Thursday saw the preview of one of the most hotly-anticipated nights in the Manchester cocktail calendar as the makers of Cocktails in the City came to Cloud 23 and showed off this years brand and bar collaborators.
With 20 bars, from across Manchester, bringing their favourite brand to show off a unique signature serve to the cocktail hungry public sounds like heaven, and it certainly can be, with the level of showmanship, creativity and flair all on offer to the waiting press. 6 port-of-calls awaited, a task that is never easy for a man who works closely with many of these bars and brands and would have quite happily sat down with them all to hear their inspiration, but alas the rules of the night involved a speed dating of sorts; 10 minutes with a chosen brand and bar, then move on.
I’m not here to tell you who made me the best cocktail, or had the best sales pitch, though. I’m here to offer you highlights, reasons why you should purchase a ticket to the two night extravaganza. So, roll call please –
- Stevenson Square speak-easy The Fitzgerald offer a double delight of the French liqueur Chambord and American delight Woodford Reserve with their Smoked French Manhattan.
- Northern stalwart Mojo’s repeat the success of Leeds’ event last week with the striking blue looking Rum n Ginger Sherbet with El Dorado 3yr.
- Host of the evening Cloud 23 bring the history of Manchester into their show as they collaborate with Tanqueray 10 to bring Up,Up and Away, complete with scented balloon.
- Bowling legends and all round American whiskey lovers All Star Lanes have naturally partnered with Jack Daniels, who have made it their mission to find a star within the ranks as the winner of an All Star Lanes cocktail competition will have their cocktail on show for the event.
- Newcomers to the Manchester scene, Hawksmoor, are showing off Appleton VX, the Jamaican rum that will be offering the likes of the classic Mai Tai, or even a fresh Banana Daiquiri. The options are endless!
- Last years winner of ‘best stand’, Elixir Tonics & Treats, are back with a unique serve involving a whole egg, The King’s Ginger liqueur, and apothecary styled masks. Need to see to believe!
- A movie theme will be set on the main stage as Andy Pope will be hosting cocktail seminars with the likes of The Breakfast Club, complete with Breakfast Martini’s served on toast.
Other venues to wow and impress include Fumo, with Disaronno, and Mr Coopers’ House and Garden, with Portobello Road, both who are making their debuts at the show. Northern Quarter haven and tiki bar Keko Moku will buddy up with Santa Teresa rum, whilst tequila gets a nod as Herradura matches with Lucha Libra. Jack Daniel’s has a double-header, not only partnering with All Star Lanes, but also having their Gentleman Jack expression combining with The Alchemist, whilst fellow American styles of Old Forester have joined with Cane and Grain.
The French venue of Montpellier’s have gone all out with Lamb’s Navy rum, whilst last years Benedictine cocktail competition winner Lewis Cooke has gained his venue Epernay to offer a French twist on the evenings proceedings. To round the event off, The Blue Pig have partnered with Whitley Neill, whilst Twenty Twenty Two have a mountain to climb with last weeks Leeds best cocktail winning brand Tsingtao.
A great selection, with an intriguing amount of creativity to, I’m sure, make it very difficult to choose on the evening your preferred cocktail! To help you out though, Finger in Pie Productions will be curating a host of show floor experiences, with food available courtesy of Reds True BBQ, Yakumama and VIETShack.
Fancy it? Grab yourself a ticket and come join me as we hunt for the best. Could take two nights this . . . . . .
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.