Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Filling Station Cocktail Masterclass

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to my first blogging event. All very exciting, I know. It was a cocktail masterclass at the Filling Station and they had me at the word 'cocktail'. On the night, I made my way there, a little bit nervous about turning up solo to an event where I wouldn't know anyone. The lure of the free food dispelled some of those nerves though, I won't lie.

Upon arrival a drink was instantly offered to me and I took the opportunity to get a strawberry Daiquiri in my hands. This was a drink that I first fell in love with in Ibiza and since returning from that holiday, I've been searching for one which lives up to the Ibizan masterpieces I tasted. This one was hands down the best I've tasted in the two years since that holiday and I'm not just saying that because there was free food at the event. Honest.

We were persuaded over to the bar and the Cocktail Masterclass started, led by Andy Pearson, the Filling Station's choice of Mixologist. There were a number of cocktails on display in this class including a Red Berry Cheesecake (which genuinely tasted like a cheesecake. Bit weird in a good way), an Old Fashioned (very Mad Men-esque) and a lime Mojito. To finish up we also had the opportunity to help Andy create our own cocktail. It was patently clear that I'd only had one drink because at no point during the cocktail creation did I shout,

'Go on, chuck in some Tequila!'

I don't like to brag here but I'm pretty *ahem* talented at creating cocktails. My standard concoction normally involves Vodka, Champagne and orange juice and maybe a bit of Tequila too. A form of rocket fuel if you will. As you might therefore imagine my history of creating cocktails hasn't typically ended that well for me. For example there are vague memories of attempting to climb through a stranger's window in student halls in a vain effort to get to some biscuits. On another occasion my foray into cocktail making ended with me swinging my parka round my head on the dance floor, one thigh high sock round my ankles and everyone staring on in disbelief.

Much to everyone's benefit Andy steered clear of any such mixture though and the final result was a delicious Edinburgh Handbag which might make it on to the menu at the Filling Station in the future so be sure to ask for it if you venture in. If it doesn't make it onto the menu and the bartender looks at you like you've lost your mind then I take no responsibility for that.

One of the key lessons I picked up from the masterclass was that making cocktails is all about making sure that the balance of the ingredients is perfect. This is somewhat different to my usual method of adding a 'splash for luck' but I'm nothing if not keen to learn so on this occasion I'll go with the expert's advice.

My favourite drink of the night was the lime Mojito pictured above. I don't normally like Mojitos as they're too minty for me but this one had so much lime in it that it gave it a lovely zesty taste which was just to my liking. Do you know what goes well with lime? Yep, Tequila.

'Go on, chuck in some Tequila!'

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