According to Wikipedia there’s a lack of clarity regarding the origins of cocktails, although many articles point to the land of the free as the originator of the sophisticated cocktail.  But, it appears in the 18th century the word cocktail was used in British newspaper print possibly associated with the popularity of punch houses serving bowls of spirits and fruit juices.   Without having to massage another cocktail experts written words on the subject to fit my blog, Vinepair writes a great summary of ‘The history of Cocktails’ and it’s an interesting read.

From the 1920s to the 1960s cocktails were part of the social scene.  Just think of James Bond with his preference to a Martini shaken not stirred.   From late 1960s to 1980s cocktails became less popular and replaced with Cinzano, Campari pre-made aperitif class drinks.  All made, bottled – dry or sweet already to add mixers, olives or cocktail cherries.  This was the height of sophistication in my house at Christmas time back in the 70s.  This Christmas my brother has Cinzano on the drinks list as a reminder of those years.

As with things of the past we do see a cocktail making renaissance.  Just as the afternoon tea ceremony cocktails and the art of rose like a Phoenix from the flames with the release of 1988 movie, Cocktail.  Cocktail is a film about bartenders (Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown) with choreographed cocktail making scenes (see video clip), girls and money.  Back in the late 80s the thought of Tom Cruise making Sex on the Beach resurrected the interest in cocktails.  Cocktails were given sexed-up names with garish colours to allure the next generation of cocktail drinkers and then to reawaken the profession of mixology thereafter.

Today there are plenty of bars all over the globe serving cocktails or having a special cocktail hour or two to tempt those who like a tipple.

If you would like to master the art of mixology we have a cocktail making Masterclass Experience in our portfolio of ‘Party Things To Do’,  and here’s a little of what you’ll get if you book a workshop.


Each guest receives a champagne cocktail on arrival and the mixologist will give a brief history and facts of the classic cocktails.

The party will be split you into groups, allocating you with your own bar and mixology equipment.  The mixologist demonstrates and teaches you how to mix, muddle, build and shake.  You will be picking up skills on free-paring and basic bar flaring you then get to make and drink your own World famous cocktails.

To showcase your new talents, you have the opportunity to express your bar flaring skills in a mix-off. Each group will receive selected spirits, liquors, and juices and a range of necessary ingredients to design, name and make your own personalised cocktail. You are then judged by our own mixologist on creativity, presentation and flavour.

At the end of the workshop each guest will receive a memento certificate and the winning group shall receive a stainless steel Manhattan cocktail shaker per guest.  Group size: 6 guests upwards.  Price based on group size and location (Norfolk or Suffolk).  £50 set-up charge on all bookings.

Please contact us for prices.

 Our cocktail masterclass includes:-

  • Professional mixologist
  • Four full cocktails each
  • Cocktail tasting
  • Vodka shot
  • Two hour class
  • Mix-off game played
  • Classic cocktail making


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