Date Night, Gin Cocktail Mixology Masterclass - This January, Halo Bar Bistro at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel decided to celebrate all things gin. They even renamed the month GINuary in honour of this tasty spirit. Halo hosted several cocktail themed events include; a Gin Festival featuring 13 local distillers, a Gin Masterclass and a Date Night, Gin Cocktail Mixology Masterclass. Naturally, with our Fancy Friday tradition, we chose the Date Night Mixology Class. Led by Halo's crafty mixologist, we learned to master the skills needed to create four well balanced cocktails. In addition to the cocktail crafting instruction our mixologist shared fun facts and the history of gin.
The most interesting fun fact of the night is the origin and the reason behind James Bond's love of martinis that are shaken and not stirred. First, did you know that James Bond's character was based on a real life spy, and that inspirational spy was Canadian??!!! The real life James Bond was Sir William Stephenson a World War I Flying Ace and spy. As the story goes he actually did like his drinks shaken and not stirred and there is some cocktail science behind this. Shaking the drink melts more ice and dilutes the drink. This allowed him to drink as many drinks as his assets and be more functional at the end of night. He used this little trick to get them to spill their state secrets.
Halo Bar Bistro Gin Cocktail Mixology course mixologist taught us the finer points of mastering cocktail making by providing the bar tools, demonstrations and instruction needed to learn the skills to craft four unique cocktails. Tonight's lesson taught us how to make an Equinox, a Sbagliato, a Gin Sour and the Easy Street.
Equinox - This version of the Equinox is Halo's featured cocktail of the week. It includes a 1/2oz melon liqueur and St Germaine. One ounce each of Gordon's London Dry Gin, fresh squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Serve on ice.
Sbagliato - The next cocktail we made is, shall we say gin-adjacent. The story behind the Sbagliato, or the "broken" Negroni is about a bartending mistake that turned out beautifully. Apparently, a bartender in Italy was making a Negroni when he accidentally grabbed a bottle of sparkling wine instead of gin, creating the Sbagliato. This cocktail is made with a 1/2 oz. of Campari, 1 oz. of Sweet Vermouth, 4 oz. of Prosecco and 3 dashes bitters.
Gin Sour - For cocktail number three we learned to craft a classic Gin Sour. This cocktail is a combination of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and and egg white (or aquafaba). The egg white creates a creamy frothy layer on top, making the gin sour taste like a lemon meringue pie.
Easy Street - The final cocktail of the evening was an Easy Street, named after Anthony Street, the bartender in Melbourne Australia that created it. This cocktails includes Empress Gin (a beautiful, jewel like Canadian gin), St Germaine, lemon juice and a muddled cucumber, topped with soda water.
Check out my photo gallery to see more about this date night mixology masterclass.
One of only two Renaissance hotels in Canada, the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel is the city's only AAA/CAA 4 Diamond luxury lifestyle hotel making it the ideal location for an upscale night out. The hotel has a sophisticated blue collar worker and arctic inspired theme with a touch of Vegas glam. Additionally, the is a subtle nod to aviation acknowledging its airport location. For instance, Halo is an aviation acronym for - High Altitude Low Octane. The Renaissance brand prides itself on providing travelers with unique ways to discover the culture and character of the region they are in. There is always something going on from events, like the Date Night Gin Mixology Masterclass to evenings showcasing local musicians and artists. Foodies will enjoy dining at Halo, with its carefully curated menu made from local ingredients. Cocktail enthusiasts and history buffs will have fun discovering the secret cocktail at the bar that pays homage to Edmonton's aviation history with a Wop May cocktail. Wop May was a flying Ace in World War I from Edmonton who was part of the dog fight that shot down the Red Baron.
When date night is a mixology masterclass that teaches how to make cocktails and had you sample them, the washroom becomes an important amenity. At Halo Bar Bistro in Alberta, even the restrooms are part of the experience. No detail was left out of the design phase for this destination. With the focus on delivering an unconventional experience for guests, the attention to detail extends even to the washrooms. This did not go unnoticed by fans of stylish bathrooms. There is an annual tradition in Canada where Cintas runs a competition to find Canada's Best Restroom. In 2015, the Renaissance was named as a finalist in the prestigious competition. Entries are judged based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.
At first glance, date night at the airport that doesn't involve a flight somewhere might seem slightly cruel, especially for fellow adventure seekers. However the events, like this gin mixology masterclass are always top notch at Halo. The Renaissance Hotel is connected with a pedway to the airport making it a very convenient gateway to the region or even for one last Alberta adventure before heading out. Being less then 10 minutes to Edmonton, it is common to see locals making the drive to the airport to enjoy fine dining or an event here. The hotel has its own parking lot, so parking is free, just be sure to bring your parking ticket inside so the staff can validate it.
Events at Halo Bar Bistro in the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel are a must for a high-end date night. There are a variety of events every month featuring emerging musicians and artists, date nights, culinary adventures and more. At $29 per couple, this date night was an affordable luxury not to be missed.
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