Hannah Drake

The Year of Alphabet Dates: C

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

Find out more about the idea for alphabet dating on the first post, for the letter A.

We decided to do a cocktail masterclass for our C date. It goes along with our shared interests and my personal goal to learn more about making cocktails this year. I found an option at a trendy bar I’ve been to in town, but their scheduling is really inefficient and they require a group booking, so it didn’t end up working out. (Though I think we’ll do it there with a group of friends this summer.) Instead, I found a different masterclass at a bar I’ve never even heard of that sold individual tickets and hosts them once a month. We signed up for the Gin Cocktail Masterclass at The Jekyll and Hyde and it lived up to all my expectations!

Gin Cocktail Masterclass - The Jekyll & Hyde Birmingham

The class basically walked us through a history of gin, allowed us to enjoy different gin cocktails, and even try making our own. We learned that gin didn’t actually originate in England like the British would have you believe. They actually got it from the Dutch (Dutch Courage, anyone?) who drank Genever, which is where the name gin comes from. We learned about Gin Alley, Old Tom Gin, and how in Victorian England, gin was safer to drink than water so basically everyone was drunk and people (including children) were paid in gin.

We learned that sailors in the British navy drank gin that had to be at least 57% alcohol since it was stored near the gunpowder and if the gin spilled, the gunpowder still needed to be able to light. (Sailors were allowed to drink 1 pint of gin per day since there wasn’t water available.) The term proof comes from proving that it was flammable and therefore could be transported by the sailors. Sailors also had limes to prevent scurvy, which is where the gimlet (gin and lime cordial) comes from. Tonic water came from India, as the quinine was used to repel mosquitos and prevent malaria. (Which is where Fever Tree tonic water gets its name.) And that’s why we drink gin & tonics with lime!

Throughout the evening, we had a cocktail made with genever with lime and sugar (I’m not sure what it’s called, but it kind of tasted like a margarita), a Tom Collins, a gimlet, and then a Bramble that we got to make. After the class was over, Luke had another Tom Collins and I tried a gin martini for the first time. (I now know that I prefer them with vodka even though gin has become my favourite spirit.)

We had a lot of fun in the gin parlour and I would absolutely recommend that particular class to anyone in Birmingham! (It’s only £25 per person and you get a ton of information and four cocktails.)


  • take a cocktail making class

  • go camping - Or even just camp out in your back yard!

  • go out for coffee - How often do couples do this after the first couple of dates?

  • go to a concert

  • take a cooking class - Maybe one or both of you is a master chef, but try something new! We both really enjoyed the pasta making class and I’m all about taking more classes when we visit places known for their cuisine. (Though Luke said no to a cooking class in France. He said it’s just a lot of butter.)

  • visit a comedy club

  • take a candle-making class

  • drink at a cidery - One of my favourite spots near my hometown is a cidery. They do have some local beers, but they make their own cider and it’s the best. They also have the best BBQ pork pizza I’ve ever had. My goodness do I miss The Old Mine!

  • go clubbing - It’s perfect if you can stay up later than 10:00PM, unlike me!

  • visit a castle - You might have to be in Europe for this one.

  • gamble at a casino

  • bake cookies

  • go climbing - Rock climbing, mountain climbing, any kind of climbing

  • take a coffee art class - You know, go learn how to make latte art so you look like a total pro at home! (TBH, I’ve always wanted to do this, but I don’t drink coffee and you just can’t get the same effect with chai lattes.)

  • hang out at a cafe

  • do a corn maze - This is seasonal, but perfect around Halloween.

  • have a craft night - At home or at a place that does crafts. Whatever kind of crafts you like!

  • go cross-country skiing - Obviously it would need to be winter and you would need somewhere to go, but it’s a great active date! (If you’ve never been, do some research on what to wear. You don’t want to dress the same as you would for downhill skiing.)

  • go to a carnival or circus - Those still exist, right? Probably in the summertime?

  • visit a cat cafe

  • drink at a champagne bar - There’s a fantastic one in Larimer Square in Denver that Luke and I have visited both times we’ve seen The Nutcracker.

  • go to the cinema

  • carve pumpkins - If it’s October, you might as well! Surprise each other with your design, work on something together, or even have a competition and let your friends or family (or even social media following) pick a winner.

  • make and share a cheese plate / charcuterie board - Get some of your favourite cheeses, pair them with meat and crackers (and fruit and olives) and enjoy. Don’t forget the wine!

  • play chess (or checkers)

  • go canoeing

  • go to church together - Or maybe get involved at church together.

  • decorate cakes - Take a class (Michael’s offers them regularly) or just do it at home together or as a competition.

  • view local Christmas lights - You can usually find listings for the biggest and best displays in your area from local news outlets or you can just drive around and see what you find. Put on your PJs, make some hot chocolate, and don’t forget to bring along some Christmas cookies!


  • Chinese food

  • Cuban food/sandwiches

  • Canapés

  • Curry

  • C restaurants/bars - Does your favourite restaurant or bar start with a C? Or what about a spot you’ve been dying to try, but just haven’t found the time yet?


  • Cambridge, England

  • The Cotswolds (England)

  • Cornwall, England

  • Cardiff, Wales

  • Conwy, Wales

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado - Visit the Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, The Broadmoor Hotel, and everything else the Springs has to offer!


Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.