There are those of us that prefer to learn a new hobby or craft on our own--reading books, practicing and making mistakes. Then there are


Prepare to Get Schooled at These Cocktail Classes

There are those of us that prefer to learn a new hobby or craft on our own--reading books, practicing and making mistakes. Then there are those who learn best in the classroom, preferring a hands-on approach in the presence of an expert or professional. When it comes to making cocktails, you can study the craft with either method, and locally we have authors, experts, and seasoned professionals to learn from. And thankfully, most classes include plenty of sipping and sampling tasty cocktails, because, you know, practice makes perfect.

Cicchetti on Eastlake has an ongoing cocktail class program, pairing tasty food and drinks with a look into the world of craft cocktails. About once a month, usually Saturday afternoons, thirsty students can learn about cocktail history and various spirits, bitters, and liqueurs. Upcoming classes include Tiki Party!, The Spirits of the Pacific Northwest, and Serafina's Manhattan Superiore--a look at the restaurant's signature version of the classic cocktail. Classes cost $55 plus tax and tip, and require reservations. All the details can be found on their website.

Anu Apte, owner of Rob Roy--profiled in last week's Grillaxin'--is starting Swig Well, a cocktail academy. Apte will be teaching many classes in the beginning, along with other local cocktail experts like Ted Munat, author of Left Coast Libations. She hopes to have other big names in the cocktail world teach classes someday soon though. Classes will range in length and price, but hopefully within the $75-$200 price range. Students will receive passports they can have stamped with each completed class, along with other Swig Well-branded gear like notebooks and pens.

Bartenders working at various restaurants in the Tom Douglas Empire occasionally stir up cocktail classes. This week at Cuoco in South Lake Union, you can learn all about Italian Amaros while sipping on cocktails and enjoying Italian bites. From 5:30-6:30 on Wednesday, October 12, $15 gets you three cocktails plus food. Sign-up at ">

Barrio restaurant has been teaching cocktail classes all summer, with the series conclusion this month. Bartenders Aleko Lilly and Casey Robison have already taught classes on Latin drinks, spirits, and cocktail classics from 1805-1930. The final class on October 22 will focus on contemporary classics from the 1950s to today. The class begins at 2 p.m., lasts 60-90 minutes, costs $50, and includes snacks from the Barrio cocina. Call (206) 838-3853 to reserve.

The Local Vine is known for its extensive wine knowledge, and wine tasting classes, but it occasionally teaches a Spirits 101 class, offering a look into the world of distilled liquors like whiskey, gin, vodka, and tequila. The next class is Saturday, October 29 from 2:30-4 p.m. Students will learn about the history of distilled spirits and get schooled on how to stock a home bar.

Have you taken a cocktail class recently? Share your experience in the comments section.

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