Three Cocktail Tutorials for Shaking Up Your Game

Lou Bustamante
Cocktail mise en place from a whiskey primer at Beretta.
​There's something oddly charming about the month of January, the brisk days so full of potential and resolve that only a fresh start can bring ― or maybe that's just the hangover finally wearing off. Maybe you resolved to make 2011 the year you got some bartending skills (beyond pouring a straight shot of liquor, always great, but unlikely to impress a date or dinner guest). If so, then three local bartenders are hosting classes to teach you the basics and beyond:

Classic Cocktails with Jennifer Colliau
When: Thu., Jan. 13, 7-9:30 p.m.
Where: Urban Legend Cellars, 621 Fourth St. (at Martin Luther King Jr.), Oakland
Who: Jennifer Colliau
How much: $65
The skinny: The veteran Slanted Door bartender and bar syrups expert will be providing her knowledge of the historic background and modern execution of the classic cocktails that are the foundation for any bartender today. Snacks provided.
Tickets: Score at Brown Paper Tickets

Beretta's Whiskey Cocktail Class
When: Mon., Jan. 24, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Beretta, 1199 Valencia (at 23rd St.)
Who: Ryan Fitzgerald
How much: $85
The skinny: Beretta bar manager Ryan Fitzgerald will take you through the basics of whiskey production and teach you the three basics with a different cocktail for each: shaking, stirring, and building a drink in a glass. Beretta apps and a welcoming cocktail included.
Reservations: Call 695-1199, or e-mail

Spoonbar's Classic Cocktails
When: Sat., Jan. 29, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Spoonbar at the H2hotel, 219 Healdsburg (at Mill), Healdsburg
Who: Scott Beattie
How much: $50
The skinny: The class curriculum covers ingredient basics like juicing and zesting citrus, shaking versus stirring, and selecting glassware. You'll get the chance to make a few cocktails, and will leave with a recipe book of 15 classics. Snacks included.
Reservations: Call 707-433-7222

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.
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