Holiday Cocktail-Making Class: Four Festive Drinks with Diana Pittet

Holiday Cocktail-Making Class: Four Festive Drinks with Diana Pittet


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Stir up some holiday cheer while learning the history of four Christmas Time drinks and the techniques for making them, with a local cocktail expert.
The winter holidays, which can stretch until Candlemas on February 2nd, are marked by specific traditions, including seasonal drinks that are rarely served beyond this festive time of year. In this hands-on seminar, we will explore the history of four of these merry tipples--the Champagne Cocktail, mulled wine, punch, and eggnog--and learn the techniques for making them at home. These drinks are usually prepared in large quantities and served in a fine punch bowl, but in a year marked by social distancing, we’ll make individual servings, just as Charles Dickens enjoyed at the end of a winter’s day.
As we “build in a glass” a Champagne Cocktail, we will invoke holiday cheer and learn about the birth of the Cocktail in the United States in the early 1800s and about Champagne’s link with New Year’s celebrations. Mulled wine will warm our spirits and reveal how many spirituous concoctions were originally created for medicinal purposes. Preparing punch allows us to drink like Dickens, the literary creator of many of our idealized Christmas celebrations, and to trace popular shaken cocktails (e.g., the margarita and daiquiri) back to the 1600s and the first-ever bowls of punch. Rich and delicious eggnog, which stems from neither the Cocktail nor the punch branch of drinks, became an established part of Christmas imbibing by the mid-1800s and spawned tropical variations such as Puerto Rican coquito and Cuban creme de vie.
Led by an expert on the history of drinking, Diana Pittet, this interactive seminar will explore the history of four traditional holiday drinks. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the social and historical origins of our drinking customs, and with the knowledge of proper techniques for making cocktails.

Tools

  • ​J​igger (for measuring ingredients)
  • C​ocktail shaker
  • ​B​ar spoon
  • ​C​ocktail strainer
  • ​C​itrus juicer
  • S​mall saucepan
Champagne Cocktail

  • Champagne or sparkling wine (dry)
  • Cognac (optional)
  • Bitters (e.g., Angostura)
  • Sugar cube
  • Lemon twist
Mulled Wine

  • Red wine (dry)
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Whole clove
  • Lemon peel
  • Orange peel
Gin Punch (Hot)

  • Madeira (or substitute sherry, Marsala, or Port)
  • Gin
  • Boiling water
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Lemon (half)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Whole clove
  • Nutmeg
Eggnog
  • Cognac & dark rum (or use one of them, or substitute bourbon)
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Whole milk
  • Nutmeg

A former Latin teacher, Diana traded in the classical world for classic cocktails after she earned a master's degree from NYU in Food Studies. She is the co-founder of Night Owl Hospitality, a cocktail catering company on the Jersey Shore, where she also runs a whiskey club. This autumn, Diana returns to NYU to teach a graduate class on the history, culture, and politics of drinking. An avid traveler, Diana aims to visit a total of 50 different countries by the time she is 50.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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K
K. (Cedar Park, US)
Tasty With Ease

While I enjoyed the champagne cocktail tremendously, I am still intrigued to try all the single cocktails especially the eggnog in a glass. As always, Diane is so charming and full of skills with lots of cocktail history.

S
S.C. (Denver, US)
Another fun event from Diana!

I’ve attended quite a few of Diana’s cocktail conversations, and she always does a lovely job. This event introduced me to a couple new drinks, and guided me through an easy to make eggnog, which I’ve never made at home before. Diana also adds great value by proving the history of the drinks and the period from which they originate. I highly recommend her classes!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
A thoroughly enjoyable experience

I did not know what to expect from this class, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. Diana Pittet is so knowledgeable about the history of cocktails, and communicates her enthusiasm well. I was glad that I had assembled the equipment and ingredients required to make 3 of the 4 cocktails and had my daughter's laptop computer set up in the kitchen so I could make and taste the cocktails as Diana spoke about them. Delicious! Although this class would have been informative and enjoyable as a lecture, complete with recipes, the experience was greatly enhanced by participation.
I would suggest repeating this class earlier in December next year, in advance of the Christmas holiday.

K
KyleAnne Hoyer (Denver, US)
Donna Pittet

It was interesting and fun but I would have enjoyed it more if the recipes came 24 hours before the class. I didn’t have all the ingredients to make mulled wine or the eggnog. And I really wanted the eggnog

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K. (Cedar Park, US)
Tasty With Ease

While I enjoyed the champagne cocktail tremendously, I am still intrigued to try all the single cocktails especially the eggnog in a glass. As always, Diane is so charming and full of skills with lots of cocktail history.

S
S.C. (Denver, US)
Another fun event from Diana!

I’ve attended quite a few of Diana’s cocktail conversations, and she always does a lovely job. This event introduced me to a couple new drinks, and guided me through an easy to make eggnog, which I’ve never made at home before. Diana also adds great value by proving the history of the drinks and the period from which they originate. I highly recommend her classes!

M
Margaret DuMont (Austin, US)
A thoroughly enjoyable experience

I did not know what to expect from this class, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. Diana Pittet is so knowledgeable about the history of cocktails, and communicates her enthusiasm well. I was glad that I had assembled the equipment and ingredients required to make 3 of the 4 cocktails and had my daughter's laptop computer set up in the kitchen so I could make and taste the cocktails as Diana spoke about them. Delicious! Although this class would have been informative and enjoyable as a lecture, complete with recipes, the experience was greatly enhanced by participation.
I would suggest repeating this class earlier in December next year, in advance of the Christmas holiday.

K
KyleAnne Hoyer (Denver, US)
Donna Pittet

It was interesting and fun but I would have enjoyed it more if the recipes came 24 hours before the class. I didn’t have all the ingredients to make mulled wine or the eggnog. And I really wanted the eggnog