This Week: Get Schooled in the Art of the Cocktail

Lou Bustamante
Cocktail mise en place from a rum primer at Beretta.
Making cocktails at home might be easy enough, but making them well is a whole different story. Trust us, after a long week of work, there's nothing better than staying home in your PJs, drinking delicious cocktails, and streaming episodes of Archer. Learning to bartend for yourself is the most rewarding reason to take one of these classes.

Rum Cocktail Class at Beretta

Where: Beretta, 1199 Valencia (at 23rd St.), 695-1199 

When: Tonight, Monday, May 9, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: $85; for reservations call 695-1199 or e-mail

The rundown: Beretta bar manager Ryan Fitzgerald continues his cocktail education series with a focus on rum ― including production, history, and its application at the bar. Using the same tools and techniques as the bar, each student gets a welcoming cocktail, snacks, and instruction. You'll make three cocktails, each one teaching the basics of stirring, shaking, and of course, drinking.

Cocktail College at Bar Adagio

WhereBar Adagio, 550 Geary (at Taylor), 775-5000

When: Fri., May 13, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, but you must RSVP:

The rundown: Usually held on the second Thursday of each month, this free series of cocktail classes taught by bar manager Kristin Almy is an amazing way to get some practice and build basic skills. This month focuses on Casa Noble Organic Tequila ― Almy will use it to produce one classic cocktail and two original creations.

When It's Cocktail Time in Cuba

Where: The Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, 1161 Mission (at Eighth St.), Suite 120

When: Wed., May 11, 7-9 p.m.

Cost: $45, tickets available online

The rundown: A history of Cuban folklore and its cocktails taught by Charlotte Voisey and the Museum of the American Cocktail's Philip Greene, the author of soon-to-be-published To Have and Have Another: The Hemingway Cocktail Companion. The beverage this time is punch, and you'll make and consume drinks like Papa Doble and the El Presidente. The class will cover Cuba's historic role in sugar cane and rum distilling, its independence from Spain, and the birth of the Daiquiri and Cuba Libre. Especially fascinating will be a look at the role Cuba played during Prohibition, when Havana became the unofficial United States saloon. 

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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