We walk into Mokoko, an award winning cocktail bar on Verulam road; it’s just a small building from the outside but as I close the door behind me, the dim glowing lights, low ceiling, closed venetian blinds and background base tunes give it an intimate feel.

The barman is busy making drinks, shaking the mixer over his shoulder. We’re handed the champagne and cocktail menu with a smile then go and take a seat on the velvety sofas. I take my time to explore the menu packed with so many choices from creamy dessert concoctions to more zingy mixes.

I like the sound of Foxy lady but my husband assures me that I don’t need it! What’s he after this time? The Lanesborough sounds thirst quenching laced with Mercier champagne and Cointreau, but in the end I go for a Cuban Spiced Martini, as it’s the closest I’ll get to Cuba on a cold winter’s evening in Hertfordshire!

I feel like a child in a sweet shop as I watch the spirits, bitters and juices being blended with such skill. I take my first sip and feel the cool sweet hit of dark vermouth, spices and a honey and apple base.

Apparently, the first definition of cocktail appeared in 1806 in a New York newspaper wherein the editor claimed that a “Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits …. sugar, water, and bitters….it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time fuddles the head…”

I might suggest that my husband book us into a Mokoko cocktail master class for my next birthday when the bartenders become master mixologists! The barman tells me that each person learns the technical skills involved in making a couple of cocktails, as sophisticated or unusual as they like, then they’re split into groups and have a competitive fun tasting quiz to see if they can remember what they’ve learned.

It’s not my first time here and there always seems to be a lively group of girls in their twenties celebrating a birthday or a hen night. Apparently the comedy and jazz nights are entertaining and that they even hold speed dating evenings for singles. I read the menu again and am bombarded with a world of delicious possibilities from Japanese plum sake to cassis Tomoka gin. I try another cocktail with passion fruit juice, vanilla vodka and champagne; it has a slightly sweet and sour taste that blends perfectly.

I look forward to next time and trying out more strange new flavours. After only two cocktails, any stress seems to have melted away and my husband takes me by the hand making sure that I can see the steps on my way out! I smile sweetly at him dewy-eyed; it really has been a happy hour!