by Olee Fowler
Ever wonder how to make a proper Old Fashioned? Or where Pisco Sours came from? Or do you simply want to make your friends more creative drinks than a vodka soda? Then we have the class for you – the mixology class at The Hoxton in Downtown Miami.
The two-hour interactive classes are held on the second Thursday of each month and led by the talented and very informative Thomas Merolla. The theme of each class changes monthly, but for our visit Merolla was creating three classic cocktails – Pisco Sour, Old Fashioned and the Mojito.
First up the South Florida favorite: the Mojito. Merolla started by giving us a background on the drink before measuring into a cup equal parts lime juice and simple syrup with two parts dark Zacapa rum. He then tore in mint and mixed it altogether for about 15 seconds with a swizzle stick, which he dubs his “swizzle technique.” He added ice and soda water, “swizzled” it some more and then added an ice cap for garnish. The guests then got to try to make it for themselves before tasting the finished product, which converted even the most wary Mojito drinkers into fans.
For the second cocktail, Merolla made the Old Fashioned, which we learned was the first cocktail ever created and a great blueprint for a classic cocktail. He started by laying a paper napkin over the drink, placing cube of sugar on it and dousing it with bitters. The napkin was set in place so it catches the excess bitters used in the drink, which was a trick of the trade no one in our group had seen before. He then added in enough water to make a paste out of the sugar, added 2 oz of Bulleit Bourbon and stirred the ingredients together for 30 seconds. For the final touch he squeezed an orange peel around the glass and on its rim to give it a slight orange essence.
The last drink of the evening was a Pisco Sour. For this drink Merolla discouraged using equal parts for this cocktail because it would make it too sweet. First he did a dry shake with the egg whites, pisco and simple syrup. Once the eggs were frothy, he added ice and a splash of bitters and combined everything together. Merolla even showed us an off the menu drink called a New York Sour, which was a whiskey sour topped with red wine, and the drink that was the favorite of the night.
Ready to try out a class for yourself? Then make sure to make your reservations for the next class hosted by Merolla on Thursday, October 10 from 7 – 9 p.m. Classes are $45 per person or $80 per couple and include the three cocktails during the class, two drink tickets for your next visit, and a swag bag filled with mixology-inspired goodies. Reservations are a must and can be made by calling 305-667-8466.