Traveling is a time for winding down and letting loose a little, so it’s hardly surprising that vacations and cocktails go hand in hand. Playing off of our natural inclination to hit the sauce while traveling, a number of hotel bars are offering mixology classes to guests and non-guests alike. Now, you can at least come away from your booze-soaked trip with more than just a hangover—you can come back with brand new bartending skills.
Purple Bar at Sanderson, London
In the theatrical surroundings of the Purple Bar, in the chic Phillipe Starck-designed Sanderson, you can have a hands-on lesson in the craft of cocktail making, learning the art of mixology step-by-step and mastering bar equipment. Classes cost £50 ($73) per person and include a Champagne cocktail upon arrival (you also get to drink the two cocktails you make).
What to drink (if money’s burning a hole in your pocket): The “Manhattan 1913,” made with the last bottle of pre-Prohibition McBrayer Bourbon 1913, Antica Formula and the traditional two dashes of Angostura Bitters (£360/$528).
ONYX Bar at Park Hyatt, Zurich
Two-hour cocktail classes for groups of two to 12 people are on offer at the 2014 Mixology Bar Award’s “Bar of the Year,” ONYX Bar. As well as perfecting your bartending, these classes delve into the history of bar culture and famous cocktails. The CHF 120 ($125) per person cover includes three cocktails (prepared by you) and an appetizer plate.
What to Drink: A barrel-aged cocktail. The barrels, which are made from French oak, are stored between three to six months depending on the cocktail or spirits
Blu Bar on 36 at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
On the 36th floor of the Shangri-La, Blu Bar offers views over Sydney Harbour, which you can drink in while sipping your own cocktail creations. Two-hour-long private cocktail classes are available for six to 20 guests, and teach you about the history of cocktails and offer advice on hosting your own cocktail party at home. And yes, they also teach you how to make a perfect cocktail. The AUS$105 ($80) per person cover includes a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival and a selection of canapés.
What to drink (if money’s no object): The $10,000 ($7,585) “Martini On The Rock,” which comes with a diamond and a room for the night.
Jade Bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Arizona
Mixology 101 classes take place Every Saturday at 1 p.m. in Sanctuary’s Jade Bar. The hour-long sessions include how-to instruction for creating three to four cocktails, trivia, and tips focused on a different spirit each week—and they promise plenty of sampling. ($30 per person.)
What to drink: Sip a “Lady Sage,” made with fresh sage leaves, Aviation American Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and a small egg white, while taking in spectacular mountain views from the bar’s patio.
Coral Bar at Viceroy, Riviera Maya
It’s tough to beat a margarita on a Mexican beach, but, at the Coral Bar you can have the added satisfaction of having mixed your own. Their somewhat intense Artisanal Cocktail Coaching class includes one and a half hours of learning professional mixology skills and another hour and a half of actually working at the bar. The cost is $85 per person and you even receive a diploma at the end.
What to drink: A “Popsicle Margarita” in ginger, pineapple and cilantro, or watermelon, garnished with a popsicle of a complementing flavor.