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Inside a Mixology Event

Here at Kapow, we love mixology events. They’re unique, engaging and there’s no shortage of great drinks. More importantly, mixology events have always been very popular with our corporate clients.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a mixology event—or haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing one—here’s a breakdown of how the event goes, why you need to host one and where you can find the best of the best.

Why mixology events work

Mixology events are the perfect enhancement to your standard happy hour or cocktail reception. Combining the best of both worlds, these experiences offer an engaging activity with the impressive cachet of a renowned venue. The promise of free drinks and the opportunity to get behind the bar is much more enticing than a happy hour at the local hangout, meaning higher attendance for you.

This type of event works especially well for building relationships with prospective or new clients and networking events. The interactive, hands-on element creates a natural “ice breaker” that’s conducive to starting conversations with strangers or acquaintances. But the shorter nature of the activity allows time for mingling and moving about the room after.

The run of show

While the run of show changes from experience to experience, we’ve created a basic outline of how the night will progress so you know what to expect. Most mixology events kick off with a short cocktail reception where the host can welcome the guests, and guests can grab a drink and settle in.

Most mixology events will then include a bartender presentation. During this time, guests will gather around the bar and the bartender will demonstrate how to make one or more drinks while discussing the history of the bar or drink, tricks of the trade or answering any cocktail-related questions.

After the demo, many mixology events will include a hands-on portion, where some or all guests can try their hand at creating the cocktail that was demoed. Guests will pour, shake and stir before enjoying their creations! In most cases, this is a shorter portion of the event, though some experiences include an hour or two of mixing multiple cocktails or hosting a competition where guests compete to mix the best drink.

Regardless of how long the mixology portion lasts, guests will have the remainder of the event to enjoy cocktails, drinks and either hors d’oeuvres or a dinner before taking off for the night.

Some experiences will even include a recipe card or glass takeaway for your guests.

Where can I find it?

In addition to those mentioned above, here are a few of our favorite mixology experiences across the country. 

Mercadito in Chicago

Guests can grab a welcome margarita before a master mixologist demonstrates how to make three signature craft cocktails. Guests will then try their hands at shaking and stirring. The drinks will rotate according to favorites and seasonal ingredients. 

Pepper Smash in Dallas

Once everyone settles in, a mixologist will greet the group and demonstrate how to concoct some of Pepper Smash’s signature cocktails. Guests will then split into groups and belly up to the bar to try their hands at cocktail making. While the teams are working, the mixologist will pull volunteers out of the group to help make a liquid nitrogen cocktail.

Greenbar Distillery in LA

Guests will tour the distillery before the Greenbar Spirits Expert guides them through a tasting of six of the spirits distilled on-site. Guests will then participate in a hands-on mixology class, where they’ll learn the secret to creating a cocktail from scratch.

Pulqueria in NYC

Once your guests arrive, an agave master will give an overview and history of agave and agave-based spirits, covering flavor profiles and differences types of agaves. With guidance from the agave master, each guest will then make four seasonal cocktails. 

Quattro at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto

Upon arrival, each guest will choose a station before the head bartender greets the group and begins instruction on how to perfectly craft a variety of cocktails. Guests will pour, muddle and mix their own cocktails with guidance from the bartender throughout. 

The Gibson in Washington, D.C.

Once everyone settles in, an in-house mixologist will demonstrate how to create three classic cocktails, detailing a brief history of each. During the demo, attendees will have the chance to get behind the bar and put their new skills to the test.

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