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Cocktail Masterclass at Turtle Bay

As a cocktail mega fan I was so excited to be invited by Turtle Bay to a cocktail masterclass! Here's my run through of the night, including the four steps of rum tasting.

Turtle Bay review

I enjoyed the night in Southampton but could have been at any of their 34 restaurants in the UK. I have to say, for a chain restaurant they do a brilliant job at making customers feel like they are getting a personal service which other chain restaurants struggle at.

It's the home of Caribbean food which also means it is the home of rum - yes!

Rum testing at Turtle Bay

It was a cold night so when I was welcomed in with a cocktail and hot sweet potato fries I thought "honey I'm home". I asked for any sweet cocktail of their choice and was handed the Bahama Mama.

We were given time to mingle, giving me an opportunity to say hello to the fab girls from Soton Bloggers that were there and meet some amazing new people. Sipping on rum with great is bliss.

We were then introduced properly to Adam, our cocktail master. This amazing man really made rum come to life. He was as excited about telling us about rum, as we were about drinking it!

His excitement was so much that most of my photos were like this...

Cocktail Masterclass

Cocktail Masterclass

Somehow I did finally manage to get him to stand still for a second! He was absolutely brilliant and made everyone's night fabulous.

Turtle Bay Review

He talked us through the different rum available with interesting facts. They have over 40 rums so we concentrated on Mount Gay, Koko Kanu, Blackwell, Wray & Nephew and Santa Teresa - as shown above in a criminal-like lineup shot.

Rum Tasting

The four step process.

  • The prep - clean your mouth out! Rum will taste different depending on what you've put in that filthy mouth of yours so let's start on a clear palate. We used water but bread would also be perfect.

  • The viewing - With a tilted glass, take a gander at the colour. There's the obvious light and dark, but also see if it is cloudy or clear, thick or thin etc. This starts to build a picture of what you are about to taste.

  • The Sniff - Yes, the good old sniff test! Short sniffs are the best and I'm told that you only have about 7 seconds before your nose stops picking up aromas so try and work out the smells quite quickly.

  • The Sip - Easy now, don't wack it back. You're rum tasting, you're not on Geordie Shore. The second sip will give you the best idea of the flavours as the first sip will tend to be more of a shock.

For me, the useful thing about rum tasting is the opportunity to think about what flavours it would go with. Fizz? Juices? Tonic? Or just keep it on the rocks?

Cocktail Making

We then headed to their bar to do some hands on cocktail making, after seeing the process by Adam our cocktail master.

cocktail masterclass

This was a good laugh and full of handy tips.

Cocktail masterclass

Too much ice? Never!

Whenever you're in a bar and ask for a cocktail, most people are annoyed by how much ice is put into their drink assuming that the bar is being cheap and watering down the drink. In actual fact, they are doing it to stop your drink from being watered down. Adam explained that the tighter the ice is packed into the glass, the less movement of the ice, meaning it melts slower. Science baby!


Finally they fed us some gorgeous food. I couldn't tell you what we ate because sadly they didn't tell us what everything was. I can however tell you that it was truly scrumptious. Here's a snap of one of the platters.

I understand that they are thinking about launching these cocktail masterclasses as an experience which customers can buy. I hope they do because they will be thoroughly enjoyed! With the level of food, drink, entertainment and knowledge packed in, I would pay £25 for this or £30 if more grub was chucked in.

Thanks to Turtle Bay for this fantastic night.

Keep an eye out on the @MayInspire Twitter page for a competition coming soon to win a big night out at Turtle Bay. It's well worth winning.

Honest review: Turtle Bay gifted me with the opportunity to review this cocktail masterclass. This has absolutely no influence on my opinions made in this post.

MayInspire - Craft & Cocktail Blog

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