Ever thought it would be fun to learn the art of mixology with your friends? A few days ago, the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood at Universal CityWalk invited us to try just that, as they’re launching a new interactive bartending class called “Shake It Up” led by the Hard Rock’s very own skilled– and charismatic– mixologists.
We got to play bartender for the night, learning how to make martinis (gin and vodka), margaritas, and even the secret to the Hard Rock’s #1 seller, their world famous Hurricane. It’s been years since I took bartending classes (yup, took ’em back in college), so it was fun to see what I remembered (four-counts, layering, certain drinks) yet how new it felt all over again to be behind that bar and to try and pour perfectly (harder than it looks, I swear).
Our mixology leaders Justin and Will (who have worked at the Hard Rock for over three decades, combined) taught us fun facts about cocktails, liqueurs and the quirky history behind some of the featured drinks. Then came the extra-fun part, where we got to build our own drinks just like the pros. Well, besides the amateurish spills we (I?) had along the way! Check out the one-minute video below for some real, unedited footage of some serious cocktail making… with plenty of laughs along the way:
We participated with a sizeable bunch of other fellow LA-based food writers, but the classes accommodate any group size between 7 to 40 people so you can either bring your close friends or your extended family if you wanted. 😉
You can make reservations for classes at Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood at Hollywood & Highland, and Universal City Walk (where I took my class). The classes run from $42 per person for just the bartending class (drinks included!), or as part of a three-course meal from Hard Rock Cafe’s newly revamped menu for $65 per person. Considering Hard Rock International has venues across 58 countries, it’s great to know that the “Shake It Up” classes are offered right here so we can take advantage!
Off the top of my head, I’ve been to the Hard Rock in Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Bali… all are in prime locations within each city and I have great memories at each of them. One that truly stands out is when a couple years ago, my American friends were working abroad in Hong Kong for a summer.
We chose to start that Fourth of July off at the Hard Rock Hong Kong, and that classic clip of Whitney Houston singing the national anthem started playing on TV. Everyone quieted down and it felt like a great moment of American solidarity, right in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong (Hong Kong’s nightlife hub). I usually don’t go to American establishments when abroad (I’d rather be soaking up local culture!), but that Fourth of July was definitely a special patriotic moment abroad that I’ll cherish.
I’ve had some great memories at Hard Rock Cafes around the world, but the latest has been the most interactive and informative one, thanks to our very own local Hard Rock Hollywood’s mixology class.
Whether celebrating a birthday with friends, or taking your team members or colleagues out for a night of team building, the new “Shake It Up” classes are a unique and memorable activity to try. Not only do they offer a great experience during the couple of hours of hands-on fun, but they also give you lots of great tidbits of interesting knowledge to pepper into your conversations at future social gatherings. For example, did you know that gin is essentially vodka infused with juniper berries??
Bottom line, the class was a lot of fun and fits perfectly with my life philosophy to get out there and try new things, learn as much as you can, and have a good time while you’re at it. So dive in and get mixing, I think you’ll like it!
You can make a reservation by calling the Hard Rock on Universal City Walk at 818.622.7660 or the Hard Rock on Hollywood Blvd. at 323.606.7150. Cheers!