Bourne and Hollingsworth is rapidly developing a reputation as purveyors of fine food, drinks and entertainment. Their Prohibition and Blitz parties are already famous not just in London but around the world. They are currently running a series of masterclasses on premium yet less well-known spirits, so we went along to check out what it is all about.
If you haven’t been to the Bourne and Hollingsworth building in Clerkenwell, you must plan a visit as soon as possible. On the ground floor is a beautifully white-looking, airy and bright bar; it is a bar that feels like it belongs in the resorts of the Mediterranean rather than in the heart of our City.
The masterclass starts off with a welcome aperitif style cocktail: in our case, it was a delicate and complex mix of Forteleza tequila with herbal liqueur, agave nectar, fresh pressed apple and grapefruit juices topped with bubbles. The rich fruity and herbal notes really balancing well with the tequila.
Next we moved onto the stunning B&H kitchens upstairs where we had an insightful tutorial from the brand ambassador of Forteleza. It is one of the most welcoming cookery classrooms you will ever see in London with soothing plants dotted throughout the room as well as a colourful arrangement of vegetables in the centre of the room.
We not only learnt about the history of Forteleza tequila and the production regions in Mexico; we also got to try the blanco, reposado and añejo versions of the artisanal spirit. The blanco tasted more green and natural, whilst the reposado had a more mellow feel whilst the strong-tasting añejo reminded me of sipping on a fine cognac. Even the bottles are beautifully presented as in keeping with the handcrafted nature of the tequila.
After that, we moved to the funky and atmospheric, Below and Hidden for a quick lesson in cocktail making where we learnt to make a Blooming Tommy’s, which is a hibiscus flavoured modern take on the Margarita. We had a fascinating talk from Jim, the person in charge of running these cocktail classes. With his fine experience in the industry, there is simply no cocktail-related question that he cannot answer.
We finished off with a digestif cocktail back in the main bar and it doesn’t get more sumptuous and decadent than using truffle oil-fat washed cognac to match with your tequila.
The remaining masterclasses are about Aqua Vitae – Chartreuse and the origins of Alcohol, Spirit of Italy – Grappa Masterclass with Nardi Grappa and Best of British Gin – Plymouth Gin. Please click here to make your booking today.