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Review: On the Rocks Cocktail Masterclass

When my editor offered me press tickets to last Thursday’s On the Rocks cocktail masterclass I virtually snatched them out of her hands because: A) I’m a student and therefore medically unable to turn down free drinks and B) it got me out of going to the Union’s overpriced St Paddy’s Day celebrations. The attendees of the event were an odd mix of people pre-ing for that particular event, and people who, like me, were looking for a calmer, more civilised, and less green way to spend a Thursday evening. I would suggest the latter camp left Lupo’s more satisfied.

£15 for two cocktails was a pretty good price, bearing in mind most Lupo’s cocktails range from £8-10 anyway and you got the experience of making them yourself (and to your taste). However, the price of additional prosecco (£5 a glass), food, and cocktails (regular Lupo’s prices) made getting actually tipsy prohibitively expensive. This was a problem given how long the event went on for; two cocktails in three hours is a stretch even for someone as stingy with their drinks as I am.

There was good reason for the slow pace, though. The bartenders/cocktail tutors took their time to ensure everyone had the best experience and I never felt rushed as they walked me through making the cocktail or chatted about it afterwards. Both barmen were incredibly well informed and funny, leaving me genuinely inspired to recreate the cocktails we made at home. In particular, the gentleman from the Rav was very happy to talk about what it was like tending the various bars around town (and around Scotland) and described a whole host of new cocktails he was proposing for their menu. I’m confident, given his encyclopaedic knowledge, they will be worth going out of your way for.

The main issue with the night then was the large number of attendees compared to the limited staff and small space we were crammed into. That’s not to say the night became a victim of its own success though. I for one had a great time, as did most of the attendees I was talking to. Everyone was lovely and the playlist was absolutely banging—every tune was on point.

So, would I recommend attending next year? I think that depends on who you are. If you want value for money and more drinks, then Bartenders Against Temperance events which offer four cocktails for £18 (if you’re a member) and are usually at cheaper venues might be more your cup of martini. However, for a chill night in Lupo’s with friends look no further. Like many events in St Andrews, this one very almost justifies its price.

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