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Are you a fan of bourbon and looking to elevate your cocktail-making skills? Or perhaps you’re just curious about the art of mixology and want to learn more about the craft of creating delicious cocktails. Either way, you’re in the right place! Bourbon Country, located in Kentucky, is the home of some of the most famous and respected bourbon distilleries in the world. It’s a place where the craftsmanship of bourbon-making is revered and celebrated, and it’s the perfect place to learn more about the art of crafting cocktails. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through Bourbon Country, exploring the history of mixology and sharing some of our favorite cocktail recipes and mixing tips. We’ll share the hands-on experiences our team had in crafting our own cocktails — from an intimate and formal mixology experience to a relaxed and sensational experience.  So grab a glass and join us as we shake things up and discover the world of mixology and bourbon in Bourbon Country!  

The History of Cocktails and Mixology

Cocktails began their rise in the early 1800s, popularized by the bartender and saloon owner Jerry Thomas. Thomas is often considered to be the founder of mixology and coined the nickname “The Professor” due to his thoughtful and creative approach to crafting cocktails. Thomas authored the first cocktail book ever published in America, Bar-Tender’s Guide (also titled How to Mix Drinks and The Bon Vivant’s Companion). This guide served as a starting off point for the evolution of mixology into the art form it is today. Many bourbon enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Thomas included the Old Fashioned in this book, along with many other classic cocktails like the Sazerac and Martinez, outlining the original recipes and techniques. As the popularity of cocktails grew, so did the art of mixology. Bartenders began to experiment with different ingredients and techniques, and the profession of mixology emerged as a respected trade. Today, mixology is a global industry, with talented mixologists found in bars and restaurants around the world. Mixologists continue to push the boundaries of cocktail creation, using their knowledge and expertise to craft innovative and delicious drinks that delight and surprise their patrons.

Hands-On Mixology Experiences offered through Mint Julep Experiences

For those who want to try their hand at mixology and put their own unique spin on classic cocktails like the Mint Julep or the  Old Fashioned, your opportunity awaits in Louisville. These are just a few of the elevated mixology experiences guests can book through a Custom Tour with Mint Julep Experiences.

Elevated Mixology Experience at Log Still

Cocktail mixology is an art form, it takes practice of the techniques and tools required to create balanced and delicious cocktails. This mixology experience with Log Still Distillery and Mint Julep Experiences puts the entire mixology process in the hands of guests, from the crushing of ice with a wooden mallet to the personalized selection of bitters. Guests become a mixologist, crafting cocktails and learning 

“A great experience — unlike some cocktail classes where someone is demonstrating and everything is pre-set, this experience at Log Still is fully hands-on and so much fun!” — Lauren O.

Upon arrival to Log Still’s new Legacy Event Space, guests are greeted with a complimentary cocktail to enjoy as they get settled. They are then led to tables in which all mixing tools and ingredients are laid out for their use — jigger, wooden mallet, citrus, simple syrup, mint leaves and of course the Log Still spirit. At the front of the room is the main table that the mixologist stands at while guiding guests through the techniques and steps in crafting each cocktail. 

From start to finish, this intimate mixology experience takes guests through an elevated session with the history of each cocktail, the notable tastes and techniques of a properly mixed Mint Julep and Old Fashioned, and allows guests to interact in all steps of the process.

The mixology experience at Log Still was equal parts fun, educational, and delicious!  Learning the reasons behind ingredients and techniques was amazing!” — Jeannie C. 

Guests are educated on the history and legacy of the Mint Julep and Old Fashioned cocktails. They learn why the Mint Julep is important to Louisville and Kentucky, and what sets a proper Mint Julep taste apart from others. They learn how an Old Fashioned can be personalized through the  combination of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, and how to properly express the orange to complete the cocktail. 

Pro-tip: Instead of leaving the mint leaves in the Mint Julep, release the essence and then remove from the glass. 

The mixologist is on hand throughout the process to help guests with mixing techniques, and selecting their bitters and syrups to customize the cocktail flavor. They teach the showmanship of mixing, and how to finish a cocktail for presentation — such as smoking an Old Fashioned, not a traditional technique but one that adds an additional layer of flavor and aroma to the cocktail.

I felt like I was on Drink Masters! We had multiple sugars and bitters to create our favorite taste profile….they even had a cool device to smoke your cocktail if desired.” — Chasta M.

To complete the elevated experience, guests are treated to a cheese plate between cocktails. The nibbles of cheese help clear the palate for the distinct flavors of the second cocktail the guests mix.

To Book This Experience — Inquire for a Custom Tour and Experience

Interested in adding on a distillery tour and tasting, visiting a historic site, or seeing parts of Kentucky’s Horse Country? Let us know and we’ll create an itinerary that will maximize your time and fun, while catering to your travel interests!

 

Candles and Cocktails Mixology

Just like cocktails, candles can be enjoyed year-round and can be elevated by the season. At this mixology experience guests will be creating a candle to take home and learning the art of cocktail mixology through crafting their own. 

There is a selection of candle sizes to choose from, and a vast array of scents to mix. For those traveling by air, there are carry-on sized candles available so you can take home a souvenir from your experience. With the consultation of staff, guests will select a combination of fragrances to mix into the candle. Based on each scent’s strength, guests will then measure out the mixture with a jigger, a classic mixology tool.  

 

One of our Experience Coordinators created a candle she labeled “Up to Snow Good”, combining almond, eucalyptus and first snow fragrances! While the wax cools, guests will then mix up a cocktail to enjoy, guided by a mixologist. As noted, seasonal cocktails are like seasonal candles, best enjoyed while you can. Guests can mix a classic Mint Julep, a seasonal cocktail or a customized cocktail based on the group’s preference. Guests learn the proper way to muddle, shake, and pour a cocktail, and the techniques that bring out the unique taste profiles.

Pro-tip: The Candle and Cocktails experience is great for those who don’t want to leave Louisville, and are looking for a relaxed, shorter experience during the day. Located in the lively and popular neighborhood of NULU, this two hour experience is paired well with an afternoon of shopping, a southern foodie experience or a downtown Louisville distillery visit. 

To Book This Experience — Inquire for a Custom Tour and Experience

Interested in adding on a distillery tour and tasting, visiting a historic site, or seeing parts of Kentucky’s Horse Country? Let us know and we’ll create an itinerary that will maximize your time and fun, while catering to your travel interests!

Experience Bourbon in an Interactive Way

“A mixology course is a great way to add a hands-on experience to break up the day on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! It lets guests see bourbon in a different way and is very interactive.” — Laura M. 

We’ve found that a mixology experience is a great way to break up a day on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or add on an activity to a multi-day trip in Bourbon Country. Trust us when we say we have the first-hand experience, partner access and the expertise to craft truly unique mixology  experiences and Bourbon Country travel  itineraries, for anyone and any group size. So whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or just starting out, a custom hands-on mixology experience is sure to be a fun and educational adventure. So come along and shake it up with us as we explore the world of bourbon and mixology in Bourbon Country!