Bars and restaurants may be closed, but Lawrenceville Distilling still wants Pittsburghers to drink great cocktails. With this in mind, the local distillery launched a series of online cocktail classes, where Greta Harmon, the distillery’s “chief cocktologist” walks viewers through the art of “MacGyvering” cocktails at home.
“We get a lot of people at the distillery and over my bartending career who really ask a lot of questions. I figured that while everyone’s at home — no one’s able to go out and get a decent cocktail — we might as well help some people out,” says Harmon.
“There are only so many vodka sodas we all can drink,” she laughs.
During her first video (a tutorial on cosmopolitans), she makes the drink with bartending equipment while suggesting a few alternatives. Don’t have a shaker? Use a blender bottle, an old jar, or a travel coffee mug with a lid. In need of a jigger? Switch the measurements from ounces and use a tablespoon instead.
Throughout the video, Harmon offers replacements and substitutions for all of the liquors (for instance, instead of cranberry juice, she blends frozen berries with water), juices, and more. The drink is then finished off with a garnish.
"Just because you're drinking at home with your loved ones or by yourself, doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty," she says.
So far, Harmon has put up videos teaching the technique behind cosmos, blue Hawaiians, tea bees knees, and Bloody Mary. Her picks are based on cocktails she thinks people like to drink, mainly classics like the old fashioned, manhattan, gin gimlets, and more. She’s also taking suggestions.
Tune in to Lawrenceville Distilling’s MacGyver cocktail classes via Youtube. And, if none of these cocktails are quite your style, check out other distilleries — Liberty Pole Spirits HouseBound Happy Hours and Quantum Spirits Instagram tutorials — offering similar services.