On 20th April, eleven hardy souls attended a Cocktail Making class at Brix Distillers in Surry Hills. We were warmly welcomed by Tom, our host, with a rum-based spritzer to set the mood for learning about all things rum.
We received a tour of the distillery, a history of spirit-making in Australia, and learnt how a law created after the rum rebellion stopped the set up of small distilleries. The law was overturned in the late 1990’s, following agitation by one of the owners of the Starwood Distillery in Tasmania. At that time Australia had only three commercial distilleries, each producing rum. They were the Inner Circle, Beenleigh and Bundaberg. The flavours in rum come from the quality and source of the molasses, and the type of cask in which it is aged—unlike Gin, which is flavoured by the addition of botanicals after distillation.
Back at the bar, Tom gave a us lesson in the art of cocktail making, which was rather more involved than I had thought. We were taught how to use the special cocktail shakers, and how to shake. The trick to keeping the drink cold is to add new ice to the glass rather than the ice you have used to shake the cocktail. We each made a Mai Tai and settled down to sample our drinks and enjoy a charcuterie plate. Next we returned to the bar to create an Espresso Martini using the distillery’s small batch “Trail Mix“ spiced rum. This was a real flavour sensation with an added layer of salted caramel syrup to create extra depth. A few of the hardier souls were able to sample the specialty rums – the Trail Mix, Spiced and Cask- aged. The Trail Mix tasted like plum puddings when they still hid sixpences.
A great day was had by all.