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If you’re looking to brush up on your shaking and stirring techniques, create Insta-worthy garnishes or learn more about the history of booze and how it’s produced, you might think your only option is registering for classes at your local bartending academy. But you can actually do it in your PJs or yoga pants. These six courses bring the pros to you with instructional videos, primers, worksheets and quizzes from some of the world’s bar stars. Register for one and you can flex when hosting your next cocktail party, virtual or otherwise.
6 Cocktail-Making Classes to Take Online
A Bar Above Mixology
The certification includes two in-depth courses. First, master ingredients with a primer on citrus, sweeteners, spirits, bitters, egg whites and garnishes, then tackle balance, flavor and cocktail creation, checking your understanding with quizzes at the end of each section. Receiving your certification requires passing a timed hourlong multiple-choice exam testing key concepts and a practical exam creating an original cocktail using the techniques taught in the class.
The founder of this course makes it very clear that it covers only drinks, not bar operations, so it’s a great option not only for bartenders but also enthusiasts looking to up their drinks-making game. "The Mixology Certification is designed for people who already know how to bartend,” says co-founder and instructor Chris Tunstall. “It's all about learning the advanced techniques behind creating your own custom cocktail recipes that are balanced, creative and unique." ($147)
Created for Pernod Ricard by the partners of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) LLC—the same folks behind the respected BAR 5-Day Program—this industry-led bartender education program is also fitting for the budding home bartender. BarStarts is a six-hour course for beginners, taught in four modules. Chapters in Spirits Basics cover the basics of fermentation, distillation, maturation and tasting. Spirits and Liqueurs includes information on the major spirits categories. Cocktail History & Bar Essentials features the history and rise of the cocktail, Prohibition, the current cocktail renaissance and skills that include tools, ice and garnishes. And Service Management and Cocktail Recipes is a toolkit of prep tips, batching, contemporary techniques and 25 drinks every bartender should know.
Each module ends with a multiple-choice quiz, with a final exam at the end. The more comprehensive BarSmarts course has more in-depth instruction on how to taste like a professional, production knowledge, history and technique. ($29 for BarStarts or BarSmarts)
Mixology MasterClass with with Ryan Chetiyawardana and Lynnette Marrero
Master bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, whose concept Dandelyan (now closed) snagged the top spot on the 2018 list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, has teamed up with Speed Rack founder Lynnette Marrero for a mixology course on virtual educational platform MasterClass. The 17-part series of hands-on lessons covers topics like stocking a home bar, identifying your palate preferences, using eggs safely and correctly, classic cocktails to add to your repertoire, prebatching libations for effortless entertaining, and innovative ways to balance flavors with a variety of spirits and bitters. Students leave the class with at least 20 recipes, including Chetiyawardana’s signature take on the Bloody Mary with miso paste, ginger and togarashi.
“Most of my friends are pretty well- versed in their home cooking; some are quite tremendous home cooks.” says Chetiyawardana. “But the joy of a homemade cocktail can be just what's needed [with] that extra sense of fun and joy.” ($15/month subscription gets you access to this course and all others on MasterClass courses)
Elixir to Go Great Cocktails: A First Course in Mixology
Founder H. Joseph Ehrmann is taking his popular team-building cocktail classes online, where small groups can book a private event and virtually learn the art of making cocktails. He and his team will supply the list of required materials for the class in advance via an Amazon list so you can purchase what you need. Or you can choose not to be hands-on at all and just sit back and glean skills by watching the class. The course teaches the fundamentals of home bartending, necessary tools and cocktail construction. ($55 per person)
European Bartender School
The online course from the largest bartender school in the world in terms of the number of students and locations (currently 28 around the globe) also offers a virtual version where you can master bartending skills at your own pace. It includes three-and-a-half hours of on-demand videos, 35 bartending lessons, 48 cocktail recipes, access to its exclusive workbook, and a certificate upon completion of a short exam; the course is offered in English with Spanish, French, German and Italian subtitles. Instructor Gavin Wrigley has 20 years in the bartending industry; he will teach you the history of mixology, pouring techniques, the perfect serve, tools, equipment, flavor combinations, serving skills and more. ($25)
Seedlip Nonalcoholic Cocktail Classes
If you’re not imbibing, you don’t have to be left out of the fun of making drinks. Seedlip, the world’s first line of distilled nonalcoholic spirits, is offering online classes about making zero-proof cocktails. It has asked its global brand ambassadors to demonstrate making crafty sips at home from recipes from the Seedlip Cocktail Book using ingredients you probably already have on hand, and they also share tips, tricks and home-bartending hacks. Episodes are released every Thursday at 7 p.m. EST on the brand's Instagram account. (free, but Seedlip suggests purchasing its Recipe Bundle for $94, which includes all three Seedlip expressions and the book from which the recipes are drawn)