The Scoop: Cocktail Master Class with Jeremy Shipley at Riverbar & Kitchen

From the archives: This post is from our original site, MyCityLife, back on 27 August 2014

There’s no better setting to mix a cocktail than from Brisbane’s premier waterfront waterhole on Eagle Street Pier,and Riverbar & Kitchen is quite the host to a memorable lesson. An evening with Jeremy Shipley sees the recipes of three popular cocktails mixed for easy recreation behind any bar. As one of the country’s leading mixologists, Jeremy has shaken and stirred it from behind our most celebrated bars, from Longrain and Drift in Sydney, to Guillaume at Bennelong and many in between, while also co-authoring cocktail manual Shaken as well as taking out the award for Best Bars in 2006 by the Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine. Yes, Mr Shipley has quite the alcohol arsenal at his fingertips, bringing his expertise to Riverbar & Kitchen for a most distinguished lesson on cocktails. 

Cocktails are any beverage that contains two or more ingredients and can range from highballs – spirit and mixer; duos – spirit and liqueur; or a trio – duo and a mixer. The one thing that defines the difference between a cocktail and any other alcoholic mixture, is the use of bitters. And specifically, cocktails were first seen as the perfect hangover remedy, though it has now evolved into a stylish introduction for the evening’s adventures.

The popularity of distilled liquids however, go as far back as the late 1600s, when years of bumper crops had left England with a surplus in grains. In those days where cholera, dysentery, E. coli and typhoid were the common causes of death, alcohol was seen as the preventative and cure-all to such aweful maladies. So for the health of the nation while reducing taxes on distillation, the Brits carefully began looking into the overproduction of spirits. And with the English King also the ruler of the Dutch Republic, it wasn’t long until gin became the mainstay of British fervour. The repercussions of gin’s popularity don’t really need to be delved into, with gin houses overrunning The City and an observation in an increase of licentious behaviour. We can leave that to the history books, and happily return to today’s world where cocktails before 5pm is more than acceptable and a part of healthy City lifestyle. And so true to form, MyCityLife gets The Scoop on the Riverbar & Kitchen’s Cocktail Masterclass with Jeremy Shipley as he arrives in The City, armed with the classic cocktail shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, Jigger, mixing glass, and muddler. 


Each participant is provided with a full cocktail set including a muddler, a jigger, shaker, mixing spoon and your very own Riverbar branded apron. Enjoy your journey from novice to Rockstar. 


A classic twist from the ‘50s era with old-school gin, the Hotel Georgina is the perfect start to your wild adventure. Based on premium Beef-Eater gin, shake with almond syrup, sugar syrup, fresh lemon and orange blossom. Add Nutmeg to finish.

This cocktail is so amazing, if you see the drink without immediate swallowing following, you just. might. die *may or may not be exaggerated


Everyone has their own take on this Cuban classic, but using premium quality ingredients like real sugar paired to fresh mint sees the crafting of the ultimate mojito. Muddle sugar over crushed ice with lime and the perfect rum. Serve with the freshest of fresh mint. 


There’s no better way to wake up your mint by giving it a good slap


Grab top shelf premium 12-year old aged Yamazaki Whiskey with lemon, plum jam, sugar syrup and plum bitters. Shake – not stir – in your cocktail shaker. Remember to look cool while you’re doing so, because you never know if there are cameras about or if someone is closely watching you. Because Alcohol = Fans.


Remember to drink every last drop of these creations: it’s the only way you’ll know whether you’ve perfected your cocktail. Between each concoction, you’ll receive a spread of food to keep you going throughout the night – the best way to see if your special crafted glass of magic tastes too sweet or too sour. Graduate from this Masterclass, and any Rockstar shift is for the taking: whether it be from behind the bar on the town or in the home kitchen. Salud! 

Riverbar & Kitchen, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane

Photo credit: Taylor Fielding


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