Things to do

Free drinks and a history lesson at Hendrick’s Delightfully Peculiar Cocktail Academy

When you arrive at Hendrick’s Delightfully Peculiar Cocktail Academy, they give you a complimentary Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic. This is the first sign this is going to be better than the average educational experience.

The recent Academy, which was held in the upstairs room at Dandelion Market in uptown Charlotte Tuesday, was hosted by Hendrick’s Gin Brand Ambassador Fred Parent. This was my second time in the Academy — I’ll happily retake any classes that include complimentary gin.


Here’s how it works:

Parent gives you the scoop on the history of Hendrick’s, which is actually pretty interesting. It’s owned by the Scottish distilling company William Grant & Sons, and for a long time was the only Scottish gin. It’s made by hand in small batches using 11 different botanicals.

OK, feel educated? Now the fun part.

Parent walks you through creating three different Hendrick’s cocktails. Which, obviously, you then drink. See what I mean about better than the average class?

Here’s an inside look at one of the sessions:

The class — drinks and all — is free. The tricky part is figuring out when it’s happening.

The Cocktail Academy generally happens twice a year, but flies a bit under the radar. Your best bet for reserving your space at the next one is to keep an eye on Dandelion Market’s Facebook page and on the local blog Boozin’ in the QC.

Sarah Crosland Photo
Sarah Crosland
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