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Whole lot of shaking going on for city's cocktail week.

Byline: Sarah Scott Reporter

PICTURES: CLAIRE MCKIE A DROP of this and a splash of that - bars across the city are mixing up a treat for cocktail lovers.

Celebrating the second NE1 Cocktail Week, a host of venues across Newcastle are taking part in the event, which kicked off on Monday.

From cocktail making master classes to themed nights, colourful drinks are the order of the day this week.

Running until July 20, NE1's Cocktail Week turns the spotlight on the growing in-terest and popularity of cocktail mixology in Newcastle. This year, new venues will be joining in the activities, including All Seeing Eye, Aspers, Barluga, Perdu, Bonbar, and Fat Buddha.

David Cook, co-founder of the Cocktail Project, will be based at Fat Buddha in Newcastle throughout the week dishing up three delicious rum-based cocktails for guests.

"Why is Cocktail Week great, the clue is in the title," said David.

"It forces innovation in the sense that there are three prices during the week, PS3, PS5 and PS7. It is not a money-making exercise. It is about attracting people who do not normally drink cocktails and getting them to try them.

"The PS3 would normally cost PS6-7, the PS5 PS7.50 or PS8, and the PS7 - we were in London and something similar cost PS12."

Stephen Patterson, NE1's director of communications, said: "Newcastle is a fantastic city that enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its bars and restaurants. Hosting events like NE1's Cocktail Week and Restaurant Week raises the profile of Newcastle's restaurants and leisure sector and helps attract new visitors to sample the delights of what the city has to offer.

"Restaurant Week has grown year on year and has encouraged other cities across the UK to follow Newcastle's lead and to host their own events - we expect NE1's Cocktail Week to set similar trends."

For more and to download vouchers visit MIXING WITH THE EXPERTS USUALLY to be found propping up a cocktail bar in town, I felt a little disorientated on the other side of things.

But it's not every day you are sent to a cocktail making masterclass and get to call it work. So, when I got the order, I quite happily skipped up the street to Fat Buddha.

Little did I know there's more to creating a beautiful cocktail than meets the eye - it's an art form I'm told.

When I appear, one of the Cocktail Project's creations for this week is waiting for me - the frozen strawberry daiquiri. But my eagle eye spies something a little different on top - pobbles. David from the Cocktail Project tells me you won't find these in any other bar in the region. These have been brought in from London - and the verdict is these bursting balls of fruit juice are delicious.

But now down to the real reason I am here - drinking. No, I jest, I am of course here to learn how to make a top-notch cocktail.

For years I was under the misunderstanding that ice in my cocktail was just the bar's clever way of watering down my alcohol. Oh, how mistaken I was. David tells me ice is the key ingredient for cocktail making. So, with some ice in my glass, off I go.

Making a relatively simple margarita, I add a shot of tequila (and a bit extra for good luck), a measure of Cointreau and some lime juice, and it's time to start shaking.

Giving the glass and shaker a good thump, David holds it over my head to prove it's good and stuck. Then, using everything I have learnt from movies and my bar years, I raise the glass over my shoulder, cross my fingers and shake.

Maybe I should get behind the bar more often.



Reporter Sarah Scott makes a cocktail with Cookie from The Cocktail Project
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 16, 2014
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