were greeted with a welcome cocktail – either a classic Sidecar or a more modern Cooler which was mixed with ginger ale. Of course, we tried both, with the Sidecar the clear winner. We moved on to a talk about Courvoiser and how the brand is trying to reposition itself as a younger, more trendy drink that you can mix in cocktails as well as drinking straight. We were given a cocktail demonstration by the two mixologists, Tim and I can’t agree on the name of the first one, either Betsy or Patsy (Tim thinks Patsy and I’ll stick with that), and Ben. There’s only one way to describe Patsy and that’s as a cocktail geek. I’ve never seen so much passion and enthusiasm. Here she is demonstrating what do you with your twist of citrus:


(squeeze it so the oils come out)

and getting enthusiastic about egg cups, which she theorises were the first shot measures:


Neat trick with egg, by the way. Patsy removed the spring from a cocktail strainer, put it in the shaker with some egg white, shook it around a bit, and voila! Whisked egg whites. I don’t usually like eggy cocktails but the one she made was really nice.

Then we got to make our own cocktail:


Ben rated mine, and I thought it tasted pretty good. Encouraged by the Canadian Patsy, Tim put beer in his. The less said the better.

At various stages small groups of us were led into the “secret room” for the promised special multi-sensory experience with – oooh – blindfolds.


The idea was to put the blindfolds on and smell the (20- to 35-year-old) cognac in our glasses, as a diffuser wafted different scents over to us – crème brûlée, citrus and so on. It was really interesting picking out the different notes. Then we got to drink it.


Canapés were matched with the cognac. The pea one and the smoked trout one were my favourites. Then it was time for dessert:


Salt and pepper lolly, mini crème brûlée, and an amazing port and Stilton truffle (presumably courtesy of Paul A Young). Ohhh that truffle.

Clutching my goody bag, I made my merry way home, where I drank a LOT of water and rolled into bed. According to Tim, I wrote some funny tweets before I fell asleep, and according to Judy, Tim drunk dialled her on his way home. I think it’s safe to say a fun night was had by all. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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