I interviewed Jonny Gilmour, President of Durham’s Cocktail Society (also known as Coc Soc), to find out more about one of the university’s most popular groups. With student culture so focused on drinking, it is unsurprising that the Cocktail Society’s events attract such a large crowd. However, Jonny highlights the enjoyment that members also gain simply from experimenting with different flavours and ingredients in their beverages.
What exactly is the Cocktail Society?
The Cocktail Society enables students to learn more about cocktail making whilst having fun experimenting with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
What sort of events do you hold?
The Cocktail Society holds a variety of events, all of them focusing on cocktails. So far this year, we have had four events. Two of these have been held in the Students Union where we learnt to how to make two cocktails using shakers. There was also lots of punch for participants to drink!
Our welcome party was held at Missoula, where over 300 people turned up. The focus was purely on drinking and tasting lots of different cocktails!
Our most recent event took place at Alington House. This was a “Make Durham Great Again” Frat Party where we had table football, “punch pong”, popcorn and DJ Laura Hely Hutchinson playing the tunes! At the event, we learnt how to make two American themed cocktails with the focus on layering – which is a lot harder than it seems! After this, most of us headed to Freak Out to continue the night!
What is your next event?
Our next event will be an exclusive mixology session. There will be a beginner and intermediate cocktail training session with smaller numbers than previous events. Also, watch out for Summer Ball!
How much do events cost?
Our events are only £6 and they promote a cheap and fun way to learn how to make lots of different cocktails. This is something we believe most students would not normally be able to do because of the difficulty in getting all the different ingredients and liquors needed.
Is there the option to make non-alcoholic cocktails?
Yes, of course!
What is the most popular cocktail?
We do two different cocktails at each event so none get repeated. However, our famous punch gets rave reviews at each event!
What is your personal favourite cocktail (and how do you make it)?
Espresso Martini: In a Boston Shaker put 50ml vodka, 25ml coffee liquer, 25ml espresso shot and ice. Shake these up, serve in a Martini glass and garnish with coffee beans!
Do you have any advice for budding cocktail connoisseurs?
Come to Cocktail Society and speak to the exec! We have expert cocktail staff on the exec who have all been trained.
How can students get involved in the Cocktail Society?
Who can join?