Friday Mixology Meetups all for a good cause

Looking for some creative ways to brighten spirits in the new year? The Rotary Club of the Sunshine Coast’s Friday Night Mixology Meetup might be just the ticket.

The interactive Zoom sessions featuring local and international mixologists begin Friday, Jan. 8 and run every Friday at 6 p.m. until Feb. 19.

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Mark Reed, general manager of 101 Brewhouse + Distillery, will be host for the first Friday meetup. He will guide participants step-by-step through the creation of two vodka-based cocktails: The Blackberry Vodka Moscow Mule and the Bliss at the Beach Martini.

“I chose these drinks because they are so flavourful yet easy to make at home,” Reed said. “The ingredients are easy to get (you can use frozen blackberries) and they are drinks you will want to make all year.”

Reed spends a lot of time behind the bar creating cocktails. “It’s fun to put different flavours together and see if they work.” One of his big successes is “Jingle Juice,” a blend of Galliano, vodka, ginger beer and cranberry juice. “I was amazed at how well it went over. People keep asking for it.”

Not every creation is a raging success, however. “It is a process of trial and error. I’d say 75 per cent of my experiments are good, and 25 per cent go down the sink.”

Week Two presenter is Hayden Humphries, the national mixologist for an import wine and spirit company. He creates cocktails and custom menus for restaurants and bars across the country. Gin will be his featured spirit.

Coming up, two presenters from Chile, Constanza Sofia Silva Irarrazabal and Roberto Silva Perez, will show you how to make cocktails featuring the favourite South American spirit pisco. The creators of Bruinwood Distillery will feature cocktails using advocaat, one of the distillery’s newest concoctions, which is causing quite a sensation here on the Coast. Other presenters will soon be announced.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will support numerous local projects as well as a major international initiative. Several Rotary clubs in B.C. are working to raise $90,000 for a significant project in Ndandini, Kenya. The project will stabilize the community’s only source of potable water by replacing a failing diesel generator with a solar array, install hand-washing stations at all eight Ndandini schools and replace pit latrines with composting toilets.

St. Hilda’s Anglican Church has been a major partner with Rotary in support of Ndandini over the years. The club hopes the Mixology Meetup will interest more supporters in this cause. To learn more about Ndandini, go to www.ndandini.blogspot.com

To sign up for the Mixology Meetup, go to www.rotarysunshinecoast.org.  The cost is just $50 for all seven Friday evenings. Each week, you will receive a postcard telling you what ingredients and equipment you will need to make the cocktails.

Reed plans to share some mixology tricks and teach participants a little bit about vodka, but most of all, he says, “we’ll have some fun!”

– David Connors, Contributing Writer

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