If the freshmen St Andrews Cocktail society, Bartenders Against Temperance (or B.A.T) were a cocktail, they would be a Southside. 2 oz gin, 1 oz lime juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 1 sprig mint, 1 fresh mint leaf. That is to say that the society is sweetly indulgent, with just the perfect amount of alcohol, and excellent fun.
This collection of traits was aptly reflected at their most recent event, B.A.T’s Love and Laughs’ Cocktail Masterclass, an event with the aim of, “teach you some of the most romantic cocktails we know and introduce you to the long tradition of suggestively named drinks.” The event was held in collaboration St. Andrews Stand-up Society and had a collection of brave, if occasionally off the mark, comics for entertainment.
As someone who failed miserably working behind the bar at the Vic, I was intrigued at the premise of learning how to expertly concept some cocktails not necessarily on the beaten track.
Conceived by fourth-year Asa Andrews and fellow bartenders, B.A.T is serves as the venue and means for often under-appreciated cocktails get their time in the spotlight.
As Asa put it, “We wanted to create a space where students could come and appreciate fine alcohol without feeling they had to binge, and we also think that cocktails have a lot more varieties of flavours and pairings than often more traditional drinks. We wanted to bring that experience to a wider range of students relatively cheaply. Also knowing how to concoct your own beverage is a great way to have great drinks at pres while saving money.”
The event was held at the North Street Brew Co, A.K.A “New Brew Co.” Upon entering, first impressions were slightly awkward. There were four stations set up in the back of the bar each with staple bartending equipment and individual committee members of B.A.T ready to instruct, however, before the crowd of predominately freshers and myself could dive in, we bore witness to a courageous, for the most part quality, comedy act. While humorous, the act may have landed better on the crowd after a few cocktails had been consumed.
However, all apprehensions were quickly abated as the main instructions of the night commenced. In quick fashion, attendees were split into small groups, with each making their way around the room, trying their hands at concocting the various scandalously named drinks. Food was also provided later in the night (which always a crowd pleaser) and comics, for the most part, provided laughs between lessons.
It is a well-known fact that the two most important parts of any alcoholic event in St. Andrews are a copious supply of alcohol and well-received entertainment. Bartenders Against Temperance’ night of Love and Laughs possessed both of these, therefore making it a resounding success. To anyone looking to step up their drinking game, for relatively low prices, I resoundingly recommend this society and their future events.
In all, even though your loyal correspondent was forbidden to drink (this is and will remain my biggest complaint), he managed to have a wonderful time still. When asked what Asa’s favourite cocktail was he responded, “oh definitely a Southside.” I think this quote quite adequately sums up the night.