The Cocktail Master Class at Max`s Bar & Brasserie

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The Cocktail Master Class at Max`s Bar & Brasserie

Welcome to the cocktail master class here at Max`s Bar & Brasserie. Have you ever been sipping on a cocktail and wished that you had the skills to make your own drink? If so then this Master class is perfect for you. It is designed for the complete novice, I will have you mixing and shaking in no time at all!

Over the next hour and a half I will guide you through the making of four cocktails I will begin with a brief introduction on the history of cocktails and then it is straight down to trying your hand at making cocktails, followed by tasting your own creations.

The History of the Cocktail

The true creation of a popular cocktail can be traced to the nineteenth century. One early written reference to the term "cocktail" (as a drink based on spirits with other spirits and additives) can be found in an American magazine “The Balance” published in May 1806. It stated that a "Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters...

"1860 to 1920 – California: The Birthplace of the First Cocktails.

The cocktail's fragmented history begins in the nineteenth century. One of the first modern cocktails to be named and recognized is the martini. It can be traced back to an 1862 recipe for the Martinez.

This American recipe consisted of four parts sweet red vermouth to one part gin, garnished with a cherry. "Professor" Jerry Thomas tended the bar of the old Occidental Hotel in San Francisco and reputedly made the drink for a gold miner on his way to the town of Martinez, which lay forty miles to the east. The recipe for the Martinez in Thomas' 1887 bartender's guide called for Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, a dash of maraschino and bitters, as well as a slice of lemon and two dashes of gum syrup.

A modern day dry martini consists of gin and dry white vermouth, garnished with an olive. Obviously, gin has changed a lot since then, when it would have been relatively sweet compared to modern gins. Some even claim the martini was named after the Martini-Henry rifle used by the British army around 1870, as both the rifle and the drink had a strong kick!

What we do know is that by 1900, the martini had become known nationwide and had spread to the other side of the Atlantic. This is said by some to be the beginning of the golden age of cocktails. During this time a basic list of cocktails emerged and steadily became more and more popular.

1920 to 1933 - Prohibition in the USA

On January 16, 1920, the National Prohibition Act became the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This meant it was illegal to manufacture, sell, transport, import, or export any "intoxicating liquors." Despite this, much of the general public still had ways to gain access to the illegal substance, often through speakeasies and private parties. Gangsters focused on bootlegging and moonshine, making Chicago a centre of booze, gambling and prostitution. Al Capone was the most notorious crime boss and the power behind the illegal activities in Chicago during Prohibition. As a gangster and racketeer, Capone became one of the biggest bootleggers of all time.

The popularity of cocktails at that time was at least partly due to the need to cover up the bad taste of some of the crudely produced hooch smuggled by the bootleggers. Some of the cocktail recipes used today were invented in the days of Prohibition as cocktail recipes flourished in the illegal bars, parties and clubs of major American cities.

1934 to 1959 – The Margarita is born

This period was one of great innovation. One of the most popular cocktails—the margarita—is said to have originated in 1948. A Dallas socialite named Margarita same purportedly hosted a poolside Christmas party at her vacation home in Acapulco, Mexico. The party game for Margarita was to mix drinks behind the bar and let her guests rate the results. When she mixed three parts tequila with one part triple sec and one part lime, it was such a success among her guests that it quickly travelled from Texas to Hollywood and the rest of the country, bearing her name.

Legend also says the drink originated in the early 1930s at the Caliente Racetrack Bar in Tijuana, Mexico. There is little evidence, though, for the story of showgirl Marjorie King who had an allergy to most alcoholic drinks and could only drink tequila. In 1938, she asked for a tequila cocktail rather than a shot at the Rancho Del Gloria Bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico. The bartender, Danny Herrera, poured tequila over shaved ice then added lemon and triple sec. The drink was then named after Marjorie (or at least, the Spanish translation of her name).

1960 to Present – Commercialisation and Innovation In the second half of the twentieth century, the cocktail has taken on many guises as its popularity has flourished. Both literature and film have contributed to the images of wealth and class associated with the cocktail hour.

With the constant creation of new drinks (with some strange and interesting names), cocktails have become increasingly popular. Names such as the Freddy Kruger, pan galactic, gargle blaster, Afternoon Delight and Sex on the Beach, it's no wonder cocktails are all the rage.

The equipment

To make fabulous cocktails you need the right equipment! In Max’s bar we have a whole range of different tools for you to use below are just some of them

Boston Shaker

Hawthorn Strainer


Bar Spoon

Spirit Jigger

The perfect tool for

shaking those cocktails

Before serving we often want to remove the ice from the drink for this we need a strainer

To really release those fresh flavours from fruits or herbs we use the muddler

The bar spoon is perfect for layering drinks with those delicate liqueurs

A cocktail is a delicate balance of ingredients, the jigger is designed so you pour the perfect measure

Max’s most popular cocktails

Bloody Mary -
Venezia Vodka Organic Tomato Juice, Salt, Pepper, Tabasco Sauce, Worcester Sauce and Ice.
This cocktail encapsulates all that is Hollywood! Colour, spice and energy! The perfect drink to revitalise yourself after a relaxing meal at Max BB. The ideal pick me up!

Bellini 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani Founder of the Harry`s Barnin Venice, Fresh Withe Peach & Prosecco

Max Spicy Ginger vodka and Lemon grass, Limoncello, Horseradish, Nutmeg, Ginger beer and Ice. This is Lime woods best selling cocktail, it is very refresh, recommended with any food also good after dinner

Mogi Expresso Martini Kalhua Coffe Liqueur, Vanilla Vodkla ,Crème de Cacao brown, & MOG espresso coffee, after many cocktails I personally believe that this is perfect for the end of your cocktail master class

Vesper Martini "James Bond Style" N3 London Dry Gin, Potochi Vodka, Carpano Punt & Mens Antica Formula, and Orange zest, This Drinks is the really James Bond Orginal one

Max`s Honey Old Fashion Created and inveted by Max Romano at The Lime Wood Hotel in 2012. This is first Cocktail made by a Bartender with a Jack Honey Spirit, This Drink is also Digestive and very Tasty and Elegant in the Palate

I hope you enjoyed this master class and will now be mixing your very own creations as well as some of mine at home with friends and family.

Massimiliano Romano

Max`s Bar and Brasserie


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