Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Words by Kaylee Dugan
I love learning. I love booze. You’d think I’d be very into cocktail classes, and I am, on paper. I love the idea of broadening my skill sets while enjoying one of my favorite things in the world… drinking. Everything is better with some delicious booze in your hand. The real problem is that they always take place in groups. I like meeting new people as much as the next person, but if I’m going to be taking a class I want to walk away with some knowledge! I want to ask questions! Group classes so rarely allow these more in depth one on one interactions, because everyone is too busy asking the bartender how a jigger works.
That’s not to knock people who aren’t familiar with bar equipment, but when you are very intimately familiar with the basics it can be frustrating. At this point, I would rather just sit at the bar and pay for someone to make my drinks for me, like a civilized person.
Bar Dupont’s class, while not perfect, does improve upon the concept of the cocktail class. My group was small enough that I still felt like I could have ample one on one time with the bartender, if I wished, but it was also casual enough for me to hang back and get a little too drunk with my photographer. People certainly got a little rascally, but there was a good mixture between intelligent conversation and me quoting my favorite Lil Wayne lines because it’s spring and that means I’m listening to nothing but The Carter III all day everyday.
When it comes to the cocktails themselves, Bar Dupont killed it. They’re all easy enough to make for beginners, but they’re certainly far from boring. You will not be whipping up any martinis or margaritas in this class. First up was the classic Corpse Reviver, a drink so crisp and refreshing, in a perfect world you could have it for breakfast along with your cereal every morning. If it was culturally acceptable for me to make one of these up every morning, I 100% would. A mixture of gin, lillet, triple sec, lemon juice, and a little rinse of absinthe, the Corpse Reviver leans citrusy, but the herbaceousness of the gin and the absinthe reigns it in a little. One of the best things about all of the cocktails you make at Bar Dupont is that they are all perfectly balanced.
Next up was the Irish-American, a creation of one of Bar Dupont’s bartenders. It’s an updated whiskey sour with a delightful mix of Jameson, gum syrup, egg white, lemon juice, and vanilla bitters. It’s the kind of drink that supports my opinion that we should all be mixing more egg whites with our booze. The silky texture made this go down so much smoother than should be legal. We finished up with another Bar Dupont original, the Dupont Tiki, a drink so light and refreshing you could probably serve it to a child.
I’m still wary of cocktail classes and I’d say that nine times out ten, I would rather just sit on the other side of the bar and order a drink, but if you’re raring to check one out, you cannot go wrong with Bar Dupont. The drinks are good, the bartenders leading the class are whip smart, and it’s beyond fun to watch other people break glasses. Just try not to break any yourself. Leave the double handed shaking to the professionals.