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How to Run a Successful Cocktail Making Class

November 15, 2021 by Joel Davidge

A cocktail making class is a great activity for team building, to impress clients, or simply to have fun with friends.

Whether it’s as part of a summer event, or as part of an office Christmas party activity, cocktails always go down a treat.

Many drink specialist agencies offer various packages depending on what cocktail making class.

For example, you could opt to let the agency run the day or organize parts of the cocktail class yourself and approach a bartender hire company to provide staff for your event.

In any case, running a cocktail masterclass requires planning and preparation.

Our expert event planners rounded up their top tips for running a successful cocktail making event.

What is a cocktail making class?

Guests watch a bartender making drinks at a cocktail masterclass held by The Cocktail Service

A cocktail masterclass is a cocktail making session led by an experienced mixologist, where you learn how to make cocktails.

Cocktail making classes can be held in person at your premises, or at an external location like a local bar.

Should I book a cocktail making class online?

If your team or group of friends are in different locations, then a making a cocktail class virtual can be a fun way to catch up and interact.

As well as in person classes, many organizations and groups choose to take part in a cocktail masterclass online.

This is great for larger groups and provides a fun and engaging activity if you are in different locations across the country.

The Cocktail Service Virtual Cocktail Masterclass

Read more about our virtual cocktail class options

How to run a cocktail making class

If you’re thinking of running a cocktail making event there are two ways of doing it.

Either you can organize and run the session yourself or hire a specialist company like The Cocktail Service to run things for you.

When planning your cocktail class, you’ll need to think about the following things:


Picking from the hundreds of cocktail recipes available is more complicated than it might seem.

For example, do you know the type of cocktail and flavours that your guests like? What are the on trend cocktails of the moment? Guests will often ask to make these, regardless of what you’ve planned.

You’ll also want to pick recipes which are complicated enough to make to be a fun challenge, whilst not requiring expert mixology knowledge.

You can find the answers to many of these questions online, but speaking to a bar consultant will make the process a lot easier.

Guests behind the bar make cocktails in a cocktail masterclass

Alcohol Stock

How many guests are expected? How many drinks do you want to make? Both of these variables will have an impact on how much alcohol you’ll need.


Alcohol is just one of many ingredients in cocktails. When planning your cocktail class, list the other ingredients you’ll need for the recipes.

Also consider how you will store these, and whether they need prepared in advance, like limes cut into wedges and mint leaves picked if making a mojito.


Ice is a key ingredient in all cocktails. Even if the finished drink is not served in a glass (such as a martini), ice is still required

You’ll need to know how much ice is needed to make each cocktail, and then multiply by the number of cocktails and guests to arrive at your final estimate.

Always add a 20% additional in case something goes wrong, and a guest needs to restart making their drink.

Personal Licence and Premises Licence

Put very simply – any event where the supply of alcohol is linked to a sale requires a Personal Licence.

There are many rules detailing the supply of alcohol, so you’ll need to do your research and ensure that you have the correct documentation.

You can find out more about the guidance on Alcohol Licensing here:

Looking for a personal licence holder for your event? Get in touch


If you are running your own class, you’ll need to think about what equipment you’ll need, and also how to transport it to your location.

Different cocktails need different types of glassware, as well as the tools to make the drinks.

If you’re looking to create a memorable event, you’ll want to ensure you have premium cocktail glasses on offer.

Most bar companies will offer a kit hire option and can arrange delivery for you.

Thinking of running a virtual cocktail master class?

You’ll need to choose a video conferencing software and ensure that the meeting is set up and the link emailed to guests.

A cocktail bartender at a cocktail making class in Oxford


A key consideration is checking if any of the class students have any allergies. It’s also worth checking if your staff have allergies as well – remember that they will be handling the stock as well!

For example, a common allergy is egg whites, which are used in cocktails like Whisky and Amaretto Sours.


Different guests will have different skill levels. It might take one guest much more time than others to make their cocktail.

This is fine, as long as you’re prepared.

Work out an average time for each cocktail. This will help you know when it’s time to be moving onto the next drink, and when to step in to help those who are slower (more on this below).

A mixologist hosting a cocktail making class in Oxford


As well as thinking about all of the items above, you also want your class to be fun!

A friendly, outgoing, and most importantly experienced bartender is a must for a successful cocktail class.

Not only will they need to know how to make the drinks, but they’ll need to be able to clearly demonstrate each step to the class.

They’ll also need to be skilled in stakeholder management.

For example, part of the fun of a cocktail making class is learning new skills.

However, guests may be embarrassed if they can’t master skills straight away. Especially if their colleagues pick them up easily.

Knowing when to offer assistance, and how to do it diplomatically is a key skill for facilitators.

On top of that, the cocktail class host should also be knowledgeable in the history of cocktails, giving context to the drinks being made.

Whilst you may have people within your organization who can look up a few recipes, hiring a bartender from an established bar staffing agency will ensure that all of these factors are covered.

Why book a cocktail making class?

A guest at a cocktail making class ran by The Cocktail Service

Most of us will have mixed up drinks at home. You may even have created cocktails for friends at an event.

However, when your professional reputation is on the line, it’s often better not to leave things to chance.

Booking a bar specialist company to run your cocktail masterclass event is quick, easy, and takes the hassle out of the whole process.

It means you can focus on interacting with your guests or clients, rather than worrying about whether you’ve bought enough stock!

Specialist event planners like The Cocktail Service have years of experience in logistics, meaning they can organize the delivery of any kit, glassware, and ingredients that you require.

What is the best cocktail making class near me?

If you’re looking for an in person cocktail making class or virtual cocktail masterclass, The Cocktail Service has provided in person cocktail masterclasses for clients across the UK.

We’ve ran corporate cocktail activities for clients like Gerald Eve, during drink brand activations for Malfy Gin, as well as for private events.

Additionally, we’ve provided virtual cocktail masterclasses for clients across the UK and internationally, for clients including HSBC.

Find out more or book a call to chat to one of the team about your requirements.


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