Shaken (and Stirred)

Become a master entertainer at these cocktail classes and wine tastings

Whether you're entertaining at home more because of the economy or not, everyone should know how to fix a drink, from a martini to a merlot. Even if you only know how to put together one concoction, you can make it your signature and serve it at every function you host. An array of fun and educational cocktail classes and wine tastings are cropping up, all to teach you the ancient art of entertaining. Just in time for your next party.

If your drink of choice is wine, go straight to the source at the two D.O.C. Wine Bar locations. From 7-9PM on Monday, April 13, D.O.C.'s Lincoln Park location invites you to explore Italian wines with wine director Greg Sorrell. Featured vino will include Dievole Super Tuscan, Vietti Nebbiolo, Terlan Pinot Nero, Sella and Mosca Cannanau and Fattoria il Gambero "Mercuzio." The tasting, which is $35 per person, will also offer appetizers and charcuterie. Then, from 7-9PM on Wednesday, April 15, the Lombard D.O.C. Wine Bar outpost presents a "Spring Fling" wine tasting, featuring light, fresh and floral flavors. Wine director Tony Burger will lead guests through eight different wines, including Gruner Veltliner, Alsacian Gewurztraminer, Loire Vouvray and New World Viogniers. An array of appetizers will also be provided, and the tasting is $35.

When you want to learn something, it's good to go to the master. Nacional 27's master mixologist, Adam Seger, fits the bill when it comes to mentoring on the study of creative cocktails. The River North hot spot will host its monthly happy hour cocktail class from 5:30-6:30PM on Thursday, April 16. Seger will demonstrate how to make two luscious libations using the flavor of the month -- passion fruit. Participants will prepare a passion fruit and cava cocktail with housemade bitters and a smoky passion fruit margarita with single-village mezcal. The $15 instruction also offers passed appetizers and recipe cards to try these drinks in the privacy of your own home.

Get the imbibing basics down pat during Cooking Fools' class "Cocktail Mixology: The Basics" on Friday, April 17 from 6:30-9PM. The Wicker Park catering and cooking classes company will host Angie Jackson and Sonja Kassebaum from North Shore Distillery, who will be on hand to school participants on timeless drinks like the Vesper, classic martini, Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Sidecar. You'll imitate Humphrey Bogart in no time at all. Appetizers from Cooking Fools' chef Nick Faitage will keep things on the straight and narrow. The class is priced at $50 per person.

Reservations are required for all tastings and classes.

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