Up until last week, the extent of my cocktail mixology skills ranged from pouring a shot to cobbling together a vodka soda. Embarrassing for an almost 25-year-old? Probably. But how many times in your life are you taught how to make actual, three-ingredients-or-more, measured-out cocktails? Not enough times, that’s for sure.
Which is why, when Pinnacle Vodka invited me down to the cabanas at the Maritime Hotel in NYC for a little mixology class last week, I was totally on board. Master Mixologist (um, how cool of a job would that be?) Brian van Flandern gave us the basic lowdown on everything an amateur bartender needs to know–how to pour, how to layer the ingredients and how to shake a cocktail just right to achieve the perfect temperature without watering it down. Brian even taught us how to properly “taste” vodka, which I didn’t think was possible without choking, but it really is. First he had us smell the vodka and describe it (similar to what sommeliers do)–Brian’s well-trained nose smelled garden hose and fresh grass…I smelt delicious vodka and college. What can I say, I don’t have an expert palate. Then, while sipping slowly, you’re supposed to exhale through your nose, eliminating that signature vodka “burn” you can sometimes experience–try it out, it totally works!
It was a nasty NYC rainy day outside, but the setup inside the event was as cute and festive as could be–think tables themed with desserts that mimicked the cocktails and lights strung over the whole venue. We mixed, mingled and sipped drinks made with some of the newest Pinnacle flavors (out of an impressive 42-flavor line-up…seriously!). One of my favorite combos had to be the tropical martiki, made with Pinnacle‘s Tropical Punch Vodka–if an all-inclusive tropical vacation had a taste, this would be it:
Pinnacle Vodka’s Hawaiian Hula Tropical Martiki
- 1 part Pinnacle Tropical Punch Vodka
- 2 parts iced tea of your choice
- Garnish with lots of tropical fruit (we had pineapple, kiwi and raspberry on-hand!).
*p.s. “One part” means 1 jigger full, filled to the brim!
Now onto the part I’m most excited about: for the next three months, I’ll be partnering up with Pinnacle to bring you guys fun summer entertaining ideas and cocktails for you to re-create at home. I can’t wait to show you everything I’ve cooked–er, mixed–up. If you have any favorite cocktails you’d like to know how to create, send ’em my way. It’s going to be pretty fun around here the next few months!
Pinnacle Vodka shakes things up with unexpected experiences and delightful discoveries. Explore with other fun flavors at http://pinnaclevodka.com. Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter, or find more fun entertaining and drink ideas on our Pinterest page.
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