Cocktail hour (the masterclass) ~ XOXO Bar, Islington

Mastering the art of a good cocktail hour is definitely something I’m interested in achieving so when I saw a cocktail masterclass at the XOXO bar pop up on my ever informative twitter feed I was onto my emails in a few minutes to find out more.

XOXO bar is new to the Islington social scene, opening its doors in January this year. Its interior is definitely something you’d expect of a sleek cocktail bar, a cool decor with bright red accents, leather sofas, sociable booths and tall tables for two.  In addition to the cocktails they also serve Thai food, we had a sample of some tasty spring rolls during the class which went down well!

As for the masterclass their knowledgeable mixologist introduced himself and was open to all our questions, with over 15 years experience in the West End I wasn’t going to miss a chance on testing his expertise.  There were four cocktails on the menu, the traditional Mojito, and XOXO specialities the Lychee martini (delicious and pretty, see above!), Easy emerald (a best-selling cocktail featuring kiwi and cucumber) and a traffic light shot (also delicious!).  He showed us how to create each and then we got to have a go at making two ourselves.  I went for the Lychee martini and Easy emerald for the separation and muddling challenges.

Here are a few things I picked up from this very enjoyable masterclass:

  • White rum is better than brown rum for Mojitos, something to do with the sugar in brown rum alters the flavour.
  •  How to do cool cocktail layering with a Bar spoon.
  • The art of ‘smooth’ cocktail shaking!

The masterclass was suitable for anyone with an interest in cocktails so if you fancy doing one you may be able to persuade the kind people at XOXO to host another event.  If you’re just interested in drinking good cocktails I think it could host a good night also, either for a date during the week or with friends at the weekend where they have DJs and a small dancefloor.  I’ll definitely be popping back to sample a few more cocktails on the menu.

If you want to find out about their current events or get in touch with them you can follow them on twitter @XOXObar.

P.S. A big thank you to XOXO bar for providing the photos in this post after my own photos went when camera was stolen.