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Exploring the Palate

Your individual palate should guide you in building cocktails that balance sour and sweet flavors. Lynnette and Ryan demonstrate their preferred lemonades and then add seasonal ingredients, resulting in perfectly balanced non-alcoholic drinks.

World-class bartenders Lynnette and Ryan (aka Mr Lyan) teach you how to make perfect cocktails at home for any mood or occasion.


[00:00:07.16] - So a crucial part of understanding how to build cocktails is to really understand how the palate works and how people perceive the liquids in their mouths. You know, so people have different taste buds, different sensories, different sensitivities to different things. So understanding how my palate works helps me also understand how I'm viewing the cocktails I'm making and then understanding the palates around me who are working on the cocktails with me. [00:00:30.89] - Not only does it help you kind of understand how you could create drinks for your friends and kind of keeping that violence in check in your mind, it kind of helps you push it a bit, as well. Once you understand the way it works and your bias in terms of the way that you skew your palate, you can start to find ways of kind of flipping it around, understanding what happens when you dry out a drink by either increasing the acidity, or dropping the sugar, or adding other elements around it. And it just helps you kind of create things in a slightly different way. [00:01:02.95] - So Ryan and I were both discussing about how we figure out where someone's palate is. And in our bars, we both use a similar approach to kind of figure out where our bartenders are starting from. And we use a simple test, which is making lemonade. As simple as the task might seem to a bartender, what we think is that this test really shows how someone balances their sweet, their sour, and water element within a cocktail. [00:01:26.34] - It's also one of those drinks that I think people overlook. It's really delicious to have a proper lemonade. Everybody reaches for kind of like the clear gun lemonade, or a bottle, and it doesn't taste like lemons. And it's-- it's an amazing base. Not only does it teach us about that balance and how to keep all of those elements in check. It's actually just a really amazing kind of lengthener to be able to use as a-- as a mix for your drink. So once you kind of get around this technique, you kind of go, it's actually just really nice to have a proper lemonade. [00:01:54.36] - I like to look at this as a test for my bartenders just to see how they would understand building a sour. Because I do think sours are a big base of many, many cocktails. So just to see what their relationship to sweet and tart is, I always start by using my citrus. I like to know how tart that is before I start. [00:02:14.10] So I just-- usually will just give it a little taste and-- to see where-- where it's going. After it's juiced, it will change over time. So tasting your juice every day is really important. I realized this was quite tart even for me, so I know I'm going to have to add a bit of sugar to round that out. And I'm also have to think about how water is going to help basically tone down that acidity. [00:02:37.62] So I did two parts of my lemon juice. I'm going to do one part of my one to one syrup, because I do still want that fresh lemon flavor to be present. And the...

About the Instructor

James Beard honoree Lynnette Marrero has been at the forefront of the NYC craft cocktail movement. Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is the founder of Dandelyan, named the world’s best bar. They will teach you the essentials of cocktail making, from developing your palate to building your home bar. Learn how to mix a perfectly balanced drink for every occasion and mood—and become your friends’ new favorite bartender.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I don't even know where to begin! I love a good craft cocktail and can't wait to start making more creative drinks for friends with all of the fresh ingredients, infusions and building techniques that Lynn and Ryan shared.

It was amazing hope there going to be part 2

This class has helped me simplify classic cocktails enough that I feel comfortable unsimplifying them and getting creative. I also am not very rehearsed with rums and I learned a little bit about them. Thank you!

This was a fun class having two teachers and seeing two ways to make many cocktails! This inspired me to learn much more about mixology


Kayla H.

This lesson was much better than the previous. I like that they showed us how to make something non-alcoholic with various twists to them. Each made drinks I can easily make at home, just never took the time until now!


Learnt a lot, making a simple drink exciting, really ready to try experimenting.Thank you.

Michelle E.

I really enjoyed this lesson. I was missing the simple syrup recipe until I rewatched it and they say what their syrup is. I am excited to try this lemonade!!!

Maxwell H.

This is a fantastic way to learn in the Lockdown! My flatmates are doing very well out of this course!

James B.

This couldn't have come at a better time for me as my flatmates accidentally ordered four kilos of lemons rather than four lemons on a delivery order. There's an aphorism somewhere... Great lesson! Look forward to experimenting.

A fellow student

Surely these aren't their spirits of choice. They're all just major brands that probably paid for the filing of the course. Can the instructors actually suggest what they'd really suggest? C'mmon masterclass - surely you'd know we'd notice. They never even mention the names when they're pouring - they clearly didn't choose them.

Jemma T.

Heckin interesting. It was a lot of fun experimenting with the different lemonades

Deborah B.

Love the two different approaches. So instructive and kinda liberating to witness.