One again embarking towards the beloved Hotel Du Vin, I was prepared to scamper down the same little staircase to the hidden bar in the basement of the hotel. However, to my surprise, this event proved refreshing, taking place in a different more intimate room than the previous event. As guests walked into the room, they were greeted by a sparkling chandelier and a candelabra set methodically on the mantel, setting a bit of a classier ambience. In contrast to the overall classy room, the BAT committee was decked out in tiki shirts, creating a bit of a fun light twist to the event. Many of the guest also strolled up in tiki shirts, making me consider whether I had missed a memo about the dress-code.
Not only was the venue more intimate and an overall nicer room, there was finally some much needed girl power on the floor, with Katie Campbell leading a Pina Colada masterclass at one of the four stations. Speaking to Katie regarding the lack of female bartenders, she poignantly stated, “Bartending is heavily a male dominated industry. Guys just do not have to worry about some things female bartenders do.” With this insightful remark, I think it really added to the event and encouraged the girls attending the event that ‘hey women can do this too.’ So overall, good on BAT for adding some diversity this go around. I hope they keep it up.
Now for what everyone has been waiting for… The Drinks!
Kyle’s Station: Mai Thai
Recipe: White Rum, Fresh Lime, Homemade Almond Syrup, Triple Sec, Dark Rum
Description: Very, very strong! It had a very overpowering taste of rum, could not really taste the almond at all. I would have preferred less rum and more of the almond sweet flavour to balance it out. It’s one saving grace was that it was garnished with a crouton floating on a lime that was lit on fire. How fun is it to blow out a little fiery object before taking a huge gulp? Guests loved the show, (but the taste I’m not so sure about).
Asa’s Station: Tall Dark and Stormy
Recipe: Ginger Beer, Bitters, Dark Rum, Falernum
Description: It had a very gingery taste but was simultaneously sweet and light. I would 100% order this in a bar. The garnish of a little umbrella with a chunk of criticised ginger made the drink very ‘Instagramable’. I also really liked how Asa made this drink actually in the cup itself rather than using a shaker: less work and tasty!
George’s Station: Hemingway Daiquiri
Recipe: Kirsch (Cherry Liqueur) White Rum, Fresh Lime, Fresh Grapefruit, Two Drops Saline Solution
Description: While this drink was very pretty, a light pinkish colour, it was a bit bland for me. The saline solution levelled out the taste which gave it no distinct flavour. While I didn’t dislike the drink, it definitely was not my favourite.
Katie’s Station: The Pina Colada
Recipe: White Rum, Coconut Cream, Pineapple Juice
Description: This drink was perfect. Not too sweet, but had nice notes of pineapple and a creamy texture from the coconut. It was also very interactive, with guests being able to choose their own garnishes, doing eclectic mixes of little umbrellas, pineapple slices, and maraschino cherries.
Besides the drinks being an overall success, the committee was happy to see many familiar faces from the last event. Third year Camillia Duke stated, “I really enjoyed the first event. I am looking forward to learning how to make rum cocktails, I never really drink rum.”
I also got a chance to speak to second year Wilson Jones who shared, “I had a lot of fun at the first event. I am really enjoying this tiki theme and all the Hawaiian shirts. The Hemmingway drink looks amazing.”
So, in sum, this BAT event proved to be more successful than the first: the committee had a routine and knew what they were doing, there were more snacks spread throughout the tables so guests did not have “too much fun” and the committee seemed to be enthusiastic about what they were doing.
Make sure you don’t miss out on their next event!