Eat & Drink This Now: Hello Kitty’s Hidden Bow Room Adds Cocktail Classes!

I wasn’t the only dude getting involved in the shake. Bartender Tristan Hartman (left) led the class. Photo by Greg Nagel

“Oh, my God, this is the cutest thing ever!” Those words come from the table next to me in the Bow Room, the hidden back bar at the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe in Irvine. As a lumbering dadbod flying solo, I’m sort of surprised there’s not a no-solo-dudes policy at this chick-thick bar for the same reason solo dudes can’t go into the theater to watch The Joker: the creep factor.

Double-straining gets rid of any ice bits that can ruin a cocktail’s delicate texture. Photo by Greg Nagel

But here I am, sitting in my usual spot at the far right of the bar, ready for the cafe’s first cocktail class. It’s a sold-out event that cost about $60 for three Hello Kitty signature cocktails made by you, a welcome spritz, a complete history of the booze you’re using, a small charcuterie plate,  a swag bag, a spritz guidebook, mixing glassware, plus all the things you need to make kawaii drinks at home. I feel as if I’m walking out with $150 worth of stuff.

If you’ve never been, the Bow Room’s cocktails are just as cute as the décor. The fluffy kitty pillows match the frothy Hello Kitty-logoed drinks, and there’s a big pink bow behind the bar that casts an afterglow onto everyone’s cheeks. The place is undoubtedly selfie heaven for those inclined to hold up peace fingers with a pink drink. The drinks themselves are somewhat like the movie Mean Girls, in that they look cute on the outside but are filled with some mean spirits.

The St. Germain Spritz. Photo by Greg Nagel

For the opening event, the Bow Room paired with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, a liquid you’ve maybe used to add floral notes to a concoction. We start with a St. Germain Spritz, complete with a custom glass featuring convenient lines to mix up to. Each table has all of the equipment required to make great cocktails happen: strainers, shakers, jiggers, fresh juices, boozes and ice.

Now, I’m no pro, but I have a bar cart at home, and I can mix up a proper martini, negroni and whiskey sour. But there were a few subtleties I did learn for using a Boston shaker; after a solid shake, the two halves tend to freeze together, but a solid smack from a 90-degree angle is all it takes to get them to come apart quite easily.

Next month’s event will feature a new booze; make a reservation at the website (sanrio.com/pages/hellokittycafe-bowroom-res-ca) to find out for yourself!

The Bow Room at Hello Kitty Grand Cafe, 860 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, (949) 536-5357; www.sanrio.com/pages/hellokittycafe-grand.

Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening on June 29th in Anaheim!

2 Replies to “Eat & Drink This Now: Hello Kitty’s Hidden Bow Room Adds Cocktail Classes!”

  1. Hi, I love this article, was excited to take a class but there aren’t any listed? The Irvine location does not have anything on their web page about bartending classes, I reached out to customer service, they don’t know anything about this. Was this a special event for you and OC weekly? How do we obtain information about classes or if they plan to offer them again?

    1. Thanks!

      The next craft cocktail class will be the third week of November and the featured spirit will be St. George!!! 🙂 I don’t have the exact date yet but tell them details will be posted soon via @hellokittycafeirvine and @hellokittycafe on Instagram!

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