We have executed hundreds of events through the last 25 years, each tailored to our client’s vision. Below you’ll find a break down of how events are typically executed.
Typically 1.5 hours in length, guests are led through a tasting of five spirits; each sample of spirits measures between .5 oz. – 1 oz. Light and/or heavy appetizers are suggested for guests. An optional cocktail reception, with a signature drink, can be added for the first 30 minutes of the event; this helps keep guests busy as they await other guests to arrive. This can be a seated or standing event (please see below for additional notes).
Typically 2 hours in length, guests are led through a tasting of five spirits or five sample sized cocktails, each paired with a dish. Each sample of spirits measures between .5 oz. – 1 oz.; each cocktail has the equivalent of .5 oz. – 1 oz. of spirit. We work directly with your chef or caterer to create the menu for the evening. We suggest a welcoming cocktail as guests arrive.
Class run 1.5 – 2 hours in length. We build up five cocktails from scratch in front of the group teaching each cocktail’s history, it’s recipe, and the hand skills involved its mixology such as shaking, stirring, and muddling. Guests each get samples of the cocktails (equivalent of .5 oz. – 1 oz. of spirit per sample). This event can be scaled from tasting to a food paired dinner. Typically we serve the cocktail samples in high quality disposable acrylic plastic as opposed to glassware. For more elegant settings however, glassware is more impressive.
Except for the most informal of events, or the very large, proper glassware is always suggested for tasting spirits as opposed to disposable plastic. We suggest an all purpose wine glass, a white wine glass, or a nosing glass, such as the Glencairn Whisky glass. However, other types of glasses such as ‘rocks’ or snifters can be employed if needed. A fresh glass may be offered for each serving or guests may use the same glass for each round, rinsing it with water between each sample. As mentioned above, high quality acrylic plastic can be used for Cocktail Classes
Water, Ice, and Dump Stations
Whether your event is a standing or sat affair, or whether you are using fresh glasses or the same glass throughout the event, there should be ample water and dump stations set around the room or at each table. Guests may want to add a touch of water or an ice cube to their sample to ‘open up’ the spirit. If using the same glass throughout the event, guests will need additional water to rinse their glass between spirits. ‘Dump buckets’ should be provided for those who do not want to drink all of their sample and to dispose of water used to rinse any glasses.
For informal settings, light appetizers should be served to help ensure guests do not over indulge and to help clean their palate between servings. Simple items such as dried fruits, nuts, cheese, and crackers are appropriate. As the sophistication of your event rises, so should your food. We work with your caterer to help them choose items for buffet service, family style table service, and for paired dinner courses.
Event Types and Our Fees
If your event is a private event, such as a home or corporate office, we charge a flat fee. Typically event fees begin at $250 and increase based on the event’s sophistication and size. All phone consultations and a walk through of the property are covered in the event fee.
If your event is to be a ticketed, for profit event, our fees are based on a per guest basis and are dependent on the event’s sophistication and size.
We are often asked to participate in charitable events with F-2 licenses and we donate 100’s of hours every year to events and organizations that we’ve partnered with for years such as MedWish International, Dinner in the Dark, and Lakewood Alive. Typically we can offer a discount in return for trade in kind advertising if you are a non-profit.
Purchasing Spirits for the Event
Due to state laws on purchasing and selling alcohol, we can not sell you alcohol; you will be responsible for the retail cost and purchase of any spirits featured at your event. If your event is at an unlicensed venue such as a home or corporate office, you will purchase the product retail from an agency store. If your event is a F2 permit for a non-profit fundraiser, you will purchase wholesale from an agency. If your event is at a licensed property, such as a restaurant, hotel, or event space, you will purchase the product at a negotiated price from the property. No matter where your event is held, we consult with you on your budget and walk you through the purchasing process.
Flow of Evening
Typically an evening begins with a reception that includes a cocktail to allow for guests to comfortably wait for other guest to arrive with perhaps passed food or a small buffet. This can be from 30 minutes to an hour in length. Once guests have arrived, the host introduces me and we begin the program. I introduce myself and begin to tell the story of the spirits being tasted, the places they come from, the people who make them, and the deep historical legacy that weaves them together. I speak approximately for 7 – 10 minutes each time I introduce a new spirit to the room (typically between four and five selections) and spend 7 – 10 minutes in between each spirit engaging individual tables to allow guests to ask questions. Most events run between hour and twenty minutes and an hour and fifty minutes, excluding cocktail reception.