Rollin’ through Raleigh– Part I
I bought a LivingSocial coupon for a mixology class last August, even though I didn’t turn 21 until September. Some might call that overeager, but I just call it being prepared. Suddenly it was February and the deal was about to expire, so to Spy Raleigh we went! Raleigh is a great city that’s only a 20 minutes away, but I could count the number of times I’ve been there during my Duke career on my hands. It’s really a shame, but it got us that much more excited to go.
After finding parking (always stressful when in the stinkin’ Lincoln), Perry, Robyn, Brad, Taylor, and I found our way to the bar and took our seats. I promptly got out a pen because when one is in a learning environment one should always be prepared to takes notes – you never know when there will be a pop quiz! Perry did not agree and as a result, now does not know how to properly make a Juicy Fruit shot. (Shh, don’t tell him but it’s a shot of Three Olives Bubble vodka, a splash of cranberry juice and a splash of ginger ale – tastes exactly like Juicy Fruit bubble gum!)
Josh, our teacher, led us through the process of how to make two other drinks – a Strawbasil mojito, and some sort of blueberry and bourbon concoction. The first one was a fun take on a classic mojito; we all initially were pretty sure the basil would taste really weird, but it actually added a nice flavor that mixed pleasantly with the strawberry. As for the other drink, I really dislike blueberries and am not a big fan of bourbon, but I have to admit, it was actually pretty good. Mixology, although not a real word according to Microsoft word, is all about the art of how ingredients fit together. Josh was talking all about pH balance, which sorts of “notes” to bring out of a drink during which season (basil is wintry, obviously) and most importantly, how the things one needs to make a seemingly fancy cocktail, can often be found right in one’s home.
Although it made me feel like I had the potential to be classy and encouraged me to go out and buy some agave, I was overall a bit disappointed with the experience. We didn’t get to make the drinks ourselves as I had hoped and expected. Josh made one in front of us while walking us through the process and then allowed us to try a premade finished product. He was offering extra to the first person to correctly answer various questions about Raleigh’s mayors and history. (What did I tell you – there’s always a pop quiz!) Sadly, none of us had studied up beforehand, so we were pretty much out of the running. I did, however, manage to snag an extra Juicy Fruit shot by being so enthusiastic about how good it tasted.
Spy Raleigh had a pretty cool ambience but since our class was at 5, we didn’t really get to see it when it was “bumpin’.” Luckily, Robyn and Taylor both won VIP invitations to go back with no cover and $3 drinks all night with as many friends as they want! While this might imply that this establishment is just desperate for customers, I think it’s a sign that Raleigh’s not quite done with us yet.
Have you made any exciting concoctions since your class? I mean, you’re basically a mixologist now, right? Well, my most recent specialty is a rum & coke – you take some coke, and add some rum to it. Voila! (Josh was right – everything you need for the perfect cocktail is probably already in your cabinet!)