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Party Starters: Tiki and DIY Highballs

Lynnette creates an island party in a glass. Ryan teaches you how to keep guests entertained by batching a base and laying out garnishes and mixers so everyone can make their own custom highballs.

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] [00:00:23.85] - All right. Now's the time to explore tiki. Tiki cocktails are some of my favorite drinks. Tiki or tropical drinks is really where this category goes. And what's great about these drinks is that they come from a sense of escapism and traveling through your dining experience or your drink experience. I think these drinks really resonate to me because the kind of restaurants I work in are transporting you. And tiki has been a place that I've found a lot of growth within my drink making. [00:00:52.34] So there's so many different things you can learn about it. What I love about tiki is that it kind of breaks all the rules about everything, which is awesome. So you can think about I'm going to mix different spirits together to make a perfect drink. I'm going to mix different juices. [00:01:05.47] I'm going to take things that seem a little exotic and I'm going to put them together. So these drinks are colorful. They're fun. They can be lavishly garnished. They're about thinking about cocktails in a different way. But what they also are super important about learning about building flavor and balance. [00:01:21.95] So we're going to predominantly use rum. This was the actual first spirit that really brought tiki drinks in. At the end of prohibition, there was an abundance of rum leftover. And so it was actually the cheapest ingredient to use. [00:01:34.51] So an enterprising man named Don the Beachcomber decided to start a tropical bar where he built waterfalls and created this little escapism experience in Hollywood where the secretaries who were working all day would go at night for drinks, enjoy these very well priced cocktails, and that, in turn, the men would follow to go be around where all the ladies were having cocktails. So I think that this is a really great place to think about entertaining and fun because that's the whole idea about tiki drinks. [00:02:13.66] So one of the drinks I think is important to know in tiki, which shows us a bit of what it's all about, so using alternative syrups that we haven't seen yet and ingredients, things like orgeat, which you've probably seen that before-- O-R-G-A-T. That is actually a syrup made from blanched almonds that are ground together with a little bit of sugar. [00:02:34.12] And then you have some orange flower water can be added to it. So it's this aromatic, delicious almond syrup. You can replace that with other kind of nut syrups. But that's a really cool thing to think about how they're blending different syrups in this to bring out the flavors of the rum. [00:02:50.98] In addition, this drink also uses three different styles of rum in the version that I like to make. So Don the Beachcomber was known for saying what one rum can't do, three rums can. And I think that that really sticks with you because when you look at rum and where it's produced in the world, there's so many places that can make rum. You just need sugar cane. [00:03:11.38] ...

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.

This is the perfect introduction to making my own cocktails. I feel like I know a lot more about how to order drinks I will enjoy as well.

super entertaining and insightful! really made me crave knowing more and tasting more, everywhere around the world.

I enjoyed this class. Would love a little historical context to cocktails/cocktail making.

Very clear instruction and interesting takes on classic drinks


Astra H.

Created the DIY high Ball bar yesterday, wrote the "recipe" up on the tiles in the kitchen for people to make their own. Worked super well, meant I didn't have to make drinks all night. The highball was lovely with ginger ale and orange zest, refreshing and the great pre mixed cocktail base made for a laughter filled stress free evening after 4 months of no parties. Brilliant. So happy I took this course, I ploughed through it in 2 days, so might need to go back and take it more slowly. A great DUO with brilliant ideas on how to create a great social gathering.

Peter M.

Turns out my local rum purveyors are hacks. For the Mai Tai it looks like Lynnette is using Doorly's 12 year old, Plantation Original Dark, and HSE Rhum Agricole Extra Vieux. This will be a fun journey to source these or similar products. “What one rum can’t do, three rums can.” Thanks Masterclass for the extra info in the class book on "Learn More: Rum Styles and When to Use Them". My favourite Mai Tais are garnished with an orchid and a huge dose of vitamin D.


Also really enjoyed this lesson, and Ryan's suggestions on flavor combinations. Also the ideas for alcohol free options for guests! Has anyone here actually had any experience with Seedlip? I've seen online that it seems to be most popular with tonic but it's pretty pricy! - what would be the difference between using this, and just adding some bitters or a syrup infusion (or both) to your tonic? Is it really that special?

Adam B.

I really loved this lesson. Ryan's prespective on combining flavors really helps to set things in mind.

Alan, G.

Im a big fan of the Tiki style drinks. I prefer the tropical and sweeter tastes. I remember I once had a drink at a party many years ago, referred to as Ogre Juice, that was bright green, highly tropical and fruity sweet flavour, while packing quite a punch. Would love to know the recipe for that one.