portobello road gin cocktail masterclass

I don't go to many blogger events, but when I do boy are they good ones! A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a cocktail masterclass with Portobello Road Gin at Manahatta in Leeds, a bar that I've never actually visited before (but would definitely recommend if you're in the city centre!), and it was so much fun that I wanted to share it all with you. I met new bloggers and reconnected with others; enjoyed good food and drank great cocktails; laughed a lot and even won a full-size bottle of gin!

Now I know what you're thinking, in my IBS post I did talk about how I no longer really drink alcohol; that is to say that I don't drink in great quantities, I don't get drunk and I don't drink often. But if there's one thing that I can't resist it's a good cocktail! Gone are the days of a pitcher of Woo-Woo in my local spoons drunk straight from the jug though (we've all been there, don't lie!), we're stepping things up, getting mature and sophisticated and all that sha-bang. Good quality cocktails are where it's at now, guys! And Portobello Road Gin are wanting to bring back some forgotten classics. 

French 75
Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Champagne

Made fresh for each of us on arrival was Portobello Roads signature drink, French 75. A good choice if you're a fan of all things citrus/tangy/sour. I first had a French 75 2 years ago at a Christmas party and it was like a pure mix of gin and champagne. So I was very glad that when I tasted this one it had the measurements perfected! (My photos of this one turned out not so good but it's a pretty pastel lemon colour served in a champagne flute, if you were wondering!)

singapore sling

Singapore Sling
Gin, Cherry Liquor, Cointreu, Benedictin, Grenadine, Agusturra Bitter, Lemon Juice
Shaken with ice

The first cocktail we made and my favourite of the night! A fresh and fruity choice, I would highly recommend this if you're a fan of all things sweet and sugary. Put cherry liquor and grenadine in anything and I'll drink it.

army & navy

Army & Navy
Gin, Lemon Juice, Orgeat Syrup
Shaken with ice

A simple cocktail with only 3 ingredients, the almond taste that the syrup gives this is divine! This ones a bit stronger (or maybe I just made it that way?) and when the guys from Portobello Road Gin tasted our attempts, I actually won (along with 2 others) for making the best one. So now I'm gonna have to invest in some orgeat syrup and force my spectacular Army & Navy cocktail making skills on my nearest and dearest. It's the rules, no?

tuxedo cocktail

Gin, Sugar Syrup, French Vermouth, Cherry Liquor, Absinthe, Orange Bitter
Stirred with ice

The final cocktail of the night was definitely the strongest, but what do you expect when the absinthe comes out?! Complete the drink with a cherry and a piece of lemon and it's good to go. I think this was my least favourite of the night, but that's only personal preference. A good choice for those of you who like to really taste the alcohol in your cocktail!

Along with the shaking and stirring, we learnt about Portobello Road as a brand. If you don't know, the name comes from the road in Notting Hill where they opened their first bar, and they offer a traditional London dry gin at 42%. It's nine ingredients are juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, orris, liquorice, lemon, orange peel, cassia bark and nutmeg. We got little samples of each of these so we could understand what each brought to the gin. We were encouraged to taste them but I wouldn't recommend unless you have a drink on hand!! Root liquorice tastes STRONG.

I'm not a gin snob. I don't have a favourite brand of gin. Flavoured ones are good, pink ones are good. But if you're looking for a classic, Portobello Road is a top choice! 
Side note: if you're put off gin because G&T's are vile (this was me last year) try gin with lemonade and it will change your mind!

Have you tried any of these cocktails before? Which would you most like to try?

*This was a gifted experience with no obligation to post. All words are my own.*

Loves. Emma.