Socio Rehab has been called many things since its time on the streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and since its January refurb, those already positive words on their cocktail making skills can be used while sitting in modern comfort. I swung by a few days back for the first time this year for two reasons – number one was to have some damn good cocktails, and number two was to show the rest of the world what their missing!
Although a flying visit, Max, one of the Socio Rehabs friendly bartenders, created for me a Blantons bourbon heavy Manhattan whilst flicking through what can only be described as a comic book of cocktails. Unique, quirky and it works. Recipes that jumped out at me included Lemon Rusky (vodka and limoncello shaken with fresh lemon juice and sugar, topped with grapefruit juice), Fish House Punch (Remy Martin cognac, Havana Club light rum and peach brandy liqueur shaken with strong cold tea, freshly wrung lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda) and a Orange Blossom Martini (Hangar I Orange Blossom vodka, (Benedictine, limoncello, dry vermouth rinse) stirred with mint leaves and a single smashed berry, finished with a Clementine zest).
With low wooden stools at the bar, there’s leather sofas with faded Union Jacks printed on overlooking the high street and nestled between big indoor potted plants. A simple singular tall table is at the other end of the bar next to the almost floor to ceiling windows, followed by a row of stools at a wall mounted side. Well known lounge music set the mood to chilled setting, with candles flickering against maroon coloured walls. Surprisingly, the colour scheme goes well with the tiled floors and red brick bar, as does the back bar itself.
With a fantastic range of spirits that meanders its way across the whole of the wall, there’s something literally guaranteed for all palates. Noticing brands including Woodford Reserve, Mamont vodka, Belvedere, El Dorado rum, Patron tequila, Bulldog gin, Ron Diplomatico and the Sipsmith range, this bar goes one further with the word variety. Theres even a bottle of Smith and Cross, a traditional blended Jamaican rum aged up to 3 years.
Smith & Cross – 57%
A mixture of tropical fruits and wild spices on the nose, with a slight ‘high alcohol’ aroma following. A kick of banana, vanilla and caramel on the palate, but is rather short on longevity.
Cocktails isn’t all that Socio Rehab serve though, with wines and beers including Heinekan, Moretti and Asahi available amongst an array of soft drinks. Next on the cocktail list for me however was a Culross which involves Bacardi Superior, Lillet, apricot liqueur and lemon juice. Served in a rather stunning gimlet, much to the envy of two fellow patrons, it was a fantastic end to a unfortunant brief visit.
Socio Rehab also host many events including cocktail nights, masterclasses and even the chance to jump behind the bar and have a go yourself! Friendly bartenders who know what they’re talking about – but use simple terms that can mean non-bartender folk can order without feeling out-of-place, an inviting setting, and some great drinks to try, Socio Rehab still hits the nail on the head when it comes to a city centre cocktail bar.
It’s a must try venue.
Check out more photos of Socio Rehab on my Facebook page.
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