Patrón Tequila Announces the Global 2019 ‘Margarita of the Year’

DynastyMargarita_onWhiteAfter months of voting from all over the world, Patrón Tequila has revealed that the Dynasty Margarita, created by Jay Khan from Hong Kong, has been voted the 2019 ‘Margarita of the Year’.

Jay Khan, bartender at COA in Hong Kong, created a stunning twist on the Margarita, inspired by ingredients that are native to or influential in Chinese cuisine. The Dynasty Margarita is a blend of the ultra premium Patrón Silver tequila, Patrón Citrónge Orange liqueur, St-Germain, fresh lime, ginger syrup and fresh lychees.

The search for the Patrón 2019 ‘Margarita of the Year’ kicked off with eight of the world’s top bartenders showcasing their very own twist on a perfect Margarita, each inspired by the flavours and culture of their home town. People were invited to vote for their favourite, and the MargaritaOfTheYear.com website showcased beautiful imagery and cocktail videos to encourage people to try the Margaritas for themselves.

Talking of his cocktail, Jay explains: “The Dynasty Margarita took inspiration from the beautiful scenes of my city, Hong Kong. Ginger and Lychee are very traditional Chinese ingredients, and combined with the fresh agave notes of Patrón Silver tequila, it creates a citrusy and sweet margarita. I wanted to bring to life traditional Chinese ingredients and to showcase the true versatility of the spirit and of the margarita. I am so glad that the public were able to see the inspiration behind my creation and grateful for all the votes that made my cocktail ‘Margarita of the Year’ 2019. I’m so excited to continue making Hong Kong proud and showcasing all that it has to offer through delicious and exciting cocktails.”

Lee Applbaum, Chief Marketing Officer of Patrón Spirits International, talks of Jay’s win: “I have been constantly impressed by the talent and creativity each bartender has showcased throughout the entirety of this year’s campaign. The Margarita is an iconic cocktail that is perfected when made with Patrón Tequila. We are constantly striving to create new and exiciting twists to this cocktail and each of these bartenders have helped us further achieve this goal through their innovative creations. To choose the winner of 2019’s ‘Margarita of the Year’ would have been a difficult task for anybody, but the public have spoken for who they believe deserves the title and it most certainly does not disappoint.”

Enjoying a Dynasty Margarita will transport you to the vibrant streets of Hong Kong.

To try the Jay Khan’s Dynasty Margarita why not make one at home with this recipe:

DYNASTY MARGARITA

Recipe:
30ml Patrón Silver tequila
10ml Patrón Citrónge Orange liqueur
10ml oz St-Germain
15ml Fresh lime juice
7ml Ginger syrup, such as Liber & Co.
7ml Lychee syrup*
+ Grapefruit salt rim**
+ Lime twist for garnish
*Lychee syrup: empty a can of peeled/pitted lychees into a blender. Blend until
completely liquified, then strain through a mesh strainer to remove solids.

Method:
1. Rim a rocks glass with grapefruit salt
2. Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill
3. Strain onto fresh ice in a rocks glass
4. Garnish with a lime twist

Raise a glass to the Margarita with Patrón Tequila in global search for 2019’s Margarita of the Year

WildRoseMargarita_Wide_wBottle

Honouring the iconic tequila cocktail, Patrón Tequila kicked off 2019’s ‘Margarita of the Year’ campaign on International Margarita Day, starting a global search for the perfect twist on the classic Margarita recipe. Now in its fifth year, the bar has been raised with eight new recipes from across the globe, each offering a refreshing twist on the iconic cocktail.

In 1939, the first Margarita was claimed to have been made at Tail O’The Cock in Los Angeles and has since come to be one of the most admired cocktails on the menu. Fifty years later in 1989, Patrón Tequila was born, introducing the world to ultra-premium tequila and transforming tequila cocktail culture.

When bartenders in Mexico adopted the New Yorker’s Whisky Daisy in the early 1900’s with a tequila twist and Spanish translation, they created the Tequila Daisy – Spanish for Margarita. Around mid-century, another bartender in Texas claimed to have made a drink for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee, naming it after the Spanish version of her name. In the 1970’s, a Texas Monthly column claims Francisco Morales invented the drink at Tommy’s Place in Mexico.

Whilst there are multiple stories of its origin, one thing is certain, the perfect Margarita is made with the ultra-premium Patrón Tequila. The Margarita of the Year campaign is celebrating this cherished cocktail by welcoming bartenders from eight cities across the globe, stretching from Miami to Hong Kong, and inviting them to design eight different Margarita recipes using a variety of fresh flavour combinations inspired by their local region. In hope of being awarded 2019’s Margarita of the Year, the bartenders will be ramping up support in their hometowns to encourage votes for their unique recipes, while showcasing just how versatile a Margarita can be.

“The Margarita has been a classic cocktail in the minds of drinkers for a very long time.” says Lee Applbaum, Patrón’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. “We wanted to challenge bartenders across the world to prove that however classic the Margarita is, it is an incredibly versatile cocktail. With the unlimited amount of twists you can put on a Margarita, there is one thing that always remains the same – Ultra-premium Patrón Tequila is always the key to a simply perfect Margarita.”

Each recipe and instructional tutorials about how to prepare them at home are available on the Patrón Cocktail Lab experience and the Margarita of the Year website, which features videos and interviews from the participating bartenders (filmed recently at the Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico). The site contains downloadable recipe cards as well as education about the history and evolution of this famous cocktail.

1. Chicago, Illinois, Jacyara de Oliveira – Paseo Margarita
Created with coconut and basil
2. Oakland, California, Samuel Jimenez – Pasifika Margarita
Created with coconut and pineapple
3. New York City, US, Natalie Jacob – Golden Hour Margarita
Created with pineapple and tumeric
4. Miami, Florida, Tyler Kitzman – Flamingo Park Margarita
Created with grapefruit
5. Guadalajara, Mexico, Adrian Rosales – Margarita Caliente
Created with passionfruit and chipotle
6. Rome, Italy, Cristian Bugiada – Margarita Amore
Created with apple and chilli pepper
7. Hong Kong, Jay Khan – Dynasty Margarita
Created with lychee and ginger
8. Calgary, Canada, Makina Labrecque – Wild Rose Margarita
Created with juniper and rose

“I have the fantastic opportunity to taste the incredible interpretations of the Margarita that these eight bartenders have created!” says José Luis Leon of Mexico City, whose celery, elderflower and lime “Verde Margarita” was selected as last year’s Margarita of the Year. “Each of the recipes have been created with inspiration from the bartender’s respective cities and I’m excited to see how they bring each of them to life through their cocktails and the unique combinations of ingredients in them. Though it will be a hard decision to decide between these simply perfect Margaritas, I’m confident that the public will pick the best Margarita that is truly worthy of the title, Margarita of the Year.”

Vote for your favourite cocktail via:
• MargaritaOfTheYear.com until 25th April just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
• Hashtag the margarita name in your social posts on Instagram and Twitter
• Share content across your social channels – shares and re-tweets equal one vote each

Celebrate International Margarita Day with Patrón Tequila

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This year marks the 80th year of the Margarita, according to many. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Patrón Tequila invites you to raise a Perfect Patrón Margarita on International Margarita Day (Friday 22nd February) at some of the best bars nationwide.

In conjunction with DrinkUp.London, Patrón has 360 complimentary Margaritas on offer for you and a friend to help you celebrate this amazing day. To receive your Simply Perfect Patrón Margarita sign up here (https://drinkup.london/margarita-day) and receive your Margaritas at any of the below bars. Link will be going live on Wednesday 20th at 3pm.

If you miss out on the DrinkUp.London promotion this International Margarita Day, head to any of the below accounts between 18th-25th February where you can enjoy their own limited-edition twists on the Perfect Patrón Margarita:

Pachamama East, Shoreditch: a unique Margarita menu designed especially for International Margarita Day to pair perfectly with Pachamama’s delicious food

London Cocktail Club, Oxford Circus: Two-day Patrón takeover in their studio on 22nd February. Choose the Patrón Mango Margarita. Click here to book a table.

Coya, Angel Court, City: Special Patrón Tequila menu

Hovarda, Soho: Special Patrón Tequila menu

Red Rooster, City: a unique Margarita menu designed especially for International Margarita Day to pair perfectly with Red Rooster’s delicious food

Rumoured to have first been made at Tail O’The Cock in Los Angeles in 1939, the Margarita hasn’t left the minds of drinkers as a staple serve since. Regardless of when and where its origin was cemented; the Margarita has become a memorable serve on cocktail menus worldwide. It’s not only the traditional recipe that is known and loved, but also the unique twists concocted by bartenders and cocktail lovers alike. The foundation of any perfect Margarita however, whether it’s a classic or a twist, is always ultra-premium Patrón Tequila.

In recent years, the popularity of tequila has soared to new heights which is a testament to the incredible versatility of the spirt. This year, across International Margarita Day, Patrón Tequila wants to showcase this versatility through the much-loved Margarita.

Launching on International Margarita Day, is “Margarita of the Year 2019” – a global search for the perfect twist on the classic Patrón Margarita recipe. For the fifth year, Margarita of the Year will challenge bartenders across the world to showcase their exceptional bartending skills through their own unique interpretation of the Margarita. Displaying the versatility of not only Patrón Tequila but of the Margarita too.

Representing Europe is Cristian Bugiada from Rome, Italy, with his cocktail “Margarita Amore”, a delicious take on a Margarita with Apple and Chili Pepper.

Fans can vote daily for their favourite recipe here MargaritaOfTheYear.com.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional, 100% Agave Tequila, Launches the First User Generated Margarita Masterpiece for National Margarita Day

image001To celebrate National Margarita Day on Friday 22nd February, Jose Cuervo Tradicional is calling all Margarita fans to be part of a collaborative online project to create the world’s first social media Margarita masterpiece by sharing pictures of themselves enjoying their own Margarita traditions using the #LiveTradicional.

The masterpiece will be inspired by the iconic, vintage, 1960s Cuervo adverts that helped drive the Margarita phenomenon. It is the top selling cocktail in the US and the sixth favorite cocktail in the world. Award-winning visual artist Helen Marshall, who uses photography, storytelling and technology in her work, will give a modern twist to the Margarita masterpiece. The final artwork will be revealed on the brand’s social media channels on National Margarita Day.

Several bars in London will also be celebrating Margarita Day by creating their own twists on Cuervo Tradicional Margarita, including Café Pacifico who will be offering their Cuervo Tradicional Kombucha Margarita and Cuervo Tradicional Watermelon Margarita.

Tequila fans can join in the festivities at home, making Cuervo Tradicional Margaritas with the new limited-edition Jose Cuervo Tradicional bottle (RRP £15) available from nationwide Tesco stores and online. The limited-edition bottle features a stylish skull design inspired by the iconography in Mexican culture. Cuervo Tradicional is a modern tequila that is rooted in family tradition that started more than 200 years ago. The 100% blue agave is harvested from the family estate and produced using the same small-batch method originated by José Cuervo himself back in 1795. The result is a more refined and perfectly balanced tequila.

The Cuervo #LiveTradicional campaign will also include the UK wide Cuervo Tradicional Margarita Rumbles in May. Bartenders in London, Manchester and Bristol will battle it out to win the ultimate title of best Margarita judged by hundreds of consumers.

London, Get Ready To Rumble!

Margarita Rumble

Jose Cuervo®, the world’s number one selling tequila, has announced the sponsoring of the grand ole fiesta the ‘Margarita Rumble’ for the second year. Margarita Rumble, which is taking over The Yard in Shoreditch on April 28th, is a major competition that sees expert mixologists from top bars across the city compete for the prestigious title of Best Margarita in London.

Margarita lovers will be pleased to know that the bottomless margaritas on offer will all be made with the award-winning Jose Cuervo Tradicional 100% agave tequila, crafted using methods originated by the Cuervo family over 200 years ago.

Guests can choose to join one of three sessions, with each reveller given a token on arrival to vote for their favourite margarita. Entertainment will consist of a traditional Mariachi band, Mexican dancers and DJs. For those curious to learn more about the cocktail of the moment, the festival favourite Cuervo Tequila Truck will be welcoming guests with a tequila tasting and hosting a salt pairing masterclass, where attendees will be shown how to pair the best salts found in the UK to different flavours of Cuervo margaritas.

The first wave of top talent confirmed to compete are Trapeze, Barrio Bars, Cabana Brixton, Whistling Shop, Benitos Hat, Little Bat, Eaton Square Bar, Zebrano, Simmons, and The BootLegger. Reigning champions Café Pacifico will be returning to defend their 2017 title, awarded to the passionfruit margarita that wowed the crowds at last year’s event, and has also claimed a permanent ‘Margarita Rumble’ cocktail feature at the Covent Garden restaurant.

Tickets and more information are available here for anyone wanting to get involved, with prices starting from £35 – https://www.londonmargaritarumble.com/buytickets/

Tequila Casco Viejo Celebrate National Margarita Day!

Barrio Margarita

It’s National Margarita Day! To celebrate, Tequila Casco Viejo have put together some of the best venues across the UK to enjoy a Margarita!

For the perfect Margarita at Barrio Bars in London, they use 100% agave Blanco tequila from Casco Viejo. Served on the rocks – Tommy’s style; simply shaken with fresh lime juice and agave nectar for a clean, refreshing tequila flavour.  Perfect to start any evening, and they’re making them for £5 all night long!

Newcastle are getting in the on the act too at Popolo, who are offering tonight a deal of two Casco Viejo Margarita’s for £10, as well as Ten Feet Tall in Cardiff who are the latest stockist of the traditional hand crafted tequila produced by the Camarena brothers, the third largest owners of agave plantations in Mexico.

If you’re in Leeds, pop into Neon Cactus for a Tommy’s variation, or indeed El Capo in Manchester for a unique twist on the Casco Viejo Margarita. Liverpool’s Santa Chupito’s is also the perfect venue to enjoy the perfect Casco Viejo Margarita!

A family business that has passed down through each generation, the respect for growing the best agave and distilling and maturing tequila of great pure flavour makes this ideal for classic cocktails.

Emporio-Brands-Margarita-and-both-bottlesTry our simple Margarita:

Glass: Rocks or Margarita

Ingredients:

60 ml Casco Viejo Reposado
30 ml Gabriel Boudier Triple Sec
30 ml Lemon Juice
Lime wedge for garnish

Method:

Coat the rim with salt. Pour the lime juice, triple sec, and Casco Viejo into a shaker. Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

The Tequila Casco Viejo range – Blanco and Reposado – is available from all leading retailers including DrinkShop.com, Gerry’s and Wine Rack.

For more information on Tequila Casco Viejo and Emporia Brands, please visit http://www.emporiabrands.com

Follow Tequila Casco Viejo on Twitter @CascoViejoTqula or Facebook at www. facebook.com/Tequila-Casco-Viejo-UK

The Destinology Guide To The Margarita

Certain drinks and dishes are inextricably linked with a country, region, town or city. A pizza in Napoli, a Mojito in Havana, even a Guinness in Dublin become big events for holidaying visitors. So, to bring the holiday flavour home, Destinology are dedicating a series of posts to the cocktails of the world. And, for those already pining for the summer sun, where better to start than Mexico?

Based on Tequila, Mexico’s national liquor, some argue that the Margarita actually originated in the USA. Here, Matthew Soares of Manchester Hilton’s Cloud 23 bar gives his take on the drink’s origins and suggests a fruity variation on the theme while, with our easy-to-follow recipe, you’ll soon rekindle those holiday memories!

New Margarita

AquaRiva Tasting Notes

AquaRiva

Everyone loves a celebrity endorsement and drink brands are no exception. Ciroc vodka have P Diddy, Atlantico rum have Enrique Inglesias and Cointreau have Dita Von Teese, but on the odd occasion, brands are created or have significant input into a liquid. Crystal Head is a collaboration involving Dan Aykroyd, Manchester band Elbow created their own ale and now Cleo Rocos has got in on the act with her AquaRiva tequila.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet Cleo when she ventured my way last month, and I experienced first hand her tequila range and why her collaboration with business parter Stewart Freeman of The Tequila Society is making waves in the tequila business.

But first, a little about how AquaRiva came about.

Wanting to make tequilas that were interesting and complex, and would work well in cocktails, Cleo sought out master blender Carlos Perez to help create a hand crafted, premium tequila. Spending 10 months to perfect the Blanco, Reposado and Premium Reposado, they decided on using hand selected 8 yr blue agaves as well as volcanic spring water from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico.

The label itself gives credit to a 17 yr art student named Jamie who Cleo met on the London Underground. After seeing his work, Cleo commissioned Jamie to create a distinctive label for her tequila, and so came an oil painting of Jamie and his girlfriend embracing on the wing of a plane.

Back to the tequila and the AquaRiva range. Cleo describes the Blanco and Reposado (which is aged for 3-6 months) as ‘bar’ tequilas i.e tequilas that are great for Cleo’s perfect Margarita recipe (see below). The Premium Reposado however is created by being aged for a minimum of 6 months and is there sipping tequila, although there is nothing against having the full range neat.

So how do the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on each –

Cleo Rocos and Stuart Freeman
Cleo Rocos and Stuart Freeman

AquaRiva Blanco – 38%

Soft on the nose with aromas of white chocolate and butter blending well. Nip of spice on the palate with peppery flavours creating a lingering after-taste.

AquaRiva Reposado – 38%

Very soft with a corn aroma on the nose with a slight scent of smoke following. Ripe fruit and soft caramel flavours on the palate with a slight hint of spice at the end. Short.

AquaRiva Premium Reposado – 40%

Notes of cream and butter on the nose producing a soft mix. Spice start on the palate with flavours of pepper, citrus and nuts developing a lingering finish. A rather dry ending.

A great range and one to really try all three on their own. But if this takes your fancy –

Cleo’s Perfect Margarita

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

35 ml AquaRiva Blanco or Reposado
25 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml AquaRiva Organic Agave syrup

Cleo's Perfect Margarita
Cleo’s Perfect Margarita

Method – 

Lots of ice, shake well and pour into a rocks glass. Rim the glass with an orange zest and salt if you like.

Another reason to give AquaRiva a try is the fact that it is now an award-winning brand, awarded a MASTERS Medal in a blind judging with The Spirits Business in February 2012.

They also produce a AquaRiva Organic Agave syrup which is gluten-free and a healthy alternative to sugar. Even this has won itself an award as it was voted best Blue Weber Agave Syrup / Nectar by The Spirits Business.

Don’t just take my word for it though, purchase yourself a bottle, have a sip and then create yourself a Margarita that Cleo herself has said you won’t get a hangover from. What more can I say!

You can purchase the range here and the organic agave syrup here.

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Liquorists #22 Redbank, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. 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.

The Liquorists Tequila Trail Review

Last week I took part in the latest installment of the hugely popular spirit trails hosted by the ever knowledgeable The Liquorists, with this night focusing on that sometimes forgotten category – tequila. A ‘veteran’ so to speak of these trails (I’m now on eight and counting – living up to my Drinks Enthusiast name!) With five bars to view and five tequila brands to explore, you could sense both an air of excitement and worry as the gathering learnt about the history of tequila from Tom Sneesby, whilst having the nagging thought of ‘will he be bringing out the salt and lemon’??

Starting off at The Liqourists HQ, #22Redbank , we were treated to one of the more well-known brands of the tequila world – Jose Cuervo. However instead of the standard gold and silver liquids you find in most pubs and clubs, we were to be on the good stuff, the Tradicional. Coming with a slight harshness on the nose, it softened nicely until it hit your palate. A short, sharp but fresh blast set you up nicely for the complimenting cocktail, the traditional and classic Margarita. Served up by Jody Monteith, the simple blend of triple sec, agave syrup and a double dose of Jose Cuervo Tradicional went down as quickly as the food – barbequed sweet corn, tacos and nacho pots with lashings of salsa, guacamole and cheese.

A short taxi ride to Apotheca, a bar that is no stranger to hosting a spirits trail, had Don Julio Reposado waiting for us. The first luxury tequila to hit the spirit market gave the gathering a sense of the difference that tequila can offer between Blanco, Reposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo. As you can imagine, the ‘rested’ tequila (meaning it has been aged for a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels) had a little more sweetness to it, with a spice which went well with our Mango and Rosemary Margarita complete with a rosemary salt rim.

Tabatio Anejo Blanco at Kosmonaut

El Jimador Blanco was to be the next offering in one of Manchester’s favourite bars – Socio Rehab. Comparing the El Jimador to our starter brand of Jose Cuervo, the El Jimador created a more peppery nose but a mouth-watering palate which balanced well against the Paloma cocktail created by Manchester’s finest and involving pink and white grapefruit. Hula shook the night up though with their blanco brand Casa Herradura Plata. Complete with a Tommys Margarita that uses agave nectar for a twist on the classic, the soft nose counteracted the spice start on the palate, but re-wrote the rules on longevity.

Last but not by any means least, the new addition to the Manchester bar scene was to be showcasing Tabatio Anejo as Kosmonaut came complete with a long cocktail of tequila sweetened with the ever favourite crème de cassis.

As mentioned before, I’m a veteran of these trails, but can easily say i still get rather giddy when these approach, especially when it involves brands that even I have never got round to trying. It’s also introduced me to Kosmonaut and taken me to old haunts which make you truly appreciate that these bars really know what they’re doing on a wider scale when on the topic of spirits. As for The Liquorists though – well, 5 cocktails, 5 venues, 5 spirits with food thrown in? You’ll be foolish not too. GET ON THEM

Check out the rest of the photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.

Hard Rock Cafe Bar Review

Yesterday I swung by Manchester’s Printworks where the ever impressive Hard Rock Cafe can be found. A popular place that in the past has always left a lasting impression on me whether its food or drinks, this time though, I went for a couple of cocktails before the commute home.

Rum Runner

Making my way to the large open bar, a rather busy, yet unfazed barman was creating drinks left right and centre, so I scanned the bar menu and looked for any delights that caught my eye. Almost immediately, the Rum Runner was selected. A combination of Bacardi Superior, banana, Chambord, grenadine, orange juice and sweet and sour mix, shaken and poured over ice with a Myers rum floated on top. Fantastic! Despite the bar being a little busy, I was served within minutes and I was enjoying the drink as I took in the rock memorabilia around me. Being a Manchester based venue, there were quotes from Oasis scrolled around the walls, The Beatles equipment, and even Roger Taylor’s (Queen) jacket from a tour. Signed posters, records, drum kits and guitars were all neatly presented so that it didn’t look like your were drinking in someones cluttered basement, but more an open museum. Anthems from Muse, Journey and even Louis Armstrong were played in the background, loud enough for you to hear, but quiet enough for you to actually enjoy a conversation without straining your voice.

The next drink I chose was the Exotic Margarita. A blend of Patron Silver tequila, Cointreau and Monin Pomegranate, shaken into a rather sizeable Margarita glass complete with salt rim. Noticing that Hard Rock stocked one of my favourite tequila’s, i looked over their back bar to see what else they offered. Bourbons Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Knob Creek mingle with Myers, Bacardi Gold and Superior whilst Grey Goose, Skyy, Absolut and Stolichnaya are available for your vodkas. I even spotted a bottle of Remy Martin XO on the shelf! On tap, only Stella Artois, Becks Vier and Boddingtons are seen, however their bottle collection more than makes up for it including Corona, Budweiser, Magners, Heineken and Leffe Blonde. A simple yet good selection of wine is also on offer, with all bottles less than £20, with the odd bottle of sparkling wine and Champagne thrown in their too.
Back to the cocktail menu, and theirs all your usual finds in Long Island Ice Tea, Cosmopolitan, Daiquiri and Mojito as well as a few variations of the Margarita.  Their ‘Alternative Rock’ section is for the drivers of the day, with a ‘Groupie Grind’ not surprisingly catching my eye! (mango puree, pina colada mix and pineapple juice with a strawberry swirl). The cocktails are between £5.15 and £6.80 which are bargains, especially with the size glassware you can get with some of the cocktails. A selection of the drinks can even be upgrade to have them made into a Hard Rock Cafe branded glass, which you can then take home with you – a collection that is growing steadily at mine!

Exotic Margarita

My time at Hard Rock Cafe flew by as I got caught up in the atmosphere and chatting with Nathan the bartender. A man of many stories, including the time he had to host one of Hard Rock Cafe’s ‘Shake It Up’ events with 12 women, who were determined to drink nothing but straight vodka! He’s also a man of class, naming the Old Fashioned as his favourite drink.

This is an excellent place in the heart of Manchester to come and unwind after work or a day of shopping, with kids allowed to be present too so families are welcome. The restaurant on the upper level never seemed empty, despite it being in the middle of the afternoon, and the comfortable looking bar booths and high tables were filled with business men, chatting women with glasses of wine, or families waiting around for a short while to experience the food menu – a menu that will be explored on my next visit!

 

UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE – UPDATE

Myself and my friend popped in to Hard Rock Cafe for a bite to eat after a long day in Manchester this week, after the promise to myself to explore their extensive menu after my visit above.

Jumbo Combo

Being seated straight away, we were nestled on the outskirts of a relatively full restaurant, with menus handed to us and orders of Margaritas taken. Myself I went for an Exotic Margarita (the same as above, with a combination of  Patron Silver tequila, Cointreau and Monin Pomegranate) whilst my friend enjoyed a rather fancy yet sophisticated looking Tropical Rock (Absolut Raspberri, crème de banana, piña colada mix, pineapple juice and Midori). With big appetites to fill, we opted for the Jumbo Combo to share, which once arrived, wished we’d brought backup! An array of Santa Fe spring rolls, Hickory-smoked chicken wings, onion rings, potato skins and tupelo chicken tenders, all served with ramekins of BBQ, sour, mushroom and blue cheese sauce. Laid out over an oval place, with a sundae bowl in the middle that held the spring rolls amidst lettuce, jalapenos and tomatoes with dollops of cream sauce to mix, the presentation alone was a sight to see. With an atmosphere comprising of a mix of rock and roll and indie tunes, together with families, couples and the odd group of friends, it gave the place a sort of relaxed feel, with no hint of a rush. There were a few customers dotted around in the bar too, with the familiar sound of a cocktail shaker being put to good use on many occasion.

Once we made our way through the platter, our mains arrived, with a good-sized 10oz burger cooked medium rare for myself (you have to applaud a restaurant that asks customers how they would like their burger cooked – a trend that unfortunately doesn’t seem to catch on at others), smothered in Hickory BBQ sauce and caramalised onions and topped with crisp seasoned bacon and melted cheddar cheese. My friend opted for Hard Rock’s Legendary 10oz burger that comprised of two slices of cheddar cheese, onion rings, lettuce, tomato and pickles. With fries on the side of both, and although piping hot throughout, I have to admit we were defeated fair and square. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs this time round! We were given time to ‘attempt’ to finish after a glass of water but it was not to be. And as you can imagine, we laughed with the waiter over his habit of asking if we would like to see the dessert menu.

With no obligation to leave, we finished our drinks and chatted before browsing their Hard Rock store for a memento of the night. A rather snazzy Hard Rock t-shirt bought by myself – well I do already have all the glassware that’s available!

Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger

We genuinely had a great experience at Hard Rock Cafe. The food was excellent with great portions, cooked to spec and piping hot, the Margaritas were spot on, and the service we received could not have been faulted. The prices are reasonable too, with the sharing combo £15.95 and both burgers at £13.50. Theres more to offer than sharing platters though, with nachos, chicken wings, potato skins and bruchetta to choose from, before you hit the mains that include BBQ ribs or chicken, club sandwiches and a range of salads and burgers. With kids menus available too, families are welcomed, even at the bar where there is a slimmed down menu to enjoy.

I might try that side out soon, but in the meantime, give Hard Rock Cafe a go, and give me a shout if you see me there!

To check out photos from all my Hard Rock Cafe visits so far, click here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.