Feel at ease the next time you entertain. Attend a cocktail class at The Cooks’ House this summer to master the basics of bartending. Participants will learn how to make the classics, build a home bar (must-have tools and ingredients) and to batch cocktails (make one big one and be done!).

Katie Asher, a mixologist at The Cooks’ House, tells us more about the classes and shares few tips.

MIXOLOGY 101 | July 14

Learn the basics of crafting cocktails. Mixology 101 will give you a solid base to confidently make classic cocktails as well as creating new cocktails of your own. We will be using seasonal fruits and vegetables and get creative with syrups, shrubs and juices.


Learn what it takes to build your own home bar and keep it well stocked.


  1. Know what you like to drink. I know it sounds ridiculous, but so many people don’t know what they drink when they are at a bar, and I think it happens at home just as much. Know what your spirit of choice is, whether it be gin or whiskey or tequila, and then know what classic cocktails you enjoy. It makes it easier to begin building a home bar. Decision fatigue is real, so knowing what ingredients go into the cocktails you enjoy makes the choices a lot easier once you’re standing in the store.
  2. Seasonality! We live in a beautiful place with fresh, local food. Make sure you make use of these ingredients when they come into season, and know how to preserve their flavor for when they disappear and all you’re left with is root vegetables. Simple syrups, shrubs, tinctures and bitters can all be made and stored for bright, delicious cocktails even in the winter months.
  3. Make sure you always have your staples: lemons, limes and simple syrup go a long way. I could list dozens of cocktails that just need booze, sugar and some fruit juice. Bitters (Angostura) is another long-lasting investment that every home bar should have, and I am a firm believer that bitters make (almost) everything better.

The key to batched cocktails is dilution. What makes your margarita tasty? Shaking the heck out of it (and salt…) and that’s because water, and a little chill, make all cocktails better. But do you want to shake daiquiris all night long while you’re hosting a party? No! You want to batch out those cocktails and then get your drink on. Here are some awesome cocktails that can be expanded with a little math, and a lot more water than you think, to serve as many people as you’d like!

Rum, lime, simple. My favorite cocktail there ever was. The simplicity, the deliciousness. 2:1:1 ratio. Add around 20% water to start, chill and taste. You can always add more water. Whiskey sours, gimlets, even negronis and manhattans work very well with this simple formula.

Try these MyNorth-approved cocktail recipes:

Cherry Tonic – For a truly tart beverage, throw together a batch of Cherry Tonic. Quick, simple and just as enjoyable without the booze for a family friendly slushie.

Strawberry Sangria – For a berry-kissed twist on traditional sangria, pair strawberries with a Northern Michigan rosé. Here’s a simple recipe you can start in the morning and have ready to serve (with a flourish) at the end of a hot afternoon.

Fruit Infused Vodka, Rum & Sangria – If you’re caught in a beverage rut and looking to stray from your usual, these are recipes to spice up your tried and trues. Whether you utilize the fruits or the alcohols themselves, these are unique ways to mix things up.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski