Cocktail hour ~ Make and Shake Cocktail Workshop

As our Olympic experiences seemed long behind us in a flash, I suddenly noticed something had been missing in my life for the past few weeks – a delicious cocktail hour! So I pretty much leapt at an invite to attend the Make and Shake cocktail workshop at the White Rabbit in Stoke Newington last weekend. Sunday, sunshine, cocktails, bliss.                                                                                                                                                                                     *

Each workshop focuses on one spirit and so we were introduced to El Dorado, a quality rum that was sure to make some delicious cocktails and remind me of  the Caribbean.

Steph, a Brand Ambassador from El Dorado, got our taste buds tingling with some interesting facts and tasters of three of their rums aged 3, 5, and 8 years.  The neat spirit went down surprisingly well and its sweet flavours really stood out.

Did you know back in the day Sailors used to drink half a pint of rum a day as it was the safest liquid to drink?! It also used to be called ‘Kill Devil’ as it was often used to help get rid of illnesses.

With our new rum knowledge in our back pocket, experienced mixologist, David Hamilton got into showing us how to make three great rum cocktails.

First up, the classic Mojito. I really didn’t realise how dangerously easy it is to make this and I’ll certainly be whipping them up for the next time I have some friends over.

David showed us how the professionals did it and then we got to work.

Here’s how you make one.  You’ll need:

  • A tall glass
  • Cocktail spoon
  • muddler
  • Sprig & a half of mint
  • 2 (cocktail) spoons of sugar
  • 1 shot of lime juice (the fresh kind, not in a lime shaped bottle)
  • 2 shots of white rum (we used El Dorado 3 year old)
  • crushed ice
Spoon your sugar into your glass and add the lime juice and mint.  Get your muddler and press your mint into your sugar and lime. Add your rum and fill your glass up with ice about two-thirds from the top, with the flat end of your cocktail spoon churn the ice, moving the spoon up and down and around to get a well mixed cocktail.  Top your glass up with ice (more ice helps keep it cool) and add sprig of mint for decoration.  Here’s what I got to enjoy!

We then moved on to The Swizzler, a refreshing drink with rum, ginger syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and bitters. It’s pretty simple and you can find the ingredients over on David’s blog as he recently entered it into the El Dorado competition.  All you need to be prepared to do is swizzle!

To get yourself one of these deliciously different cocktails.


Last but not least we made a sophisticated Daiquiri, involving more delicious rum, orange blossom syrup, and Cointreau.

Now I got shaking and all the rum excitement went to my head and made me completely forget the full list of ingredients and sadly the recipe isn’t up on the blog just yet to jog my memory.   I can tell you it was pretty tasty though…

As you can imagine it was a fun way to end the weekend and we set off into the remaining sun joyously light-headed with our new cocktail knowledge swishing (or perhaps swizzling!) around our heads.

White Rabbit was a great host and I’d recommend checking out their garden if you’re in Stoke Newington when the sun’s shining.

It’d be a great thing to do with a group of friends or even a fun date and at £15 each it’s an absolute bargain!

The next date is already in the diary so if you’re free on 7 October 2012 pencil it in!  The spirit of choice is yet to be confirmed but David’s promised to keep me up to date so I can pass all the information on.  In the meantime you can find more about the workshop on the Make and Shake website.

I don’t know about you but white rum, mint and lime juice is definitely on the shopping list for some bank holiday weekend Mojitos!

Do you have a favourite cocktail spirit? A rum fan?