The Stillhouse Smash | Photo by Sara Havens

Mixology doesn’t have to be intimidating. And to prove that, the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse, at Fourth Street Live, will teach you how to make your own cocktails. Its Tableside Cocktail program begins Friday.

The proper tools and ingredients to make a cocktail | Photo by Sara Havens

Normally at the Stillhouse, you could take a short tour, learn about all the Jim Beam products, taste four of them, and put together your own bottle of Urban Stillhouse Select. But now, thanks to Senate Bill 11, which passed last year and allows distilleries to serve drinks, the Stillhouse is able to offer this hands-on, interactive and fun option for patrons to learn how to create simple cocktails at home.

Insider got a firsthand look at the program Thursday and can attest that it’s both informative and entertaining. Currently, the Stillhouse is offering two separate programs that are held seven times a day and start at the top of every hour.

The first one, titled Mixology Made Easy, was developed by master mixologist Bobby “G” Gleason, who was on hand to demonstrate it for the small group of media and friends and family.

Each person was given a metal tray with various ingredients needed to make a proper whiskey sour. Gleason first constructed the cocktail for the group and described in detail each step of the process.

Our very own blackberry whiskey sour | Photo by Sara Havens

After he made his whiskey sour and passed around samples, it was time for us to make our own. But as a twist, we were encouraged to choose from an array of jams on our table and drop in a spoonful of our chosen flavor. We went with blackberry, and one by one we added each ingredient — a lemon/citrus mix, Jim Beam Black and egg whites — to the glass in front of us.

Then, it was time to shake, and shake we did. The harder you shake, Gleason said, the more froth you’ll get in the end.

We then poured the drink into a glass, added some orange-peel zest, and garnished with mint. Simple and quite delicious. The blackberry jam added a completely new texture and flavor to the typical whiskey sour that we would, indeed, like to try again at home.

The second Tableside Cocktail option, Making Scents of Cocktails, was created and presented by Jim Beam bourbon ambassador Beth Burrows. Her session focused more on the flavors and notes of bourbon, and she created a cocktail that would highlight those flavors: the Stillhouse Smash.

Beam ambassador Beth Burrows with the Stillhouse Smash | Photo by Sara Havens

After walking us through a series of tastes and smells, Burrows then had us build our cocktail, which featured Jim Beam Black, peach tea, agave syrup and muddled blackberries. Once again, we shook the drink and then poured it into our glass, added some bitters to the froth, and garnished with mint.

Again, it was a simple yet very tasty concoction that would be easy to replicate at home.

Tableside Cocktail sessions are now available at the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse. Cost for the class is $18 and includes a glass. The regular bourbon tastings are still an option, too, and cost for that is $5.

Sara Havens

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."