The Angel’s Envy cocktail class takes place at the second-floor bar. | Photo by Sara Havens

It’s been five months since Angel’s Envy Distillery opened its doors to the public, and already it has expanded tour operations, welcomed hundreds of visitors from around the world and is now adding a monthly cocktail-making class option for curious bourbon consumers.

They’re adjusting quite nicely into the urban environs of downtown Louisville.

Adam Staniszeski, brand home bar manager | Courtesy of Angel’s Envy

Insider met up with brand home bar manager and class instructor Adam Staniszeski and sales, events and marketing manager Deja Lawson Friday morning to find out more about what the class entails and what delicious concoction class attendees get to create.

But first, the lowdown.

Titled “Cocktail Craft & the Science of Good Taste,” the class can accommodate up to 10 people and, initially, will take place on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.

Admission is $45, and that includes a full distillery tour, a three-part tasting, the class and cocktail you make, appetizers and a gift bag of goodies that will come in handy for your future cocktail endeavors.

Anyone interested can book a spot in the class online, which also is the place to head if you’re wanting to just book a general distillery tour ($15) as well. Note that tours often and quickly sell out, so plan ahead.

Staniszeski, who relocated to Louisville from Chicago for the job at Angel’s Envy, takes his cocktail making seriously. It’s not just a throw-ingredients-into-a-glass-and-shake kind of learning experience — the former chef takes you step by step through the process, beginning with making a ruby port syrup on a stove.

The cocktail the class constructs is the distillery’s signature drink called The Henderson, named in honor of Angel’s Envy founders Lincoln, Wes and Kyle Henderson. It includes 2 ounces of Angel’s Envy, a quarter ounce of ruby port syrup, two dashes of Angostura Bitters, one dash of orange bitters and an orange twist for a garnish.

The monthly cocktail class can fit up to 10 people. | Courtesy of Angel’s Envy

“The class was designed to make cocktails more approachable,” says Staniszeski. “The Henderson is an accessible drink many people — from those who drink bourbon often to those who don’t — can handle and enjoy.”

While Staniszeski was preparing the cocktail-making stations, Lawson talked about how popular the general cocktail program has been at the distillery. After each tour, attendees have an opportunity to purchase a signature drink from the second-floor bar.

She says when they first opened, they figured maybe 20 percent to 30 percent of people on a tour might purchase a drink. But much to her surprise, that number is actually closer to 80 percent. Attendees can select one of four cocktails or just have an extra pour of either the regular expression or the Angel’s Envy Rye. And if they like what they taste, they can pick up a bottle downstairs at the gift shop.

The Henderson | Photo by Sara Havens

Staniszeski demonstrated each step of the cocktail-making process for us, leaving no detail behind. From the proper way to hold and stir a bar spoon to how to cut the perfect slice of orange peel with a carving knife, he made the experience seem easy, accessible and like something we could manage to replicate at home.

Enjoying the delectable drink at the end made it even better. The Henderson tasted a bit sweet like an Old-Fashioned but still managed to make bourbon the star of the show, as any decent bourbon cocktail should.

After the session was over, we just had one final question: Is it 5 o’clock yet?

The first “Cocktail Craft & The Science of Good Taste” class will be held Thursday, April 13. Reservations are now being accepted.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."