Lucky me… I was recently invited to a great cocktail night at Gusto, Newcastle. They’re about to launch their cocktail masterclasses and I was first up to sample their snazzy drinks.
Gusto is set on Newcastle’s Quayside and it was a gorgeous evening as we ventured in, past their very nice outdoor seating area into the bar area of the restaurant. There were about 8 of us nestled in the corner for the class and we were welcomed by two lovely and talented barmen. Settling in with a cocktail of our choice, we watched as the experts created a fusion of fresh ingredients and alcoholic spirits. From a lifetime of student cocktails and cheap flavoured ‘sex on the beach’ style drinks, it was enlightening to see how good cocktails can be. On the cocktail taste front, Gusto delivered, with us clambering to try each other’s cocktails. Who knew cocktails could be so good?!
Explaining histories, processes and inside cocktail hear-say, the bartenders were full of interesting anecdotes as they shook, poured and topped our cocktail glasses. It was great to meet professional bar staff who not only had years of experience and round the world knowledge but incredible passion in their subject. Mixology is so often unrated when it actually demonstrates a huge gastronomical knowledge base. We learnt what juices detract from various spirits, the science behind the froth and simply – what tastes good.
Stepping behind the bar, we got to try our Tom Cruise impressions and then shaken and stirred, sip on our efforts. Finishing off every drop, we left the restaurant on a high.
Overall, a great venue, quality cocktails and friendly staff. If you’re looking for cheap cocktails and a hen party style venue, this is not the place - but if you’re looking for a great evening out – a good start to a sophisticated girl’s night out or a date with a twist, this is high on the recommendations list.