Shaken, not stirred: Cocktail making at Dirty Martini

This weekend, in honor of all the Spectre-themed madness happening in London, we headed over to Dirty Martini to do their cocktail-making master class. (Although, we’re pretty sure 007 wouldn’t have touched any of the pretty pink drinks we made.)

This was the first thing we managed to cross off our ‘official’ bucket list, so we were pretty excited. For the uninitiated, Dirty Martini is a chain of late night cocktail bars with an amazing drinks menu. We have started quite a few nights out here before so it was interesting to see what it was like on the other side of the bar!

Before this class, our drink making skills consisted pretty much of putting ice in a (large) cup, dumping in a (generous) bit of vodka and a (tiny) bit of cranberry juice. So the concept of ‘measuring’ alcohol for drinks was fairly foreign. Luckily, our instructor Enrico was there to supervise and clarify that no, you really don’t need to put any more vodka in.

french martini

For £25, the evening included a welcome cocktail (a raspberry bellini), a sharing platter and two self-made drinks. For our first lesson, we opted to make a French Martini (pictured above) — pineapple juice, Absolut vodka and chambord, shaken with ice to perfection. We went a little more exotic for the second drink and made a strawberry black pepper martini — which sounds weird but tasted like heaven.

One perfectly poured strawberry and black pepper martini coming right up! Drink credit: @prettypositivity

A post shared by Niall Turnquest (@niallgordon) on

Highlight of the course was definitely the actual cocktail shaking. The shakers get icy cold so quickly it is actually hard to hang on and keep shaking to get the ideal amount of foam on top of the drink. We definitely have a new appreciation for the effort that goes into all the pretty happy hour drinks!

bar food bright

This goes on our list as one to do again. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed; there was no set times to go and make your drinks so you were able to chat and eat in between lessons. It’s probably also worth mentioning that all martinis were half off until 8pm — which we definitely made the most of. So we will be back again soon; maybe not for mixing drinks just yet but to take our usual place on the other side of the bar!


Kendra and Kara


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