In the words of Taylor Swift, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake (and stir..). Okay, I may have revised that a bit after attending Round Barn's new Shake and Stir Workshop, but c'mon can you blame me? Round Barn has long been one of my favorite stops along the Lake Michigan Wine Trail offering lively entertainment and delicious wine, beer and spirits on the Estate grounds which is also home to the iconic 1912 Amish Round Barn. In addition to traditional wine tasting, Round Barn has recently added a new hands on experience for visitors. During their Shake and Stir Workshop you'll have the opportunity to shake and stir three different craft cocktails made with Round Barn Spirits and take home some delicious recipes so you can make your own cocktails at home.
Try something new for date night or belly up to the bar with a group of up to 16 people for this 60-minute masterclass. The class is held on Saturdays and Sundays and can be booked online.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Round Barn. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Upon walking into the private lower level of the historic Round Barn, Melissa from The Beer Darling and I were greeted by Seth who would be our mixologist for the evening. He turned on some tunes and we knew we were in for a fun afternoon! The class provides all the supplies you'll need to create your cocktails including spirits, mixers, and garnishes. We also had our own individual stations at the bar with all the tools to shake and stir. Seth started out the class by explaining what each of the tools was for. Many of them I had never used before and it was fun to feel like a real bartender. He then walked us through how to make each cocktail step by step including a honey pear margarita, old fashioned, and apple cider sangria (recipe below).
Each cocktail was unique in the preparation and spirits it included so we really got to experience a well-rounded drink menu. Since you're the bartender for the evening you also get to choose how to mix it up and can add more or less of each ingredient depending on what you prefer. And let's not forget the best part - getting to taste test each drink when you're done making it. If you attend the class with a large group, the private space is perfect to spend time sipping while you relax in the various seating areas before mixing up your next beverage. You'll also leave with a souvenir cocktail glass. After the class is over, don't miss the opportunity to explore the rest of the Estate grounds. Grab a cold draft from the beer barn, listen to live music in the lawn during the summer months, or sample a variety of wines on the other side of the Round Barn.
Apple Cider Sangria
This was hands down my favorite drink of the three that we mixed up during class and would make a perfect large batch cocktail for your upcoming holiday parties. It's so different compared to your traditional wine-based sangria drinks and topping it with the Spumante really adds that finishing touch. The cinnamon stick and star anise also provide the perfect garnish and are sure to make your guests envious of your hosting skills.
I also thought this drink was the most fun to make as it requires all hands on deck to shake and stir together. At the beginning of class you'll participate in a fun group activity to prep all the ingredients needed for this drink before mixing them in a large pitcher. It needs to sit in the refrigerator for some time, so you'll have to wait until the end of class to finally taste taste this delicious concoction.
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