Here at Sydney Social 101 we’ve seen our fair share of city views from various venues around Sydney, but we’ve always been partial to a good rooftop outlook. The anticipation was high as we zipped up to the top level of the InterContinental Sydney hotel in a glossy lift on a sunny Thursday this week.
We had been invited to trial a cocktail masterclass at the Club and our quick Google search beforehand had brought up stunning images of the panoramic view. As we exited the lift and entered the members-only Club area, we were greeted by sunlight streaming in through the floor to ceiling windows of an airport-style lounge, and one of the best views of the Harbour Bridge we have seen yet. We were handed our first drink of the afternoon – “Setting Sun”, a pink cocktail of gin, Campari, Limoncello and sparkling wine garnished with a lemon rind – to enjoy while we soaked it all in.
Tal Thorne, the Club’s charming manager and a veteran Tal mixologist, was to lead the class and he began by outlining how the session would work. We were to learn to mix (and drink after, of course) our own two cocktails, sample from the Club’s gourmet canapés, and enjoy the cityscape from the wrap-around terrace outside. Thursday afternoon had never looked better.
First up was the “Cherry Blossom Girl” – a modern cocktail made with Jasmine tea infused Absolut Elyx (Tal had soaked the tea bag in the vodka overnight), Cointreau, lemon juice sugar, and a frozen puree of peach and yuzu mixture. A few sturdy shakes and we were ready to pour the concoction through a sieve into the cocktail glass and garnish the drink with purple flowers.
Next up was a classic cocktail – “Tommy’s Margarita” – which Tal explained he’d added deliberately to the day’s menu after he’d found most people had had negative experiences with tequila, and he was intent on correcting their first impressions. A shake and glass rim salt frosting later, we had made our second drink. Cocktail making was easy (with the help of a five-star mixologist and five-star ingredients)!
The exclusive cocktail masterclasses are available 2 -4pm all Mondays – Fridays through bookings and with a minimum of four guests. At $59 a head, the class is a steal with its included three cocktails, incredible city views, and invaluable cocktail knowledge.
Photos by Chris Is A Photographer