Shaken, awakened and stirred at the Tozi Venetian Cocktail Masterclass

Paul Winch-Furness / PhotographerIn the heart of Victoria, a stones throw from the back of the station is probably the last place that you would expect to get a master class in the mixing of classy Italian cocktails but indeed we did.   Myself and my accomplice enjoyed learning about, making and partaking in the classiest and most in the moment cocktails around at the moment in a really buzzing Venetian eatery, and yes a stone’s throw from the busy Victoria station.

We were welcomed to our master class by Joe the friendly brand expert for Aperol and Campari – two spirits at the Vogue end of cocktail fashion right now. Tozi is a great spacious, young, Venetian restaurant with a really classy, sleek vibe on a pretty street in SW1. Immediately when we arrived we were glad eager to come back another time to check out the less liquid menu.

Tozi is a great spacious, young, Venetian restaurant with a really classy, sleek vibe on a pretty street in SW1.

There were around 10 people in our class all together and as we all took our seats before the array of cocktail making equipment and various glasses of all sizes Joe welcomed us with an in depth, entertaining history of the brands we were about to get involved in. Taking us through the botanical make up of the spirits Aperol and Campari (Aperol alone has 20+ in a closely guarded recipe) through their medicinal use, to the historical enjoyment of them as an apperitivo traditional to Italy. Questions were happily received throughout, and I can attest this guy knows a lot about his brand that’s for sure.

So, onto our first mix. It was the Campari based Milano Torino the first cocktail served in the creator Gaspare Campari’s bar in the
1860s. It was very bitter and strong a killer of a start to the night. We learned that the Americans watered it down with Perrier that they Italians then called the Americano. Apparently the Milano Torino is the first drink that is ordered by James Bond in Casino Royale – a man after my own heart.. We were well on our way that’s for sure.

Next was the Negroni which is my favourite cocktail of the moment so I was more than happy to learn how to make these. Joe againPaul Winch-Furness / Photographertook us through the history and then we got down to it… learning that a Negroni is equal measures of gin vermouth and Campari… something I’ve already been happy to learn and execute since at home.

We then mixed a variation on the Negroni called the Negroni Sbagliato which is a variation on the alcohol heavy Negroni and mixes out gin with Prosseco. My friend preferred this version – both were delicious, Whilst this was happening we were treated to a welcome array of Italian charcuterie and pizza – much needed to keep us focussed at this point.

For our final drink Joe went off piste and mixed something that was additional to the night which was really generous and happily ended off an educational but fun night. He taught us how to mix a Boulevardier which is Bourbon, Campari and Vermouth… a heavy hitter to see us to the end of the evening.

I have to say that this being my first cocktail lesson this experience has left me hungry for more. Joe was a great, patient and funny instructor, the cocktails were delicious and well complimented by the food we had – perfecto!! By the end of the night you really felt you earned your hangover! Brilliant for parties, dates or just something different with your friends. Perfecto!!

I have to say that this being my first cocktail lesson this experience has left me hungry for more.

Twitter: @ToziRestaurant

Tozi Restaurant, 8 Gillingham Street, London SW1V 1HJ, 020 7769 9771

http://www.tozirestaurant.co.uk/

Emma, Heart London Magazine

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