It's that time of year again! The lazy days of summer are making way for an action-packed autumn. Back to school means stocking up on supplies and getting ready to meet new friends. But why should kids have all the back-to-school fun? There are two Chicago "schools" where reading, writing and arithmetic are replaced by.... cocktails!You'll find some of the best cocktail classes in Chicago at an underground agave-focused lounge in River North, and a local distillery in Ravenswood.
Mixology Academy courses at La Mez Agave Lounge
Mercadito Chicago, River North's upscale, authentic Mexican
restaurant (108 W. Kinzie St.) is also home to an amazing Mixology Academy,
located in the in-house La Mez Agave Lounge. All drink making classes are taught by head
mixologist Dylan Stewart on select Saturdays through the end of the year.
Guests will learn tips and techniques to craft perfectly balanced cocktails at
home, all while absorbing a bit of useful alcohol history and getting a little
saucy with friends and classmates. In additional to the libations, appetizers
from Mercadito Chicago's Executive Chef Patricio Sandoval will be provided.
Upcoming Mixology Academy courses include:
- Agave Maria, August 27: Don Julio Tequila will showcase the evolution of the margarita. Tropical to smokey, savory to sweet, this class will show you the relationship between tequila flavors and seasonal ingredients.
- Muddlin, Swizzlin & Mojitos, September 24: It's Muddler Mania! This class focuses on the Old Fashioneds, Caipirinhas, Mojitos and more. Dylan will show you when to be gentle and when to throw your weight around.
- G&T's From A to Z, October 22: This is not your Mom's G&T. Mix up some funky, seasonal variations on the classic cocktail using fresh fruits, spices and craft tonics.
- Old Fashioneds vs. New Fashioned, December 17: From the 1980's until today, the Old Fashioned has risen and fallen and risen again to become one of the most popular classic cocktails. Learn how to stir up ‘the original' and get funky with a handful of popular, unique variations.
Cocktail Classes at KOVAL Distillery
Chicago's very own urban craft whiskey, liqueurs & specialty spirit distiller, KOVAL Distillery, offers an extensive cocktail class series. These informative, hands-on class will teach you all the techniques you need to know to deepen your mastery of the perfect cocktail. All classes are taught by KOVAL staff or featured guest instructors. Cocktails will feature a few selections of KOVAL's organic spirits, and class participants can enjoy a 10% discount on any KOVAL spirit purchased immediately following the class.
Upcoming cocktail courses include:
Spirits Primer, August 18
What makes vodka, vodka? How does tequila tick? Ever wondered about the pirate in your rum? All the clear spirits under the sun will be tasted, tested, and taught at our Spirits Primer. Gather round the still to learn how your favorite spirits are made, then socialize with friends and make classic spirit concoctions.
Bartending Basics, September 1 + October 6
Shaken or stirred? Served up or on the rocks? This class is perfect for beginners looking to manage their home bar. Our mixologists will teach all the classics and cover the history and traditions of bartending around the world. Every first Thursday night of the month at 7pm, $30/person.
Prohibition Era Cocktails, September 8
Sip on American history as we explore cocktails made during Chicago's most notorious era.
- Classic Chicago Cocktails, September 15 + October 20
Learn boozy Chicago history and taste the past as we explore cocktails from Chicago's infamous prohibition era and turn-of-the-century classics.
- It's Pumpkin Spice Season, September 22
September 22 is the first day of Autumn, and you know what that means: Pumpkin spice season! Enjoy cocktails with a spicy twist, featuring flavors of cinnamon, chai, cardamom, and of course pumpkin.
- Fall Flavors, October 13
Have your tastebuds dive into a pile of leaves in this ambrosial cocktail class. All the fall flavors you love: apple pie, maple syrup, mulled cider, cranberry, vanilla, caramel, and more!