MGM National Harbor debuts interactive cocktail demonstrations

The MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Md., offers a new experience featuring interactive cocktail demonstrations of classic libations.

Guests can sip and socialize while studying the art of mixology at the MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Md., with a new experience featuring interactive cocktail demonstrations of classic libations. From terminology to technique, the educational program reveals the history and artistry behind the creation of six iconic American cocktails.

Led by a member of Lobby Bar’s skilled mixologists, guests will learn the evolution of American cocktail culture over the past 150 years, while simultaneously acquiring the skills needed to create the perfect drink, from balance and texture to color and garnish.

Guests will receive a specialty 1-liter Woodford Reserve barrel for batching whiskey or cocktails at home and can put their newly found skills to the test with a souvenir booklet that includes classic cocktail recipes along with each drink’s unique history.

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Lobby Bar’s mixology class is held Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance and may be booked for up to five people per class.

The six cocktails are:

Manhattan

Derived during the “Golden Age of Cocktail” in the late-1800s, the Manhattan is a careful balance of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. While one of the simplest of classic cocktails, its rich history is anything but.

Mai Tai

Though the “Mai Tai” – which means “good” in Tahitian – is often believed to have originated on the Pacific island, it was actually created by Victor J. Bergeron, better known as Trader Vic, who wanted to impress his Tahitian friends who were visiting the U.S. The novel Tiki cocktail transports guests to white sand beaches with its rum-based blend.

Moscow Mule

In the 1940s, the effervescent delight Americans have come to know as the “Moscow Mule” was developed by John A. Morgan, president of Cock 'n' Bull Ginger Beer; John G. Martin, president of G.F. Heublein Brothers; and Rudolph Kunett, president of Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein's vodka division. The “happy” concoction – as the three gentlemen dubbed it at the time – is as refreshing as it is innovative.

Aviation

The roaring 20s was an era of economic and cocktail prosperity. Inspired by America’s biggest aeronautical feats during this time, the Aviation, created by famed 1920s bartender Hugo Ensslin, is a gin-focused beverage with a blue-like hue reminiscent of soaring 30,000 feet above.

Side Car

According to cocktail scholar David A. Embury’s 1948 book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks,” the Side Car was a popular choice of an American Army captain during World War I who would frequently travel by side car to legendary Harry’s Bar in Paris for this specific citrus-forward nightcap.

Hemingway Daiquiri

The Hemingway Daiquiri, also known as the “Papa Doble,” is rumored to have been created for famed American novelist Ernest Hemingway during his time living in Cuba. It is said he spent many days sipping on a variation of the traditional rum-based daiquiri with a fruit-forward flavor profile.

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