This two-day event gives you the option to enjoy the all-you-care-to-eat Causeway (review coming soon!), where you can stroll and taste samples from all of your favorite Swan and Dolphin restaurants (and meet some celebrity chefs, too). In addition, seminars are held each day covering a wide range of adult beverages. Interested? DFB has special rate codes for you for this year’s Classic! Check out the details at the end of this post!
Last year, I chose to attend the Modern Mixology Seminar and wanted to share the experience with you today!
Modern Mixology Seminar Atmosphere
This event was led by Lindsay Skillman, mixologist extraordinaire and the General Manager of Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the Swan and Dolphin Resort. (FYI — Lindsay will also be leading several mixology seminars at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, so be sure to sign up if you can!)
The pamphlet for the seminar gives you a peak into the mad science that we were about to undertake…
We began the experience in line at the registration table. Wristbands were distributed for those who’d purchased tickets for the Causeway eats so that we could just head right outside for the food after the event!
Once inside the conference room, we took our places at the individual workstations. I loved that everyone had their own space to “create” and experiment. We even had our own gadgets to play with!
Before sitting, I took the opportunity to snap a few shots of the front of the room. The seminar leader’s table looked like a bigger version of our set-up — with a few more bells and whistles (and large chemical tanks).
In the corner, there was a snazzy bar, which appeared to be equipped for making extra drinks. (Yay!)
Back at my table, I found everything I needed to try my hand at some modern mixology techniques.
Modern Mixology Seminar “Experiments”
Promptly the seminar began, and the large screen to the right began displaying the Powerpoint presentation.
Lindsay took the lead and explained the different fun things we would be trying today, like making foams and sphereification. She is an excellent seminar leader — informative, entertaining, and poised…and quite a fast talker, so be prepared for a lot of info very quickly!
While I don’t love the concept of “foams” on my food, it’s not as bad when it comes to drinks. And the sphereification sounded fun and intriguing. Could I make my very own “caviar bubbles”? Now that would be cool.
And, sure enough, our first hands-on experiment was creating our very own “caviar!” These are basically flavored shapes used to give added texture to drinks.
Let me tell you, this is harder than it looks!! My “spheres” unfortunately resemble slugs more than anything. And I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the effect we were shooting for. Yeah.. not exactly appetizing, right?
My friend, to her credit, made this darling Mickey shape. How clever!!
Next up, we learned a bit about infusions — including this Strawberry-infused concoction!
For our second drink, we got to sample this Strawberry Infused Margarita, which was incredible! The recipe is in the pamphlet above — be sure to give it a try.
Next, it was time to play with the blow-torch! This was to garnish up the third cocktail — a Ketel One cocktail.
We started with fresh orange slices.
We rolled them in turbinado sugar (think Sugar in the Raw.)
We then took a little butane torch – the kind that pastry chefs use to burn creme brulee – and torched the sugar on the orange slices until it was caramelized. This smelled so good. What a great way to garnish a drink! (Just an FYI — they didn’t let us torch our own oranges for liability reasons…probably smart after already finishing off two cocktails.)
We mixed our own individual Ketel One portions into orange juice and added the garnish. Perfect!
Everyone knows that when you have killer cocktails, you also need a little something to nosh on.
Lindsay whipped up a batch of the Swan and Dolphin’s famous Nitro Popcorn! This stuff is weird and interesting and delicious, you guys. And it was beyond cool to watch how it’s made.
To make this dessert, fresh popcorn is combined with honey roasted peanuts, caramel shards (ground in a coffee grinder), and sea salt. But here’s the fun part: whipped cream and other ingredients are combined to make a caramel mousse.
This mousse is flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen, then broken into tiny pieces and mixed with the popcorn, peanuts, and caramel shards!
And here is the delicious finished product – sweet, salty, frozen goodness!
I had a blast at this Modern Mixology seminar! Lindsay is a great presenter, and it was so interesting to learn how to put together these extra special drink garnishes. Tasting the cocktails was the icing on the cake…but you all know how I feel about icing!
So, with the knowledge and the drinks, as well as the entertainment value, these seminars offer pretty good value in my opinion. Spending an hour learning how to enhance your bar skills seems like a great idea to me!
If you are interested in booking a seminar, be sure to register in advance. These events normally sell out.
There are several ways to attend the seminars: book a seminar alone, book a seminar and a Causeway ticket, or book a discounted hotel package to get it all rolled into one. Here are the codes I promised that will save you, my dear DFB readers, time and money for this special weekend!
To book a special getaway, call 888-828-8850 for reservations and ask for one of the following rate codes for these packages!
Package 1 – One night stay, plus causeway tickets for two! Ask for rate code DFBFWCL1.
Package 2 – One night stay, plus causeway tickets and seminar tickets for two! Ask for rate code DFBFWSM1.
Package 3 – Two nights stay, plus causeway tickets for two for both nights. Ask for rate code DFBFWCL2.
Package 4 -Two nights stay, plus causeway tickets for two for both nights AND seminar tickets for two! Ask for rate code DFBFWSM2.
We’ll have more details coming up soon, as well as our Causeway review from last year! Stay tuned…
Are you looking forward to this year’s Food and Wine Classic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!