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Upon stumbling into Revolution on a drunken night out, it becomes very easy to forget how much effort actually goes into making their delicious cocktails that every student in Lancaster knows and loves. Standing at the bar I have seen people order eight of the most mouth-watering concoctions for themselves and their friends, before starting to impatiently grumble about why they’re taking so long to make. But what people might not realise is just how much skill and knowledge has gone into every sip that they take.
Harry Potter’s bedroom under the stairs may not sound like the most elegant venue for a cocktail masterclass. But the nickname of this little bar at Lancaster’s Penny Street Revolution does not reflect the actuality of the class. The bar was decked out with toy tiaras, hoola necklaces, heart shaped antennas, and stick on mustaches (all of which were fully utilised after a few more drinks), and we were greeted with a tasty one ‘Strawberry WooWoo’ each.
We were each allowed to choose two cocktails that we could make ourselves. I soon discovered that each cocktail was almost completely unique; it is a wonder that anyone can remember the different flavours and techniques without having to read and re-read the menu. My favourite was the ‘Sweetshop’ cocktail. Made with Stoli Razberri vodka, banana liqueur, bubblegum syrup, cranberry juice, lemonade, and garnished with a fizzy strawberry lace, this beverage is simply indulgent.
If you know your cocktail shizzle I would definitely recommend taking a peak at the ‘Premium Classics’ section of the menu. Their ‘Peanut Butter Martini’ might just change the meaning of, ‘I’ll have a double vodka martini’ for you. We tasted a twist on the classic gin and tonic with Revolution’s ‘G and Tea’. For this magical treat you actually have to brew tea, which is quite possibly why your cocktails might take a little bit of time to make. But be patient, it’s worth it.
Something which genuinely surprised me was the number of different ingredients that went into the cocktails; syrups, sugar, herbs, mixers, and obviously alcohol. Not to mention the emphasis put on the brands used. It quickly became evident that Revolution only wanted to use the best, reaping the most fantastical taste possible.
After all that cocktail making it was time for a game. We split off into two pairs to create two teams where one person was the eyes and one person was the hands. We then had to make a ‘Cranberry Fizz’. For those who don’t know, this cocktail is less than 200 calories, so you can sip up without feeling guilty. Our server judged our cocktails as we battled it out to make the tastiest drink in the quickest time. In this case flavour won out over speed, which is just more proof that these cocktails are worth the wait.
The winner then gets to decide whether they want to be nice or nasty to the losing team. Being the lovely people that we are, we decided to be nice, and we each got to sample some of Revolutions own vodka flavours. From an extensive list of thirty different shots, we all agreed that the yummiest was the salted popcorn. However, if you have a devilish side, you could give your friends the forfeit of making them shot a chilli shot.
If you do decide to go, one thing to make use of is the bartenders knowledge of alcohol. Your server will be able to resolve any of your alcohol related queries. Amongst a bunch of other questions, we asked about why some spirits are white and some are darker and why some spirits give you a worse hangover. If you’re in interested, the darker spirits have usually been aged for longer in their casks. And, the severity of your hangover is largely dependent on the amount of congeners in the alcohol. These are affected by how many times the spirit has been distilled, and how long it has been aged for. Unfortunately, for those who love a flavoursome whiskey, the longer it’s been aged for, the more congeners.
But don’t let this talk of hangovers put you off the masterclass. In short, it is a lot of fun, and not overly priced for what you get either. Between the expertise of your server and the sheer amount of alcohol involved, the night works out to be well worth the affect it has on your overdraft.