Last weekend Sheryl and I were at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for a craft cocktail class presented by Matt Allen. Matt is The Westin Kierland’s resident mixologist, and has created a series of classes teaching participants how to make craft cocktails at home. This particular class was called “Crafted Cocktails with Matt” and we walked through building and preparing three delicious cocktails. The drink names were:
- The Miner’s Wife
- Rhubon Sour
- Caribbean Café
According to the resort’s website, “Just in time to spring into a new season, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa presents ‘Crafted Cocktails with Matt.’ Resort mixologist Matt Allen will teach guests about various spirits, the art of mixology, and what’s trending in the cocktail scene, all while teaching them to become craft cocktail connoisseurs. The 90-minute classes will feature hands-on instruction about how to create classic crafted cocktails that will add zest to any celebration. Participants will be provided with their own bar station complete with all the ingredients needed to mix and drink their creations.”
The class was sold out, and when we walked in, all of the stations were setup and all of the ingredients were measured and separated for us. This made it easy as we prepared each drink, but Matt made us do a little work along the way. We had to cut our own lemons, peel our own garnish and shake each cocktail thoroughly. That was the most fun… Learning how to properly shake a cocktail.
When we left, everyone was handed recipe cards that included the ingredients and the method for making these drinks. Heck, I stood there and made them along side 12 of my closest friends… Not sure I could replicate it without the guidance of Mr. Matt Allen. But these cards do provide a lot of insight, and in an effort to get you drinking craft cocktails at home, I wanted to share this insight with you today. Enjoy!
The Miner’s Wife
1.5 oz. Desert Diamond Distillery Gold Miner Vodka
0.5 oz. Carpano Bianco Vermouth
1 oz. Pink Peppercorn Honey Syrup*
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 ea. Fresh Basil Leaf
6 drops Barkeep Lavender Bitters
1 cup Orange or Wildflower Honey
1 cup Filtered Water
3 Tbs. Pink Peppercorns
Bring honey, water and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out peppercorns and refrigerate.
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and share for 10 seconds; strain into a highball Collins glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.
Please note that we actually squeezed our own lemons for these cocktails. See the photo below as proof that I did in fact squeeze lemons!
1 oz. Tin Cup American Whisky
1 oz. Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 oz. Agave Syrup
4 drops Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters
1 ea. Egg White (Optional)
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds; strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.
I tried a small sip of the Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea. It. Was. DELICIOUS! Matt did say it isn’t easy to find, but I hope to find this online… It was good enough to drink neat or with an ice cube.
Oh, and the egg white was optional. Matt said people sometimes freak out over having egg white in a drink… Me, heck no. Throw it in. It did help with the mouthfeel on this, and made the drink almost frothy. I am not even sure if egg white has flavor. Regardless, it took this drink to another level.
0.75 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
0.75 oz. St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
0.75 oz. Orgeat Syrup
1.5 oz. Almond Milk
Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds; strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg.
Matt told the story of the coupe glass, but I don’t remember all he said. I do know the glass has a lot of history dating back to the days of prohibition. Oh, and for this cocktail, we didn’t get to shave our own nutmeg. Matt did that for us!
I am not sure which I liked best… The Miner’s Wife was light, fresh and refreshing. The Rhubon Sour smelled terrible, but tasted great. I also really enjoyed the Caribbean Café. I mean, I love coffee, and if you throw some coffee liqueur at me… Well, chances are I am going to drink it. Matt said this coffee liqueur puts Kahlúa to shame. He’s right. It does!
This class is being offered through April 30th, and will cost you $50 per person. That includes light appetizers, all three mixed drinks, a discount on appetizers at the Waltz & Weiser Whiskey Bar and Cantina, recipe cards and your very own cocktail shaker. We actually needed a new one of those, so that was a nice touch.
Thank you to Matt and the entire F&B staff at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa for inviting us to enjoy “Crafted Cocktails with Matt.” It was a ton of fun, and now I want to go mix some cocktails at home. Cheers!
Oh, and funny story… When I added this event to my calendar, I invited Sheryl. She immediately responded with, “Who is Matt and why are we having cocktails with him?” Ha! She’s a riot.
Please remember to always drink responsibly.