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Get Behind the Bar

Lynnette and Ryan discuss the essentials for a home bar. Ryan encourages you to work with the spirits you love, Lynnette covers which spirits are the most versatile, and they agree that it’s best to make use of what you have.

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


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:13.20] - You don't need tons of spirits. You don't need a massive repertoire of stuff that you're never going to use. The first lesson I'd always say to people is, choose the spirits you love. Those are going to be the ones that you're going to serve the most. They're going to be the ones that you can talk a bit more in an authentic manner to your friends about. Find the ones that you know work for your palate. [00:00:32.65] But there's a couple of things I would always suggest having to hand. So keeping some vermouths. Now, these are wines, so keeping them in small bottles is ideal. It means that you turn them over and they're kept fresh. But keep them in the fridge, as well. You want them out of light. You want them to be able to retain their freshness and their delicacy, like a great wine will do. [00:00:50.85] In a similar bracket, I'll always keep a little bit of sherry. This is something that it comes in a bigger bottle. You can get small ones, but I drink this by itself, so I turn it over enough that it doesn't tend to lose its finesse. [00:01:03.36] Some other elements that work really nicely just to be able to add accents to your drinks are our bitters. These come in a variety, but keeping things like an Angostura bitters, a Peychaud and orange bitters-- these are the seasoning of your drink. They help bridge together those other flavors, and just having them to hand-- they're stable. Use a couple of dashes. A little goes a long way. It's worth investing in these. [00:01:25.02] In a similar manner is some absinthe. This gives you a lot of crux points to be able to make a ton of different drinks. What we want to make sure is within a small group of things, we can make a variety of different serves. And having absinthe is a bit of a secret weapon. It's like salt in your cooking. And I'll also use a little bit of salt in the cocktails, but it adds this little finesse in the background that means that it just brings a different dimension to some familiar serves. [00:01:49.44] And then a few different spirits gives you a lot of breathing room. I go towards some of the classics in this, a kind of more juniper-forward gin that's got a little bit more of that richness to it. It means you can make a ton of different serves without having one of those ones that's a little more lent in a particular direction. [00:02:05.79] Sticking with the white spirits, I'm always a big fan of the ones that are true to an origin, something that's got a real kind of character to it without any of those additional sweeteners or anything else that hides from it. So something like a great vodka that's got a real base of flavor, kind of really contrast the idea that it's just about a neutral blank canvas. To me, vodka is about character. [00:02:27.75] We want to be able to have a little bit of flexibility, so sticking in the white spirits, things like a mezcal. It's got a savory note to it. It's a contrast to your classic t...

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.

Very clear instruction and interesting takes on classic drinks

Learned a lot from these two. So much fun learning mixology!

Me ha parecido un gran curso de coctelería y de cómo pueden variarse los clásicos para conseguir bebidas nuevas inspiradas en ellos. Cómo crear en un vaso

I'm not a drinker but this class has helped me evolve my cocktail mixing skills.


A fellow student

I love both Lynette and Ryan - both bring something different and excellent teachers


I wish this course was only Ryan, Lynnette talks a lot with little information shared. He is far more engaging.

Roger C.

I feel like these two are competing for "who knows what". They are having an inside conversation that we as beginners have no idea what they are talking about.

A fellow student

too much fluff, show us your favorites - he did it better than she did - and please start making something.


At this point we should be learning more than theory and a few suggestions. The workbook is 100x more helpful that the videos have been to this point. I'm hoping the quality of the lessons improves, because this is the most unorganized, difficult to follow Master Class I've taken! Seems more along the lines of the quality you'd find for free on YouTube... : (

A fellow student

Bummed that they didn't elaborate more on the essential tools. I'm a beginner to cocktail mixing, and I have a barware set that I've hardly used simply because I don't know what each tool is for! Hoping I can figure it out in the remaining lessons.

A fellow student

Agree with many of the comments below. It opens well with Ryan, showing the things he's talking about. Lynette just talks and jumps around without showing you what she's talking about. It would have been a lot better if they showed you essential bits of kit for your set. Rambling after Ryan's intro...

Alexandra L.

I wish Lynnette went through the bottles she had standing next to her like Ryan did as I was interested to hear what she'd say.. the video started well but really ended in a rant.

A fellow student

It surprised me that they go with "going with the spirits you love" but actually most of they showed was low-end spirits.

Thomas V.

You talked about the bitters and absinthe? What type of absinthe and bitters would be a good starter that you can easily obtain in liquor store such as Total Wine and More? I have seen you use chocolate bitters, orange bitters, angostura bitters, peychaud's bitters? Are there any other bitters you would recommend? I am slowly building my liquor cabinet!