Royal Bartending School's convivial classes on mixology teach burgeoning barkeeps how to shake, stir, and blend drinks ranging from martinis to margaritas. In the four-hour crash course, aperitif apprentices learn to mix drinks and chic shots while mastering jargon for bar equipment and garnishes. Pupils seeking a master's in mixology enter into the 40-hour program, where amiable teachers use hands-on instruction to instill the knowledge of more than 21 liquor-focused subjects into eager noggins. After a bar set-up practice, mixology-theory lessons analyze the science behind mixed drinks, the essence of proper customer service, and the history of the shaken-versus-stirred martini war of ‘77. Leaving the course with 30 hours of practical mixing knowledge and mastery of drinks and shooters, graduates can wow friends and coworkers at holiday parties or the office. Novice blenders perfect their soda-gun technique with quick-draw competitions, and after changing out of their wet shirts, master blending liquors and sodas in speed drills.
Greg Dean, author of Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy and an instructor since 1982, mentors groups of hopeful humorists as they glean tips on effectively busting guts in four-hour workshops. During the Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy course, which accommodates up to 25 people, participants learn the basic architecture of jokes—from setup to punch line—and how to write funny premises. Greg also guides beginners to overcoming stage fright and developing their own comedic voices, instead of mimicking the styles of famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld or Ellen DeGeneres. Apprentices will discover ways to riff and interact effortlessly with audiences, which can improve overall public speaking skills for doctors, members of the clergy, and lawyers.
Rubs or sauces. Wood or charcoal. Chicken or ribs. There are lots of choices when it comes to barbecue, and the pit masters at California BBQ Institute are experts in them all. The masters, who including restaurant owners and barbecue-competition champions, lead immersive classes, during which they teach participants the step-by-step process of creating exceptional barbecue. All of these sessions end in a lunch, which serves as a celebration of the class's accomplishments and California BBQ Institute's larger mission. The nonprofit donates its proceeds to children’s charities throughout California, and they're careful not to get any sauce on the checks.