A taste of summertime returned to West Nottinghamshire College’s Refined fine dining restaurant as students learnt to shake and mix during a cocktail masterclass.
Front of house trainer Lee Coupe gave the students an insight into how to prepare, mix and decorate a range of traditional cocktails through a specialist masterclass before they set about creating their own cocktails and mocktails.
Lee used his mixology experience from the European Bartending School in London to give students on the level two food service and level three hospitality supervision courses an insight into how to measure and make a cocktail and the many different ways to garnish the finished product.
The groups were given two hours to research cocktail drinks and bring their own ideas forward and create them in the Refined restaurant using fruit, sugars and herbs to garnish.
Students then welcomed guest judges Samantha Rainey, general manager at Il Rosso bar and restaurant in Mansfield, and Jordan Anderson, hospitality specialist for apprentices at the college.
The judges came in to see the final products and did a blind taste test – not knowing which students had made the drinks.
Judges scored each cocktail and mocktail on its appearance and taste.
A bright and varied selection of cocktails were mixed by the classes.
The winning combinations went by the names of Old Ginger, Crimson Lemon, Sizzling Summer Berries, Lemon Berry Fizz, Blood Bomb and Cocoa Pine.
Sam Rainey, said: “I really enjoyed the summery flavours and it was good to see so many ingredients used that the students aren’t used to working with.
“For me, the ideal cocktail needs to have a real balance of flavours, something that you’ll enjoy drinking and is refreshing to the palate.
“There were some very quirky and creative ideas.”
Jordan Anderson, who works with college apprentices in hospitality, added: “The standards of the drinks they created were very high.
“There was plenty of flavour and they were so appealing to look at too.
“I was incredibly impressed with the range, going from sweet and creamy to fruity kicks.”