Okay, so the other week Lily Kitten and I popped on our dancing shoes and got a little.... squiffy. In a good way of course. We decided to take to Manchester for a Saturday night of F.U.N which involved a lot of cocktails. After working so hard all week in the office, it's got to be done, right? When it comes to nights out in Manchester I am usually a creature of habit and stick to my regular haunts (which does include Satan's Hollow. What can I say? I just love to dance to music of my youth!). For this adventure we went a little bit upmarket instead and went on a cocktail crawl. Which turned out to be the best idea, ever. So, where did we end up?
The Alchemist, Spinningfields.
We began our night with some food and fancy-ness at The Alchemist in Spinningfields. I see so many people instagramming these amazingly magical drinks, so I knew we had to call by. Alongside the drinks we did have some food (but that will be featured in another post). Each cocktail is a unique blend of premium spirits which celebrates 'molecular mixology' - and each one also makes you feel a bit like you're in an adult version of Willy Wonka (get your mind out of the gutter, you know what I mean).
We were actually invited along to try out their new cocktail menu, which was a blessing in more ways than one. Not only did we get to try the delicious summer cocktail menu, but we almost felt a sense of relief that we didn't have to choose from the extensive menu ourselves. Seriously, so. much. choice.
The first round was presented in such an array of vessels that it almost felt like a science lesson than a drinking session. Now, I could not possibly give you a run down name for name of each of the cocktails, as it was so exciting at the time we got carried away drinking them before we learnt the ins and outs of it all. But you can check out the whole Alchemist menu online here. The highlight of this selection was the tiny syringe filled with red liquid, which you shoot straight in to your mouth and it numbs it... You then drink the main glass of cocktail as the 'antidote' to make your mouth feel normal again. Weird, but totally amazing.
The main event at The Alchemist didn't come until last though, and that was in the form of the epic Bison's Brew Cocktail, which came in a massive, glass vessel. Billowing with smoke as soon as the waitress popped some magic rocks in to it, it was definitely not a subtle drink. In fact the entire restaurant turned around and some cracked their phone out for pictures! So if you fancy being the life and soul of the venue this is the order for you.
The cocktail itself was absolutely insane with flavour. It was kind of like apple pie, with an earthy tea flavour. Which makes sense, as the base for the cocktail is Breakfast tea (hence the teacups) and apple, with the alcohol of choice being Vodka. The best bit of this cocktail? It is served warm. Yup, a warm cocktail. Which you'd probably think is the last thing you'd want on a summer's day? But it was just so delicious I'd drink it any weather.
Be At One, Manchester
Next up we popped along to the new cocktail bar on the block - Be At One. This is somewhere I'd not really heard of before and it was slightly odd on arrival. The inside of the bar lacked atmosphere really, but was trying its best with neon lights and decor. Playing music you'd usually hear in Reflex, it was a bit of a mix, but hey, the cocktail menu itself made up for any of these initial observations.
The cocktail menu itself was extensive. In fact, I think it was the biggest cocktail menu my delicate eyes had ever seen at a bar. With a range to suit any tastes, the bar staff were essential to narrowing down our choices and helping us to have a cocktail which we'd actually like.
I chose two completely contrasting drinks, because you know - variety is the spice of life and all that. My first choice was the Almond Mocha which actually tasted like a really nice protein shake. I was told about this before ordering, but I am one of those people who actually likes the taste of protein shakes so thought I could at least pretend I was being healthy with this one. Second up I went for The Painkiller that was served in a massive jug glass with a bit chunk of dried pineapple in. Being a rum based cocktail with coconut and pineapple blended in, there was no doubt this would be a favourite.
Limitless at The Milton Club
To polish off the entire evening nicely, we then finished off at The Milton Club. Once again, we were invited to this one, but to be honest this deal is worth investing in as a 'pre-drink' situation before any big night out! The idea is simple. You pay £20 and between the hours of 8pm and 10pm you can enjoy free flowing drinks and fancy canapes until your heart is content!
At first I assumed the drinks would be standard prosecco or beers, but I was so wrong. With a range of wines, beers and spirits to choose from, you could also select from cocktails too. My drink of choice by this point was Disarrono Sour, but you could also go for Bramble, Cointreau Fizz or even a tea or coffee if you were finding yourself flagging. When you consider that a cocktail in any bar would set you back at least £6, then spending £20 for 2 hours worth of cocktails is more than worth the price! I think we ended up having around 4 during the time there, but that was more because we were slowing down at this point after the rather alcohol fueled evening we'd had so far.
The canapes were delicious too, and were refreshed throughout the night. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of these as I was getting a little precious over my camera at this point. Through experience I have found that camera + alcohol = a bad idea. But it survived this time.
Some may thing that a cocktail crawl in Manchester may be a little ambitious, but if you plan your route in advance and pace yourself (drinking plenty of water in between) you're bound to have a good time. I know we did. *hiccup*
Where's your favourite cocktail place in the area?