Sipping a bubbly, bittersweet cocktail on a Thursday evening, the stress of a long week immediately drifted away. Since I made the cocktail myself, this was an educational experience, I told myself, not just an excuse to drink high-end amaro on a weeknight.
Halcyon, a Hotel in Cherry Creek hosts a monthly cocktail club that encourages folks to imbibe while learning the deep history behind favorite spirits. Taught by master bartender Marcelo Petrone, the class is an intimate and approachable introduction to the world of craft cocktails.
The evening begins with an introduction to the spirits Petrone has chosen for the class. Each month is different, but on the night I attended, amaro was the spirit of choice. The class of 14 attendees made two drinks with the Italian spirit; a Sbagliato—a twist on an Aperol spritz—and a Trentino—a light and sweet rum-based drink. With each ingredient, Petrone explained its purpose in the drink and a little history behind it.
Don’t Forget to Eat
Between each drink, guests get the chance to mingle with each other as they dine on some of Halcyon’s exquisite food. Be sure to alert the chef of any dietary restrictions or allergies.
Get to Sipping
What stood out most to my date and I was that Petrone had thought through every part of the cocktail-making process. Bowls of water were set up for attendees to wash off sticky fingers, ingredients were clearly labelled in small bottles to use, and the table was set up with everything needed to make the cocktails.
As my date and I carefully dropped absinthe into our mixer and twisted an orange peel to release its oils, we watched as the light outside lowered. I rarely stray from my go-to drink order—gin and tonic or white wine—but the class opened my eyes to a new world of cocktails. When the class ended, my date and I left the beautiful Cherry Creek hotel with a slight buzz, the knowledge of how to make two impressive cocktails, and ideas for our next date night, thanks to time spent chatting with our fellow attendees.
Need to Know: Cocktail Club is $35 per person. Classes are held once a month on a Thursday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. On November 21, guests will learn how to make two favorite seasonal drinks, a Hot Toddy and Milk Punch. Purchase tickets online.