Photos by Yoko Kumano
Together with Plumpjack Wine & Spirits, we hosted a cocktail crafting event at Forgery a couple months ago. I remember it as though it was yesterday -- it was a warm, late summer day (ehem, late September) in San Francisco, and our guests saddled up to Forgery's gorgeous bar to take in the subject of the day: stirred cocktails. With Ken Luciano and Jacques Bezuidenhout -- owners of Forgery and leaders in the industry -- teaching the course, everyone was in for a fun-filled, educational Sunday afternoon.
Newly opened in 2015, Forgery was previously a glass-blowing studio and printing press. The space invites serious cocktail lovers and neighborhood locals alike.
Before the "students" started stirring drinks, Ken and Jacques talked a bit about the difference between stirring and shaking. Questions like, "When is a cocktail shaken vs. stirred," or, "Why do I stir," were succinctly answered.
And of course, a bit of stirring technique by Jacques:
Then, we moved onto the main event, cocktail stirring. The first drink demonstrated was the Martinez (yes, invented in Martinez, CA!), a drink that predates the Martini. MARTINEZ 2oz sweet vermouth 1oz gin Barspoon Luxardo cherry liqueur 2 dashes of Angostura bitters Everyone had the necessary Umami Mart bar tools in front of them (mixing glass, jigger, Julep strainer and barspoon), and all the ingredients were passed down the bar one by one. Et voila! A Martinez. Next up was Josh from Plumpjack, who demonstrated the Sazerac cocktail, said to be one of the first cocktails, ever. SAZERAC 2oz bourbon Barspoon of simple syrup or gum syrup 2 dashes of Angostura bitters 2 dashes of Peychaud's bitters Absinthe rinse
Stirred and strained into a coupe!
Lastly, Ken taught everyone how to make his personal rendition of a Negroni.
Equal parts gin, Campari, sweet vermouth
2 barspoons of Galliano Ristretto coffee liqueur It brought me great joy to see people learning how to make cocktails using our bar tools. Everyone genuinely seemed to be having a good time and it was truly educational in a laid back setting. We will certainly do this again. Many many thanks to Josh of Plumpjack for helping us organize this event, and to Ken and Jacques of Forgery for graciously hosting the event. Cheers, everyone!