THERE WAS A TIME when home mixologists could rely on David A. Embury’s 1948 how-to book titled “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks” to master any traditional libation party guests might request. Things have changed a lot since then. With the rise in popularity of craft cocktails, the culture has changed significantly. “More options mean more drinks to create with them,” says Hayato Nogaki, director of food and beverage at The Resort at Pelican Hill®, referring to the current bevy of innovative ingredients. “The taste for spirits and love for cocktails is high now.”
Beyond a mixologist’s formal training, Nogaki says it takes “a lot of trial and error” to concoct a balanced, enticing drink. But a true cocktail connoisseur understands the history and complexity of spirits, and why certain ingredients blend well together or don’t. That’s, in part, what inspired Nogaki to share this knowledge with guests at The Resort, so they can recreate, or reinvent, their favorite libations at home. So on select Fridays this summer, The Resort is oﬀerring two-hour Luxology workshops on the Coliseum Pool’s upper terrace, aptly chosen for the top-shelf spirits served at the posh poolside setting.
Whether you wish to master the classic Manhattan with bitters or tap into the martini trend of the moment, this mid-afternoon event under the sun serves up basic skills with a splash of fun for Resort guests and anyone from the public who registers.
Against the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific, guest mixologists from preferred spirits vendors like Código and Grey Goose will introduce students to the spirit of the week, sharing their fi eld-to-bottle experiences and answering any questions. (What makes bourbon, bourbon? What’s the diﬀerence between tequila and mezcal?)
Next, the group of 12 to 15 students will get to try their hands at making popular mixed drinks, such as The Resort’s oft-ordered Goose Espresso Martini. Classes will cover everything from the preferred type of espresso (“You want the softest beans,” says Nogaki.) to the proper glass for the pour to the art of the garnish. Experts also will share their tips for turning warm spirits like whiskey into refreshing summer drinks like the Mint Julep.
“Adding ingredients like ginger beer, bitters and honey, or blending bourbon with a bit of gin, is a great way to make it more seasonal,” notes Nogaki.
Free experimentation and personal requests for instruction are also welcome. (So go ahead and ask how to craft that Cotton Candy Cosmo you’ll drink only in secret.) Perhaps the best part about this class? Instead of earning a grade at the end, you’ll enjoy what you’ve made, along with savory small bites provided by The Resort.
“This interactive oﬀerring with only the fi nest products is something you won’t find elsewhere,” Nogaki says. “And it’s a fun way to learn a craft while mingling with new friends.”
There is a $40 charge for each workshop. To register, please contact The Resort concierge at 949.467.5287.