Iconic Shoreditch Bar Callooh Callay Gears Up To Launch New Haynes Manual-Inspired Menu


Hot on the heels of its 10th anniversary celebrations, Shoreditch favourite Callooh Callay will launch its annual menu update next month. Known for its award-winning creative menus which add a playful twist to nostalgic designs, Callooh’s 2019 menu reimagines the iconic vintage Haynes car manuals of the 1980s as a guide to building the world’s best cocktail bar.

Curated by Callooh Callay founder Richard Wynne and his bar team and sticking closely to the distinct Haynes manual layout and design; the new informative menu, entitled The Cocktail Bar Manual, opens with a contents page listing the 26 new cocktails, all of which have been inspired by nine different stages of developing a bar from scratch. Sections include “The Plan”, “The Location”, “The Team” and “Keeping a Clear Head”, which is entirely dedicated to alcohol-free cocktails.

Submissions from every member of the bar team reflect Callooh Callay’s journey, since Wynne opened the doors on Shoreditch’s Rivington Street during the financial crash of 2008. For example, listed under “The Plan”, Nan’s Orchard is a smooth blend of Apple Cider Brandy, El Gobernador Pisco, Noilly Prat, Ginger Cordial, Lemon, Apple Pie Syrup, Citrus, Ginger Ale, which pays homage to Wynne’s grandmother, who provided the initial nest egg to get Callooh off the ground.

Reflecting the demand for grown-up non-alcoholic options amongst Callooh’s clientele, the new menu also features a kombucha of the week, made in house, and stylish hangover free versions of classic tipples, including the Pina con Nada, a refreshing blend of coconut cream, pineapple lime and salt and the All Flora no Dora with ginger cordial, lime, fresh raspberries and ginger ale

Callooh’s tradition for playful presentation extends to “The Build” section. The Builders Breakfast, a rum based concoction laced with tea syrup, is served in a builders mug for individual portions or a sharing flask whilst Jabberwocky Milk, with Tanquerey gin, lemon, marshmallow syrup, egg white, cream and soda is served in a miniature paint tin.

For those wanting to learn more about their drink’s backstory, drinkers will be able to scroll through dedicated pages of the manual menu for each serve, whilst imbibers with a certain craving can flick to the index of ingredients to find the perfect drink for them.

A year in the making, Callooh Callay Founder Richard Wynne said of the new menu:

“We’ve created some really fun and interactive menus over the years, and I’m hugely grateful to all the work the team who have put in a massive effort to make the Haynes manual-inspired creative a reality. They were huge when I was a kid, and I love anything with a bit of nostalgic retro value.

We’ve really dug deep into our experiences over the last 10 years to bring it together, starting with the seed money my grandma generously gave me to start the venture, so the finished menu is one of the most personal to me.

I strongly believe that the most important aspect of any bar is the team, and I’m proud to say that our new menu includes at least one drink from every one of our current bar team. The result is a wonderfully varied offering reflecting their individual backgrounds and tastes – from kombucha to sherbert – and a top-notch selection of non-alcoholic cocktails too. We’re now excited to see what our customers think about the Haynes-inspired menu, and introducing an awesome line-up of new drinks at Callooh Callay…”

The Cocktail Bar Manual will be available Wednesday 10th April 2019 with a seasonal refresh set to launch later this year.


Callooh Callay Relaunches The JubJub Members Bar Ahead Of 10th Anniversary

addiechinn.com-CalloohCallay Nov211718 (1)

Richard Wynne, founder of world-famous Shoreditch cocktail bar Callooh Callay has announced he will re-launch its ‘secret’ upstairs bar – the JubJub – from May. Following a dramatic transformation, the bar will re-open as a members space next month. Members to the bar will be either chosen through application, or by invitation from the bar team, and will be given a special JubJub key to unlock the door and give them access to the bar. The JubJub relaunch is part of a host of activities at Callooh Callay in the build up to the bar’s 10th Anniversary later this year.

The JubJub has been re-designed to reflect Callooh Callay’s ethos of “serious nonsense”, with the bar aiming to deliver complex cocktails in a fun, nonsensical fashion and a relaxed atmosphere. The bar will operate with an “exclusive yet inclusive” application process – with the bar welcoming applications from within the hospitality industry, as well as from regular customers who have an interest in cocktails and spirits.

Membership to the JubJub comes with a range of perks, including…

Member’s own personal key to access the front door of the JubJub

The option to use a secret entrance and exit to avoid queues at Callooh Callay

Priority access to weekly events including complimentary tastings and cocktail masterclasses

An exclusive monthly e-newsletter with advanced access to booking for events in the JubJub, including New Year’s Eve

A secret, direct Whatsapp number to check immediate availability at JubJub

Complimentary punch on arrival

The option to subscribe to the monthly JubJub bottled cocktail cabinet of curiosity, a monthly subscription programme for members to have a their own pre-bottled cocktail that can be collected immediately from a specific cabinet within the bar.

The bar will also act as a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs, with each month a different Callooh Callay bartender given the keys to the JubJub to fully manage the bar, including creating their own cocktail menu.

Callooh Callay will continue to partner with different spirits brands in the JubJub, changing on a rotating monthly basis where their brand ethos and story can be showcased through partnering with the bartender to create the menu. There will also be the opportunity to run a programme of brand events – from tastings to masterclasses.

Opened by entrepreneur Wynne in 2008 and located in the heart of Shoreditch on Rivington Street, Callooh Callay has earned its reputation as one of the best cocktail bars in the world, winning huge industry accolades including ‘Best International High Volume Bar 2016’ and ‘World’s Best Cocktail Menu’ in 2012 (‘Spirited Awards’ at Tales of the Cocktail), in addition to being included in the Drinks International World’s 50 Best Bars in 2016, 2014, 2013 and 2012. The bar has also launched the career of many a bartender, with an impressive list of alumni.

The JubJub will relaunch at Callooh Callay from May. Members can apply here: https://www.calloohcallaybar.c om/jubjub/




The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

Spiced Nigroni 1_Low Res

The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 


The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_

Manchester’s Retro Retreat Club Tropicana Relaunched After Major Refurbishment

Club Tropicana, located on Manchester’s vibrant Canal Street, has undergone an impressive six-figure sum refurbishment.

As Manchester’s only 80s themed nightclub, the venue enlisted the help of Warrington based interior design and architecture firm DV8 Designs to create a striking retro concept, which pays homage to the very best of yesteryear.

In line with the major overhaul, the club now showcases a statement neon bar, colourful artwork featuring the era’s favourite icons and a neon disco sign, together with private booth seating areas.

Owner of Club Tropicana Lee Montgomery said: “As part of our interior refurbishment and overhaul, we wanted to create a totally new concept that was something completely different within the city of Manchester. Located in the heart of the Gay Village, our new 80s theme will welcome disco divas and glamorous guys to channel their inner Madonnas and Michael Jacksons all weekend long.

“Club Tropicana’s new look features design elements thrown right back to the 80s including bright colours and plenty of glitter, contrasted against modern design ideas such as industrial metals behind the bar. Here at Club Tropicana, the drinks may not be free – but the good times certainly are!”

In addition to serving an impressive cocktail menu that contains concoctions such as Club Tropicana, Absolutely Fabulous, Electric Dreams, Maverick and Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Club Tropicana’s live DJ plays the very best of the 80s ranging from Wham! to Duran Duran and everything in between.

Located above Club Tropicana at its 33 Sackville Street venue is REM Hotel, which has also undergone a total makeover as part of the overall refurbishment. All six rooms have been creatively transformed to offer comfort and style for party-goers, tourists and business delegates alike.

Lee added: “In contrast to our all-out, outlandish features of Club Tropicana, our in-house REM Hotel features neutral colour schemes, relaxed furnishings and comfortable beds to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

“Ideal for friends, couples and even those visiting the city on business, the new-look hotel rooms will allow our guests to explore all that Manchester has to offer and is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Manchester Piccadilly train station.”

Club Tropicana is open Friday-Saturday 7:30pm-3am – entry is free.

LAB In Soho To Close And Re-Open As A New Bar In The Autumn

After many years serving Soho the iconic bar and industry hangout Lab will close on Sunday 11th September. The site will reopen in November as a new bar run by Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, who will own the bar in partnership with fellow husband and wife team and founders of Speakeasy Entertainment (Nightjar & Oriole), Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson.

A true training ground of bar industry greats, including Dre Masso, Andrea Montague and Tim Stones to name just a few, the new owners will be working with Lab to host a weekend of closing parties from 9th – 11th September. Paying tribute to Lab’s contribution to the bar industry and the iconic characters that have passed through the doors, bartending legends that worked behind the stick at Lab will be invited back for a series of final guest bartender shifts to remember and celebrate the great times that were had at the bar.

Tim Stones, ex-Lab bartender and now Global Brand Ambassador for Beefeater comments: “Lab has been the start of many bartenders’ careers. If you look at the alumnus of the place, it reads like a who’s who of drinks industry legends. I was lucky enough to spend the best part of four eye-opening years there and it became a turning point in my career. I still proudly reference it any chance I get, such was its influence. Lab will always be a special place to me and I will be sad to see it go. Having seen the passion and dedication that Bobby and Mia put into their drinks, service and venues I am looking forward to the great things they will do there. I will be among the first through the door.”

Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson will lead the concept and offering of the new venue. Both are firmly established within the London bar scene and have worked at leading bars around the world, they comment: “We’re very excited for the project ahead and the new plans we have for a venue that we know means a lot to many in the industry. It’s great to be working with our new partners Edmund and Rosie, and we can’t wait to join everyone for a final get together at Lab.”

Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson opened the award-winning Nightjar in 2010 and were at the forefront of the speakeasy, craft cocktail trend that swept the capital. Since then Nightjar has consecutively been included in the top three of the World’s 50 Best Bars. In November 2015 they opened their second site Oriole, which recently won Best New International Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards in New Orleans. On partnering with Bobby and Mia they comment, “We’re very happy to be working with Bobby and Mia, they are both very talented and we can’t wait to see their vision for the new bar come to life. We’ll be joining everyone for a final farewell of Lab, before embarking on this new project together.”

Details of the guest bartenders returning to Lab and the closing parties will be announced shortly via social media, follow @LABclosingparties on Instagram and @labclosingparty on Twitter to stay updated. The new bar will open in November, more details on the concept and offering to follow.

Cocktails in the City Comes Back To Manchester

Cocktails in the City, Great Northern Warehouse

The sell-out event of 2015 is back in the iconic settings of Old Granada Studios on
May 19 – 20th.

Grab your towel, grab your clubs, grab your glad rags; the stars and celebrities of
Manchester’s thriving bar scene are coming together to compete for best
cocktail, best bar and best experience and they are going all out!

With 24 of Manchester’s finest battling it out, who will take the awards in 2016?
Will emerging new talent such as El Gato Negra or Cottonopolis steal the crown
from the winners of 2015, Mr Coopers, Cane and Grain and Elixir Tonic and

Already confirmed, the Playa Del Santa Teresa, an urban beach installment
courtesy of tiki hideaway HULA, UV Junk Yard Golf Course and a multi-sensory
Tattu Parlour.

Cocktails in the City, Great Northern WarehouseA centerpiece-feasting table will be supported by a fine array of street food talent
curated by B.EAT Street with vendors rotating on Thursday and Friday night:

May 19th Bart’s Dog Kart | Chaat Cart | Poffertjes Kings
May 20th Big Grillie Style | Bali Beach Hut | Miami Ice

No cocktail party is complete without an award-winning DJ and so back by
popular demand Mr Matt Ginter will be spinning the tunes to 2000+ cocktail
enthusiasts at Manchester’s greatest cocktail party.

Bars and Brands currently confirmed in alphabetical order: (NB = New bar to

All Star Lanes and Evan Williams Extra Aged
Cane and Grain and Death’s Door Gin
Cottonopolis and Tanqueray No Ten (NB)
Crazy Pedros and El Jimador (NB)
El Gato Negra and Portobello Road Gin (NB)
Elixir Tonic & Treats and Lanique
Hawksmoor and Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky / Maxime Trijol
Hula Urban Beach Club and Santa Teresa
Tusk and Whitley Neill Gin (NB)
Mojo and Appleton Estate V/X
Rosylee and Black Cow Vodka (NB)
Tattu and Opihr Gin (NB)
Tipplesworth and Woodford Reserve
The Fitzgerald and The Pogues Irish Whisky

Tickets are £12 and includes one cocktail.
All additional cocktails cost £6.50
Old Granada Studios | Old Quay Street | M3 3JE
Thursday 19th May & Friday 20th May
Opening Times: 18.00 – 23.00


Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur Partners With App, Drinki, To Reinvent the Espresso Martini

Dark Side of the Moon - 46 & Mercy

The Espresso Martini. London’s favourite drink. Sometimes though, even a classic needs a little twist every now and again.  Mr Black, a cold press coffee liqueur from Australia, is looking to reinvent the Espresso Martini with the help of a revolutionary app called Drinki.

Throughout London Coffee Festival (7-10th April), Mr Black, a cold press coffee liqueur that’s hand made using a dark blend of pure Australian grain spirit and three single origin Arabica coffee beans, has tasked four bars located near the Truman Brewery to reinvent the Espresso Martini.

During the course of the festival, 400 free drinks will be redeemable through the Drinki app which is free to download from the App Store and Play Store. Although Drinki offers its users one drink a night, every night, all year round, the special “London Coffee Week Mr Black Drinki offer” is available for a limited time and is on a first come, first served basis, so once they are gone, they are gone.

The Cocktail Trading Company, Loves Company, Upstairs at the Ten Bells and 46 & Mercy Shoreditch are the four bars offering their take on the Espresso Martini.

Here’s what they’ll be serving up:-

Handy Nightcap - The Cocktail Trading Company
Handy Nightcap

The Cocktail Trading Company presents:
15ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
30ml Bourbon
20ml Sweet Vermouth
1 Dash Chartreuse
2 Dash Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bitters

Loves Company presents:
35 ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
15 ml Vanilla Vodka
15 ml Sugar Syrup
30 ml of Fresh Espresso
30ml Milk
1 Cold Drip Coffee Ice Cube

Mr Nero - Upstairs at the Ten Bells
Mr Nero

Upstairs at the Ten Bells presents:

25ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
35ml Calle Blanco(Tequila)
25ml Averna
1 Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cube

46 & Mercy present:

30ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
30ml Dark Rum
30ml Espresso
10ml Sugar Syrup

In addition to offering drinks via the Drinki app, Mr Black will also be hosting a stand at the London Coffee Festival where they will be offering samples of Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur and showing just why the drink is described as cocktail ketchup for dark spirits and stirred cocktails.

Tom Baker, Co-founder of Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur said: “The era of sticky, sweet coffee liqueurs jam packed with vanilla flavouring is over. The difference between Mr Black and other coffee liqueurs?  It’s pretty simple, we like coffee and we want that flavour to come through in our drink.  It seemed like the perfect time, what with the coffee festival, to introduce people to Mr Black and to reinvent the Espresso Martini, if only in four days.  By downloading Drinki, people will be able to see and taste these amazing drinks at no cost, so get to it!”

Mr Black – the bitter, dark drink with an unadulterated coffee kick – is made entirely using a cold extraction process. Speciality Arabica coffee beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea are chosen for their distinctive flavours.  The blend is then cold extracted over 12 hours to produce a full-flavoured coffee without the acidity and eye-squinting bitterness of an espresso.

The next stage in the making of Mr Black uses a 250kg basket press stolen from a winery, which is used to extract the rich liquid from inside the coffee infusion.  Time consuming yes, but worth every minute.  The cold press coffee is then blended with pure Australian grain spirit, which allows the rich flavour of the coffee blend to shine through.

Drinki is a London based start-up with an extensive bar network, working with a variety of venues from speakeasy cocktail bars to party places. Drinki App is free to download from App Store and Play Store, and gives the user their first drink on the house every night by letting them pay with their Facebook Check In.

Where to find the bars:

The Cocktail Trading Company – 68 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GQ

Loves Company – 104 City Rd, London EC1V 2NR

Upstairs at the Ten Bells – 84 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LY

46&Mercy – 46 Commercial St, London E1 6LT

5cc Announces New Opening In The Heart Of The City

Singer-Tavern-Press-Photo-4 copy

5cc has announced the opening of its fifth venue, adding to its collection of original, specialist bars located behind London’s hidden doors. In the heart of East London, 5cc can be found tucked away in the area’s latest pub, Singer Tavern, also opening in March.  

Introducing a carefully crafted martini menu exclusive to this venue, 5cc Singer Tavern remains true to the collection’s philosophy; offering a variety of quality spirits and well-made drinks in a stylish but approachable environment. The new 5cc experience showcases the very best in London’s clandestine cocktail culture.


Concealed behind the façade of a Grade II listed East London pub; 5cc has created an individual cocktail bar in the heart of the city. In keeping with the collection’s concept, 5cc Singer Tavern finds inspiration in its location’s history. Built in 1929, the site was originally conceived to house the headquarters of the iconic Singer Sewing Machine Company.

Featuring bare brick walls, original tiles, intimate leather booths and a private space seating up to 10 covers, 5cc Singer Tavern showcases the best in East London design inspiration.


Mirroring 5cc’s dictum of putting a contemporary twist on a classic, the young and inspiring Group Bar Manager Charles Montanaro has created a bespoke cocktail menu for the venue alongside Bar Manager Andrei Marian. Carefully constructed to showcase the skill of the bartenders as well as the range of fine spirits available, the Singer Tavern menu offers an opportunity to discover new and varied ways to enjoy spirits.

For a true taste of Singer Tavern try the Knock Out: East London Liquor Company Demerara rum, lime, strawberry and black pepper cordial topped up with soda for a balanced cocktail with a kick. If it’s the exotic you’re looking for, look no further than the Loosie D’Ouro featuring Glen Moray Port Cask, P.F. Curacao, Tio Pepe sherry, vanilla, chocolate and chilli bitters served with a Paul A. Young chocolate truffle. Or discover an East London twist on a classic with the East End Old Fashioned: 10 Elijah Craig 12, lapsang souchong cordial, chilli and citrusy orange bitters.


The new 5cc Singer Tavern has a martini menu that boasts batch-produced gins from authentic distillers including the popular East London Liquor Company. From the House Martini to unconventional alternatives such as Saint & Sinner’s Dictador Colombian Aged gin, there is a martini for every palette.

5cc Singer Tavern has created a concise menu of small bites to compliment its cocktail list, including dishes such as smoked mackerel pate and lamb croquettes.

Located below Singer Tavern, 1 City Road EC1Y 1AG, the new 5cc cocktail bar will open from Monday- Saturday 5pm- late and from midday on Thursday and Fridays

For bookings, please email reservations@5cc-london.com.

New Cocktail Creations Cause A Winter Meltdown At Elixir, Tonics & Treats

Elixir Tonics & Treats

I often get asked where the best bars in Manchester are for a drink. Whether it’s a cocktail, a dram or two, glass of wine or just a good old-fashioned soft drink, there are always venues that spring to mind that can cater for all. Elixir, Tonics & Treats is such a venue that sees itself in my mind as one of the best. If you read my feature on the bar when it first opened, you’ll know that I was impressed with the effort that the team have put behind it, essentially bringing some of the London bar scene to the North, and not losing sight of alienating the Mancunian customers, or indeed the liquids being used.It’s with this in my mind that I went along last week to experience some of their winter inclusions to their cocktail menu.

A re-jig of the current menu sees the main eye-focus train to the Elements Experimental, a look at the earth, wind, fire, sky and water, plus a combination of all five. Speaking to Jamie Strickland, my bartender for the hour, he says that with the heavy nod that Elixir, Tonics & Treats has towards the healing elements of crystals and the powers that the various forms can give off, the look into the elements is the natural course to take, which over the last couple of months has come down to the likes of By The Fire, using a combination of rum and dark chocolate, and Hope Floats with its twist on the White Lady classic.

Mermaid's Teardrop
Mermaid’s Teardrop

But it’s the Down To Earth (£9) which Jamie creates first. A choice of Jim Beam White Label, Rittenhouse or Johnnie Walker Black Label are available for the base, (essentially peaty, dry or sweet) with Jamie opting for the use of Johnnie Walker this particular time. The whisky is blended with Antica sweet vermouth, Cynar, Angostura Bitters and dark agave, topped with Samuel Adams and accompanied by a ‘muddy puddle’, essentially squashed home-made chocolate, a sweet worm and edible stones. Served on a tray laden with grass, the crystal cut tumbler gives off the expected Samuel Adams nose, creating a fresh scent combined with liquorice coming from the liquorice stick used to act like a, well, stick (hopefully you’ve noticed the woodland scene developing). Coming through the two is the Johnnie Walker Black Label, followed by the bitterness from the Cynar artichoke. The Cynar follows onto the palate too, with the dark agave giving a punchy kick alongside the blended whisky. When sipped after a bite of the muddy puddle, the experience is smoothed off and a more velvet texture arises, essentially toning down some of the bitterness. Not a bad start, and one I can see working for beer drinkers to develop into whisky cocktail lovers.

A Mermaid’s Teardrop (£8.50) came next, combining the base of Stolichnaya Red with Kwai Feh, coconut and ocean syrup (essentially lemon-grass and seaweed infused into neutral syrup). Accompanied by a teardrop ice bomb and chocolate sea-glass shell, once again the presentation was extravagant yet subtle. Housed in a stylish coupette, plenty of fresh lavender and lychee from the Kwai Feh are noticeable, acting rather enticing to sip quicker than you expect. An incredibly well-balanced drink awaits, Plenty of citrus notes are dancing around, but the sweetness from the Kwai Feh tones it all down, with the length from the Stolichnaya becoming more noticeable.


Utopian Cascade
Utopian Cascade

Into The Ether (£8), and one of two on the new portion of the menu that twists a classic cocktail. An Old Fashioned is a personal favourite of mine, especially using a spirit with a good, heavy base like rum or whisky. Although I’ve had many a tequila based Old Fashioned, especially in Elixir, Tonics & Treats itself, I saw it as a brave move to serve with a side-order of citric acid and an intensifying flavour vapour! Jamie opted for a spot of blue food colouring to really show off what I can only describe as a bubbling orb can do to your Sauza Blanco Old Fashioned. Truly the elements at work! As you can imagine, plenty of fresh citrus on the nose, with the tequila noticeable on the palate once you’ve calmed down the reaction. A cocktail aimed for the ladies of the group with the array of colours available, as well as the interaction you have when you have to finish off the cocktail yourself.

Lastly, Jamie created for me the Utopian Cascade (£8.50), seen as the mecca of all the elements combined. Jamie kept this one until last due to the heavy spirits used including Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, Calvados, Five Spice syrup, pressed apple and lemon juice. It also combines an Elixir signature so-to-speak with the drink served over Star Anise and clove cascaded dry ice, topped with a dried apple and cinnamon star. A great flavour concept, seen as pure and clean with plenty of fresh apple, cinnamon and underlining Calvados notes on the nose. Although a light start on the first sip, the buds develop with spiced apple and hints of lavender present. Despite the finish being short and dry, it’s mourish, meaning a night on the Utopian Cascade is not generally out of the question.

It seems that Elixir Tonics & Treats have kept up the form. Subtle extravagance through their showmanship and presentations keeps the newcomers flocking, and the twists on classics and new-age statements prove that they can offer something unique to the Manchester table. I still love the way that the venue is brave to use liquids such as Cynar and Calvados within their work. There’s simply not enough bartenders being creative with these lesser-known brands and categories, let alone see them featured on a menu in what still is one of Manchester best cocktail bars.

Get down, try them all, especially the Mermaid’s Teardop which came as a surprise hit for me. One of the best.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Leblon Brings ‘The Spirit Of Brazil’ To UK Bars And Homes This Summer

This summer, Leblon Natural Cane Cachaça, a national treasure of Brazil, is bringing a splash of South American spirit to the UK with its delicious artisanal cocktails and must-visit experiences.

Handcrafted and produced at Maison Leblon in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s fertile agricultural heartland, Leblon Cachaça is already a favourite tipple in top culinary venues in Brazil, where cachaça is the national spirit. Cachaça is also the key ingredient to the Caipirinha, the wildly popular muddled lime cocktail.

Light and fruity with tequila-like herbal notes, Leblon Cachaça has a smooth silky texture with layers of fruity cane and spices. It mixes extremely well with almost any fruit and couples nicely with other ingredients from herbs to liqueurs – the perfect starting point for a range of delicious cocktails that capture the lively Brazilian Spirit. The Leblon Cachaça signature cocktails are a must this summer for home entertaining, including the renowned Brazilian ‘Caipirinha’, the coconut ‘Sugar Loaf Mountain Cooler’ and the refreshing ‘Leblon Ginger Ale’.

For those out and about during the summer months, Leblon Cachaça has also partnered with two of London’s leading bars to create cocktail experiences that champion the ‘Spirit of Brazil’. ‘Barzinho’ has opened at Archer Street, Soho, transforming the downstairs bar into a bold and beautiful Brazilian oasis. With vintage posters, grand carnival feathers, palm leaves from the Amazon and authentic Brazilian graffiti adorning the walls, the experience will take you on a visual and sensory journey of the bright and lively country. In addition to enjoying the legendary Leblon Caipirinha, the bar’s other signature cocktail is the award-winning ‘Leblon Redeemer’, created specially by Bar Manager, Benjamin Purslow. The ‘Leblon Redeemer’ is made with Leblon Cachaça, Campari infused with Açai Berries (Goji Berries), fresh passionfruit juice and Lime.

For those south of the river, the newly opened CocoBananas in Battersea is home to the Leblon Cachaça Campervan, bringing all the spirit and passion of Brazil to London. Set over two floors, the nightclub is a celebration of all things Brazilian, with a décor evoking the vibrant beach shacks found throughout the country. Design features include vintage surfboards, palm trees, distressed plantation shutters, and an image of Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue. To complete the authentic Brazilian experience, the Leblon Cachaça Campervan, situated on the second floor of CocoBananas, doubles up as a bar serving mouthwatering Leblon Cachaça Caipirinhas. Signature cocktails include the ‘Beach Shack’, a memorable summertime Caipirinha treat made for sharing, served in a miniature Brazilian beach hut.

Leblon Caipirinha
Leblon Caipirinha

Leblon Caipirinha

Ingredients –

60 ml Leblon Cachaça
1 whole lime
2 teaspoons of sugar
Crushed ice

Method –

Take a good size lime, cut it into eight wedges, and place four wedges in a rocks glass. Add two teaspoons of sugar, mash the lime and sugar with a muddler for fifteen seconds and add crushed ice up to the rim of the glass. Add the Leblon Cachaça and stir thoroughly. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Leblon & Ginger Ale

Ingredients –

50 ml Leblon Cachaça
Ginger Ale to finish
2 lime wedges

Method –

Add cubed ice to a highball glass and pour in the Leblon Cachaça. Squeeze the juice of two large lime wedges into the glass and top with ginger ale. Stir to mix and finish with a slice of lime.

Sugar Loaf Mountain Cooler

Ingredients – 

50 ml Leblon Cachaça
25 ml Lime Juice
15 ml Sugar Syrup
Sugarcane Water or Coconut Water to finish

Method  – 

Add cubed ice to a highball glass and pour in the Leblon Cachaça, lime juice and sugar. Top with your choice of sugarcane or coconut water and stir to mix. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Barzinho at Archer Street, 3-4 Archer Street, Soho, London W1D 7AP

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