Back to School

We look into what learning looks like for those into spirits and cocktails.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just booted the kids out of an ejector seat in the most enthusiastic school-run-come-drive-by ever done outside of a computer game, or you are weeping at the quietness of your home now that school’s back – September is a roller-coaster of a month. 

It’s not just a transitional time for parents either though. For those child-free, September sees the return of busier roads and sticky fingers back on the commute, and yes, for those less jaded the infectious giggles and joyful chatter of exited friends sharing the goss too. 

Cynical, cheerful, relieved or just excited about a seeing the new chapter unfolding all around you, the ‘back to school’ weeks will have many leaning towards a cocktail or two.

If you are raising a toast and you’re also a drinks enthusiast - why not look at the season differently though? Why not also take the idea of going back to school and apply it to a quest of your own... Keep that glass in hand as you do.

September is the perfect time to take up some further learning and go on a pursuit of excellence of your own. Why not become a better cocktail maker, or gain a better understanding of how spirits are made? Perhaps you could go on a distilling course? 

When it comes to cocktails and spirits - there’s so much to discover and we can guarantee that when the subject matter is booze, learning has never been more fun.

For inspiration, we’ve put together a little Back to School series to act as a start point for you. 

We’ve covered some practical self-learning, with Tips and Tricks to improve your cocktail making techniques. We also looked at an easy Cocktail Hack that demystifies hundreds of cocktail recipes into family trees, helping you apply great techniques to whatever you recipe you set out to make.

We’ve looked at Glassware and Barware to elevate your drinking experience, as well as what the Ultimate Booze Shelf looks like and how to go about curating one-yourself. 

Through the four articles, you’ll find inspiration for how to become a better cocktail maker and turn your home offerings into genuine moments of culinary delight. 

For those keen to learn from others rather than slave away making yet another Martini to perfect their technique one drink at a time (the plight is real), later this month we’ll be Connecting The Curious pointing out which creators to follow on social media to get the inside scoop on spirits and their top tips to up your cocktail game. 

For those who find learning about drinks via TikTok too novel a concept - we’ll also cover some of the Best Drinks Books for those looking to continue their journey and read the latest releases from some of the industry’s brightest minds.

Lastly, we enrolled ourselves onto Spirits courses in order to review them. Taking two different approaches, we’ve looked at WSET L2 Spirits – the course most often touted for spirits enthusiasts just getting into the subject matter while our editor took on the Institute of Brewing & Distilling’s General Certificate to see what their production focussed programme contained. Both reviews offer valuable insight for those interested in more academic drinks learning, or who want to train towards a career change.

Between the self-learning, the learning through listening and the active classes you can take – we hope this Back-to-School series inspires you to be curious. 

Now is a great time to lean into your interest and ask questions. The more you know about spirits the more you realise there is an endless world of fascinating people, places, process and products. Once you engage with it all, as a wider industry or just one drink at a time - you’ll find that when the subject matter is so damn delicious, learning is a whole load of fun.

8 September 2022