Grand Trunk Road Cocktail Masterclass, 219 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2PB. Mixologist Roy making a Grand T Martini and an Infused G&T


Grand Trunk Road Cocktail Masterclass, 219 High Road, South Woodford, E18 2PB. Mixologist Roy making a Grand T Martini and an Infused G&T

Whether you know your Manhattan from your Margarita, or at the other end of the spectrum, think that a Mai Tai is a yoga move, the Grand Trunk Road can teach you a thing or two.


I heard the word mojito and was already on board, but for those who need a little more detail the class takes place on the last Saturday of the month at High Road, South Woodford and after being taught how to shake and stir the perfect drink, participants can enjoy a luscious tasting menu.

Perfect for couples, hen dos, team building or with your of-age family members, the class is taught by mixologist Roy Saurav who has a CV as tasty as the beverages he serves.

After working in Gauchos, XOYO and Cable, he was given free rein to design the drinks menu at the South Woodford restaurant and said he is “absolutely loving” having the opportunity to be as creative as he wants.

“Why did we decide to hold a cocktail class?” he said.

“We do things together as friends or couples or workmates, which bring us closer to each other and lets relationships flourish.

“What could be more effective and enjoyable to do together as a group?

“Most big multinational companies organise team building exercises for their staff and take their teams out together to do something which helps create a great team to benefit the company – it’s something we like to encourage at Grand Trunk Road.

The session begins with Roy teaching the room about the secrets of concoctions including the Afghani Silk, the Banarsi Daiquiri and the Pubjabi Mojito.

Guests then create their own sumptuous drinks before enjoying a palate-pleasing lunch.

Created by head chef Dayashankar Sharma, delights will include potato and paneer medallion with fresh coriander, green chilli, mint and tamarind chutney and ground baby lamb with garden peas and baby potato, cooked with freshly roasted spices and homemade sorbet.

“Yes, without question mixing is an art,” added Roy.

“It is a great art which not many people manage to master, even after working for some time behind a bar.

“It takes great time and commitment and most importantly you need to have the passion for it, which I definitely have.

“But the aim (of the session) is not to educate on becoming a mixologist, but create a fun atmosphere which friends can enjoy (and learn) over a nice cocktail and a great meal.”

The master mixologist said cocktails can be drunk at any time and should not be banished from the dinner table in favour of a glass of wine.

“Pre-dinner cocktails can be something dry such as Classic Negroni which works as a stimulant and gets you ready for good meal,” he advised,

“Spirits actually absorb fat and cleanse the palate, so there’s no reason to pair good food with only fine wines and beer, because good cocktails work perfectly.

“Light refreshing cocktails which are semi-sweet, like our Punjabi Mojito with mint, perfectly complements a dish like our Malai tikka, whereas a nice glass of dessert cocktail such as The After Dinner which is sweet but not too overpowering from our menu is a nice way to finish off your dinner.”

After years of whipping, shaking and making, surely there has to be one cocktail he likes creating the most?

“My favourite would be an Old Fashioned, but with a twist of using chocolate bitters instead of using classic Angustura bitters,” he replied

“It’s because it requires a lot of precision and just the right balance to create – it’s also the drink I get the most compliments for.

Cocktail masterclass afternoon, including lunch, is £75 per person and is held at the Grand Trunk Road, High Road, South Woodford at 11am. Booking essential, call 020 8505 1965.


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