This Mixology MasterClass Is Helping Me Take My At-Home Happy Hour to the Next Level

updated May 14, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Volo

About a year ago, my partner and I bought a bar cart and decided that we were going to become home mixologists. We thought this would be a fun way to save money by whipping up our favorite cocktails at home. We learned a few tricks by researching online, consulting mixology cookbooks, and even mastered a few new cocktail recipes. But then we got stuck. We were making the same drinks over and over, just like when you eat the same meal over and over again. We were admittedly bored…and a little drunk. We knew we needed an extra push in the right direction to really make our epic home bar dreams come true. When I got wind of this Mixology course at MasterClass, I knew it was exactly the push I was looking for.

In case you haven’t heard of MasterClass, it’s an online school where celebrities and professionals teach lessons on what they do best. Kitchn has already tried Gordon Ramsay’s cooking course, but you can also take lessons from famous chefs like Alice Waters and Thomas Keller, learn writing skills from author Margaret Atwood, and get tips on being more authentic from RuPaul, to name a few.

My mixology class featured 17 lessons (about five-and-a-half hours long, in total) taught by acclaimed New York City beverage director Lynnette Marrero and London bar owner Ryan Chetiyawardana. Each has an impressive history (a quick Google search of their names returns phrases like “pioneering female bartender” and “world’s best bar”) and a solid resume, so I knew I was in good hands!

Having two instructors gave me two very unique perspectives into cocktail making. While each has their individual philosophies on mixology, I could tell they were both equally passionate and knowledgeable. For instance, Lynette taught me elevated yet accessible styles of cocktails, while Ryan’s instructions were slightly more advanced with some ambitious and inspiring techniques that gave me some cool new skills to strive for. They do impart their own knowledge, but ultimately the goal is to encourage the student (aka me) to develop their own unique palette and define their own cocktail-making style.

For a long time, I wondered exactly what my bar cart was missing. In this series, the instructors helpfully broke it all down for me. I learned what crucial spirits and bitters were absent from my collection and, more importantly, how to correctly use them. Both Lynnette and Ryan are great at demystifying complex flavor profiles in easy-to-understand terms. My bartender toolkit is admittedly lacking (turns out a shot glass is not a unit of measurement), but now I know just exactly what it needs. Besides sharing a list of tools they work with on a daily basis, I also appreciated that they shared alternatives that are typically found in most home kitchens.

Watching them build an array of complex, delicious cocktails was truly inspiring. There are so many subtle techniques that I’ve already started incorporating during my own cocktail hour. The classes are filled with great ideas for drinking solo or when entertaining. Plus, tips for hosting with ease and meal pairing will surely come to the rescue when we are able to be around friends again (soon!). In the meantime, though, I’m looking forward to my next Zoom cocktail party, so can I proudly show off all of my cool new skills!