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Drinks with Anna: Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail Classes

Drinks with Anna: Shaken Up NOLA Craft Cocktail Classes

by Anna Tusa

THE IDEA FOR SHAKEN UP NOLA CRAFT Cocktail Classes was born out of the pandemic and came to life in 2022. During the pandemic I was trying to produce fun creative ways to engage guests in a small group setting in the restaurant. I was brainstorming ideas over cocktails and thought, “Why not do craft cocktail classes over lunch or dinner?” A light bulb went off in my head… We have a ton of great food tours, cocktail tours, and ghost tours in NOLA; so why not a craft cocktail tour or class paired with a 3-course lunch or brunch?

When traveling, I certainly enjoy getting to taste the culinary delights of the city I am visiting as well as all the favorite local cocktails. I also love to learn about the culture and history of the city through the food and drinks, and the bartenders and servers you meet along the way.

So, I have produced a craft cocktail class that can include cocktails only or paired with a 3-course lunch or brunch at briquette. The class is the best of both worlds—a food tour and a cocktail tour meshed with live demonstration and education in one relaxed environment. The hectic schedule of the traditional food and cocktail tour was not appealing to me. I do not feel like I learn anything in those environments. And yes, sometimes the others in the tour group make it hard to learn anything or enjoy the experience.

I certainly want to shake up the tour scene and offer a great laid-back, fun, educational, and engaging experience. This experience is great for birthdays, corporate team building, bachelor/bachelorette parties, couples date night, and small corporate functions. My twist here is that the experience includes: one-on-one education and demonstration on making four craft cocktails, a three-course lunch or brunch of local cuisine prepared by the briquette culinary team and paired with the craft cocktails demonstrated for the class. Two necessities for me were guests being able to sit at the bar and engage with the bartender and having the menu items served with restaurant service.

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Anna Tusa with seltzers.

Everyone in attendance will go home with a copy of all the recipes for the cocktails. Our lunch menu has two craft cocktail options. The first being Prohibition craft cocktails of NOLA, and the second option being Bougee new-school craft cocktails. These are my re-imagining of popular classic cocktails. The brunch menu is paired with bubbles and bourbon cocktails. The class is two hours long when paired with lunch which makes for a fun, leisurely afternoon. If you are having a great time, and it takes a little longer for the program, that is okay too. I want to tailor the experience to my guests’ individual tastes and needs so if you would prefer to feature different cocktails, that is certainly doable.

I was able to do a soft opening, if you will, this past fall with an excellent group
of cocktail enthusiasts for a social function during a convention, and let me tell you, it was a blast. They enjoyed every minute of it! I look forward to sharing this experience with you this year. Do not forget this is a wonderful way to celebrate any special occasion. Let’s shake it up! Book a class online at briquette-nola.com. The experience is $125 per person.

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