After Nutrition class, something I’m really interested in and passionate about came Principles of Beverage Service, something I….know very well.
We spent two weeks learning how to carefully pour, mix, and serve cocktails. We spent many hours practicing pouring shots, mixed drinks, and martinis. Our practical required us to choose 8 drinks out of a hat and prepare them in a mere 20 minutes.
I should note this class began less than 1 week after the last Panthers home game, where I prepared roughly 8-10 drinks for rabid football fans between the times of 12:00pm and 12:01pm.
Aside from the mixology portion (where I should note, I got a 99. One point off for filling a martini too full. Seriously? Any real customer would give me extra credit for that.), we learned tons about how practically every spirit is made and consumed.
Our professor was fantastic–super passionate about not only the material, but about making it fun to learn. I was constantly surprised at the different activities and games she came up with to help us understand the material. We created our own wineries, did quick fire-style cocktail challenges, and created dramatic presentations on different categories of drinks.
So all of those delicious cocktails at the top weren’t actually potable. Think just for a second about precisely how much liability would be involved in turning 20 or more 18-year-old college freshman loose in a completely stocked bar. Right. So we used water and food coloring. The juices were real though, so if kids wanted to get all hopped up on cranberry juice and sour mix, no problem.
That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of opportunities to taste–we used sip sticks to taste every liquor we talked about, did a beer tasting, and the infamous 8am wine tasting:
Most of the students had already done this activity in Dining Room, so this time we were given a plate full of food items like mint leaves, siracha, potato chips, lemon, goat cheese, and grapes to play with layering flavors and pairing them with the wines. It was a really interesting exercise, and almost more interesting was hearing the different things people liked that I never could have dreamed of wanting to eat (honey and milk chocolate with riesling? someone get the EMTs on call for when we all go into diabetic shock).
One of the questions I get most frequently is, “what do you do with ALL that food?” I think I’ve mentioned before that much of it does get eaten by students. And what can get donated, does. But there is a lot of pushing unwanted food on other students. Every classroom gets at least 1 tray of cookies or cake every day. Sometimes we just can’t eat it. Sometimes, there is a better use.