Night School

Night School


Drinking Lessons
a night school event

Twice a month the Sorrento Hotel will be hosting one of the country's leading liquor savants and dedicating the bar at the Hunt Club to an investigation of the American cocktail. We have quietly put out invitations to the members of a small group of extraordinary bartenders, mixologists, and distillers that are re-shaping the American cocktail. Many have called this new school of mixology a “revolution” – regardless of terminology something very interesting is afoot and we are putting ourselves smack dab in the middle of the action.

August 18th : Ryan Thomas Magarian     5:30pm and 8pm
August 24th : Murray Stenson         5:30pm and 8pm

Future Drinking Lessons: Jeffrey Morganthaler, Alex Day, Toby Cecchini, Christian Krogstad, Jamie Boudreau, Lucy Brennan, Kathy Casey, Erik Hakkinen, and more TBA soon.

Drinking Lesson guests can expect an animated two hour lesson in the preparation and history of three distinct cocktails. To temper the stiff drinks Chef Matthew Mina will pepper the evening with a few small bites from the Hunt Club kitchen. Guests will receive a copy of our quarterly Drinking Lesson recipe books in the mail in the weeks following the lesson. Sessions are limited to twelve individuals only.

In an effort to not only imbibe – but also to document the new American cocktail we are honored to be partnering with the web-based cooking encyclopedia .
Foodista will have staff on hand at all Drinking Lesson events to document the recipes, transcribe them to the web in real time, and create a web-based event out of the proceedings so that people around the globe can take part in the intimate experience at the bar.

Bartender Bios Below.

Cost: $50 (+ $10 for the quarterly Drinking Lesson recipe chapbook)
For reservations email:

Night School at the Sorrento is a collaboration between The Sorrento , Michael Hebb , an array of intellectuals, artists, writers, filmmakers, mixologists, chefs and the leading cultural institutions in the Northwest. Stay tuned…

The Sorrento Hotel opened in 1909, just before the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a world’s fair that was held in Seattle to highlight the development of the Northwest. The exposition attracted nearly 4 million visitors, which made for an auspicious beginning for the city’s first and what would become the longest-standing boutique hotel. The Malone Family has owned the Sorrento since the 1980s and since has restored the hotel’s appearance, as well as its reputation for hospitality. The Sorrento has earned numerous awards including being named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s top 25 hotels.
Bartender Bios:

Ryan Magarian . President Liquid Relations/Co-Founder Aviation Gin. In his years “behind the stick” and on the consulting front, Ryan has received a nomination as Best Bartender in the city of Portland (Citysearch; 2000), was named Best Bartender in Seattle (Seattle Magazine; 2002), received a coveted Tastemaker Award (Food and Wine Magazine; 2004) and, most recently, was tapped as Seattle’s Best Mixologist (Seattle Weekly; 2005).  Ryan’s recipes have garnered notice in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, People Magazine, US Weekly, Men’s’ Health, Wallpaper, Food Arts, Fit Pregnancy, The LA Times, The San Francisco Chronicle…

Murray Stenson . Murray Stenson is arguably the most influential and revered bartender in the country (in our opinion). He has been featured in countless publications and in 2007 was named one of the nation’s top ten mixologists by Playboy.

Alex Day
. Alex Day is a bartender at Death and Company in New York City. He works with spirits companies and independently consults for restaurants and bars, most recently launched Philadelphia's most aggressive cocktail destination, The Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company.  Alex has contributed to, appeared on Martha Stewart Living Radio, and is a recent addition to the contributors of Ready Made Magazine. His cocktails have appeared in numerous web, print, and television outlets, including: Time Out New York, GQ Magazine, New York Magazine, and Gothamist.

Toby Cecchini . Toby is a writer and bartender based in New York City, and has written on food, wine and spirits for GQ, Food and Wine and The New York Times.  His first book, Cosmopolitan: A Bartender's Life, was published in 2003.  He is currently at work on his second book, a travelogue of spirits based on his travels for The New York Times' Living and travel magazines.

Christian Krogstad . Co-founder of the renowned distillery House Spirits in Portland, OR.

Jeffrey Morganthaler . Jeffrey Morgenthaler currently manages the bar at celebrated restaurant Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. Jeffrey has been writing about bartending and mixology for several years at his website, . His recipes and wisdom have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, Wired, and Imbibe magazines.  Forbes Traveler called him one of the "Cocktail Movers and Shakers" of 2007, and named him one of the top ten mixologists in the United States in 2009.

Jamie Boudreau . In 2006 Jamie was called one of the world’s greatest bartenders by WIRED magazine. In 2007, Jamie was named Seattle Magazine’s Bartender of the Year, and in 2009 was one of the nation’s top ten mixologists, according to Playboy. He has recently started hosting an instructional bartending show called Raising the Bar on the Small Screen Network. He has had articles about him or his drinks published in Evening Magazine (TV), the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Time magazine, Details, Esquire, GQ, GQ Italy, Forbes, The Atlantic, Difford’s Guide to Cocktails, Wine Spectator, Imbibe magazine, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Saveur magazine, InStyle…


Erik Hakkinen.     

Kathy Casey . Kathy is the owner of Kathy Casey Food Studios® and Liquid Kitchen™. She is the author of nine cookbooks, including the James Beard Award-nominated Kathy Casey's Northwest Table. Her newest book, Sips & Apps, was released in spring 2009. She has been featured in numerous national publications, including USA Today, People Magazine, Cheers, Food Arts, the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. She has appeared on such shows as Good Morning America, TV Food Network's Unwrapped, the Travel Channel's Cooking Across America, the Larry King Show, Fine Living's Great Cocktails, CBS This Morning and Northern Exposure.

Lucy Brennan . Consistently noted as one of the nation's top mixologists, Author of Hip Sips, published by Chronicle Books in Spring 2007. Her amazing palate for blending spirits and bold flavors has also garnered the attention of Sante Magazine, who honored Lucy as the spirit professonal for 2007, Playboy as one of the nation's top 10 bartenders (Spring 2007), by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the nation's top five mixologists (January 2006), by Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the top mixologists in the country in (Fall 2004), and by Spirit Magazine as one of the "Best Bartenders of the Moment" (November 2003).