DIY: La Cuisine "Shake it Baby" Cocktail Class

La Cuisine
89 Boulevard Saint-Michel
75005 Paris
Tel: 01 40 51 78 18

This may come as no surprise: I’m a very social person. I love going out, catching up with friends and finding great cocktail bars. However, there are times when I love – just as much – some serious me time. Quiet nights at home are what recharge me and keep me fun, friendly Forest instead of cranky, tired Forest. Friday nights in are my favorite. And, the best part about it: I can still make myself a stand-out cocktail if I so wish. So, what to do if you don’t know how to make yourself something tempting? Take a class, I say!

In addition to cocktail bars, I am trying to get around the various cocktail classes offered in Paris. So, let’s start with the latest: La Cuisine Paris. In addition to a long list of tempting cooking classes (including macarons!) La Cuisine offers “Shake it Baby” – your chance to learn to mix a few tipples like a pro.

For the bargain price of 45 Euros, you can spend an hour and a half in the company of the young, charming, talented, bilingual (& cute…yes, I know I can be superficial…) barman, Fred. Having seen his fine work at le Cercle, I was looking forward to this one. The class covered four different well-known cocktails including two old schools: Martinez & Whiskey Sour (with eggwhite) and two new kids on the block: Tommy’s Margarita of Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco and the Gin Basil Smash of le Lion, Hamburg (which – in my humble opinion, of course – is one of the best cocktail bars out there.)

I was immediately impressed by the clean, bright and welcoming work space of la Cuisine. And, by happy coincidence friend and fellow blogger, Lindsey, was there to take in some cocktail knowledge as well. Fred did a commendable job of going through the basics (tools and ingredients) and walking us through the prep of each cocktail step by step as our group of seven or so girls each made – and sampled – our own drinks. We even ran overtime a bit, but this didn’t stop Fred from finishing our lesson and we ended with my favorite of the bunch, the Martinez.

While hard-core cocktaillians might find the syllabus a bit newbie, this is a perfect class for those who are starting to dabble in the world of cocktails or just generally curious. However, having spoken to them before the class, it sounds like they are open and receptive to a group’s needs. In other words, get enough people together to sign up for a group class and you just might be able to talk them into something more geared towards your cocktail level and interests.

In short: an excellent way for a gaggle of girls (or boys) to spend a fun and informative afternoon. Or a great thing to do for those of us who like to stay home from time to time but still want a stellar cocktail while doing it.