NOVIKOV – Big Kahuna

DRINKS REVIEW: Novikov Cocktail Masterclass

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Novikov is the bar and restaurant of choice for London’s elite.  Everything about the Mayfair venue screams new money, but what often gets masked behind all the glitz and glamour is that it serves great drinks.  Making such fantastic cocktails isn’t easy and to prove it, I was invited down to Novikov’s brand new monthly Cocktail Masterclass to try my hand at becoming a mixologist for the afternoon.

The class involves guests getting behind the bar to create some of Novikov’s signature drinks as well as some classics.  Before being unleashed, bar manager Andrew Pengelly gives us a brief rundown of all the instruments at a mixologists’ disposal (who knew cocktail making could be so complicated?) and reveals that our mission is to create 3 drinks back to back without any assistance.  Eek…

First up, I’m shown the classic Mai Tai, which seemed so easy when created by the experts, however when it came to my turn, my skills (or lack of) were horribly exposed, creating what can only be described as a weak, watery concoction that bared little resemblance to the rum drink.

Mai Tai

Thankfully I learnt from my mistakes and my next efforts, a Mojito and the popular Novikov signature, The Big Kahuna were much better and I found myself pouring and shaking like a pro- and the drinks didn’t taste too bad either!  My confidence was sky high for the final challenge, however with 3 drinks in my system, a lot of ingredients to remember and an audience forming, needless to say my performance wouldn’t have won any prizes- but I had great fun trying!

After being informed that staff can serve up to 100 customers per hour- I soon realise that my chances of working the lounge bar in the future are pretty slim.  However, the Novikov Cocktail Class is a brilliant insight into a craft that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, and for £45 per person including a few drinks and nibbles, I can’t think of many more entertaining ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.



The next Novikov Cocktail Class is on Saturday 3rd August from 3pm-5pm. To book your place phone +44 (0) 207 399 4330 or email

Novikov Bar & Restaurant, 50A Berkeley St, W1J 8HA.  Nearest Tube: Green Park

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