Cocktails have Greg in Cruise control

Greg does his best Tom Cruise impression watched by Revolution 'mixologist' Jake Hawkins.

Greg does his best Tom Cruise impression watched by Revolution 'mixologist' Jake Hawkins.

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GREG LAMBERT writes...Many blokes of a certain age have longed to emulate Cruise in that famous film at some point in their lives. And I’m no different.

This experience was as part of a personal ‘cocktail masterclass’ as Revolution in Lancaster celebrated its re-opening after a £100,000 refurbishment.

The Penny Street bar has an impressive new internal decor and layout, which includes an open counter where chefs prepare a brand new range of stone-baked pizzas right in front of your eyes. Very tasty they are too.

The friendly staff made myself and my wife Sharon feel right at home when we arrived on a Friday early evening. The club is open every day from noon until late and now serves food right the way through.

Barman Jake Hawkins, one of Revolution’s team of ‘mixologists’, was our tutor.

Welshman Jake knows all the tricks of the cocktail-mixing trade and was keen to impart this knowledge on his willing pupils.

In other words, he’s a guy who certainly knows his Strawberry Woo Woos from his Pretty Pretty Bang Bangs.

That’s one thing I love best about cocktails. The cheesy names. Jake asked us to choose one from a full menu of exotic-sounding drinks.

Apparently the best selling cocktail at Revolution at the moment is ‘Rum Bongo’. This sunny combination of Bacardi, Teichenné coconut, grenadine, passion fruit and pineapple juice is flying off the shelves in the hot weather.

But we dared to be different. Sharon picked a ‘Cranberry Fizz’, a low calorie beverage made in a jam jar – of all things – with raspberry vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime, cranberry juice and soda.

Being a boxing fan, I plumped for the Ali-Foreman tribute known as the ‘RumBull in the Jungle’, a fruity mix of Kraken rum and Stoli Vanil vodka shaken with pineapple juice and blackberry purée, topped with cranberry Red Bull, crushed ice and garnished with pineapple and blackberries.

Jake, who came to Lancaster University to study maths, explained the technique to cocktail-making is all in the measurements.

A drink made with too much, or too little, of a particular spirit can turn out too strong or weak.

So he advised us to squirt each ingredient into a small measuring ‘jigger’ before pouring the mixture into an ice filled glass.

Then we had to place the shaker upside-down on top of the glass, firmly tap its bottom to secure it in place, then give the mixture a right good shake in that classic over-the-shoulder style

After shaking, the proper garnish in the glass, be this a slice of lime or even plant leaves – of all things – ensured the perfectly presented finished cocktail.

Having made the drinks ourselves, we felt a sense of accomplishment as we sipped down our cool, refreshing liquids.

We found the Revolution cocktail masterclass to be a great bonding experience for us as a couple, but is also highly recommended for bigger groups such as stag or hen parties, birthdays, or any kind of night out with friends.

And a big thanks to Jake for the lesson. Tom Cruise would be proud!

*Revolution Lancaster has now launched a range of pizzas, including the Bad Boy.

The venue is open from noon to late every night.

Revolution Propbox make its debut each Friday, plus the weekly Mega Monday, and the Industry Night every Sunday.

Revolution, Penny St, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1XN - tel: 01524 60851 http://www.revolution-bars.co.uk/lancaster