Perfect Cocktails
Break the Habit of Bad Drink-Mixing

By Lisa Mortensen
Are you mixing drinks that even The Hoff would turn down?

Okay, maybe you're not that bad, but when it comes to mixing drinks most of us fall into one of two categories:

The One-Hit-Wonder

We're really good at making that one particular drink that our friends request of us over... and over... again.

The Hoarder

Rather than mixing our own drinks, we buy every assortment of trendy, pre-mixed drink available at the grocery store. Eventually, our kitchen pantry is taken over by half-filled bottles of this and that and looking a lot like Charlie Sheen's last party.

However, with a little help from local mixologists you can break free from these old habits.

Mixologists are professionals trained in the art of creating cocktails. Most have had years of experience learning how to twist, shake, and stir a handful of ingredients and turn them into your next favorite drink.

For those of us still stuck making the same old, stereotypical cocktail, valley mixologists are now offering classes.

So, are YOU ready to confront your drink-mixing habit?

Locations offering mixology classes:
Jade Bar   Mixology 101

Saturdays at 1pm Jade Bar, located inside Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Spa and Resort, turns into an interactive cocktail classroom. Known for their exquisite cocktails crafted with hand selected spirits, the freshest of juices, herbs, and vegetables, students will be more than grateful to learn the secrets of Jade's mixologists. And, because students taste-test their creations, it's perfect for a fun-filled afternoon with friends. The cost for the class is $30/person. Classroom size is limited to ten people, so reservations are recommended.
Downtown Kitchen+Cocktails   Mixology Bootcamp

Taught as a 5 class series, mixologist and Downtown's manager, Kristian Unvericht, teaches students how to create intoxicating cocktails through the understanding of various liquors and their taste components. Each class will focus on a different specialty drink or liquor. Over the course of two hours, students will construct and taste their original libations. Classes begin at 2:00pm and the cost is $25.00 per person. Reservations are required for each class.
Blue Sage Lounge   Mixology Class

Best known for their multitude of margarita choices, the Blue Sage demonstrates the secrets behind their scrumptious cocktails every first Saturday of the month at 1 pm. Part of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, students can sip on their creations as they enjoy the picturesque, outdoor seating offered in the Blue Sage Lounge. Best to call ahead and reserve as you need at least 12 people to sign up for the class. The cost of attendance is $39.
Mbar   Mixology Class

Perhaps the most unique of all the choices, because you can attend this class solo, duo, trio, etc. (no need for large parties to reserve). In fact, this might be the perfect place to take a date and have a little cocktail-making competition. Every Friday between 3-4 pm students pick three cocktails from the Mbar's expansive menu (or anything not listed on the menu) and Mbar's mixologist fills you in on the recipe, while you fill up on your new creations. The fee for this class is $18 per person and includes a tapa from their kitchen menu.
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