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An Upstate New York Cocktail Class to Spark Imagination & Connection

Updated: Mar 6

THe Cocktail Architect Cocktails
Photo Credit-Colin Miller / Colin Cowie Lifestyle

In a world that is pretty turbulent, where many of us are feeling disconnected from each other, the universe and ourselves, we decided to host an 'in person cocktail class' to showcase our offerings to strangers, friends and the community. This immersive experience took place in a beautiful private home nestled in the woods in Shokan in upstate New York, close to the stunning Ashokan Reservoir,

Upon arrival each guest was greeted with a 'surprise' signature cocktail kit fully outfitted with three of our artisan syrups, garnishes, stainless steel shakers, custom menu and recipes cards, everything needed to make a chic cocktail. 

Cocktail kits by the cocktailarchitect
The Cocktail Architect kits

Then once everyone opened their kits, together we embarked on a mindful journey of cocktail making, where spices and herbs served as the palette for an exploration of flavor, aroma, and sensation.

The group was guided on how to expertly handcraft three thoughtfully created cocktails and mocktails by Yusef our head mixologist. He explained the diligent process on how to infuse bold spices to create the intense flavors found in our line of Artisan syrups, and noted how each syrup added a depth, complexity, and character to each drink.Yusef also shared valuable cocktail hacks and stories about each drinks origin, inspiration and the emotions they evoked.

Spice, Spice, Baby

Nandini Austin, our chief storyteller, and a self confessed spice addict transported the group on a fun and educational guided spice route that spanned many flung locales. From her parents homeland Mauritius,

-the inspiration behind the our artisan syrups, to Thailand, India and to finally her home town of England.

Nandini who is certified in the ancient Indian healing modality, Ayurveda, spoke on how spices have been used for thousands of years, for their health benefits. She described their traditional uses and their medicinal benefits in Eastern and Western cultures. To further delight our senses, jars of spices were passed around so everyone could touch, feel and smell them.

Jars of spices from the cocktail architect

Yusef went on to describe the qualities of the spices, from the warmth of cardamom, the coolness of hibiscus flower, the zing of the lemongrass, and pop of color, especially as the pink peppercorn dust floated on the yellow passion fruit puree in our signature cocktail- The Exotique

Yellow cocktail by the cocktail Architect.
'The Exotique' signature cocktails made using our black cardamom and star anise syrup,

The delicate rose petal garnish was simple yet beautiful chosen for its purity and soothing qualities. As the guests placed them into their glasses, their fragrance gently released its aroma into the cocktail which encouraged us to breath deeply and slowly and transported us to an English rose garden reminding us that the beauty surrounds us.

At the end of each drink, Nandini shared some fun food and drink, and spirits trivia which sparked some playful competition for the night.The evening certainly provided a pause from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to come together, share experiences and mingle with new friends what nourishment for soul

Rose petals

With the the help of our host Dina Kushnir, we embraced a more mindful way of drinking .This playful practice invited us to close our eyes, smell the drink, slowly swirl the liquid in our mouths, feel the sensations on our tongue and to engage with our senses fully. We were thoughtfully reminded to appreciate the intricate dance of flavors that unfold with every small sip.

Open your mind to Global flavors, palates and worlds.

The global dishes we cooked and served were selected to complement the the drinks, with our large sharing platters which allowed for conversation and mingling.

We served spiced chickpea in cumin, tomato and garlic and grilled chicken in spices, a tikka esque skewer with a cooling coriander and min Yogurt (chutney) Bowls of hot dhal soup and alongside homemade freshly baked bread offers a delicious flavour combo that tantalized our tastebuds.

The result was an enchanting evening where good libations transcended mere drinks—they became experiences that awakened our senses, provided a much needed connection that nourished the soul.

As we gathered around the kitchen island, sharing stories, laughing and tasting, it was obvious that we were not merely mixing drinks, instead we were crafting an experience. A human experience of connection. Oh what a joy it was to press pause from the pressures of life, if only for a few hours, to spark joy, and indulge in some much needed socializing that is often missing in today's fast paced world.

We are now hosting more custom cocktail and mocktail experiences both virtually and in person all over the Hudson Valley. Whether its in the comfort of your home or one of our selected venues, we'd love to awaken your senses in one of our classes.

We;d love to see you at one of our cocktail classes so get in touch here

And if you like to try one of our syrups,they are are available on line and selected gourmet stores upstate, for a list see here


Yusef & Nandini Austin

The Cocktail Architect

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