Jigger Beaker Glass & man with Flask - Manchester

  • Jigger Beaker Glass & man with Flask - Manchester image 1
  • Jigger Beaker Glass & man with Flask - Manchester image 2
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Photography by: Simon Difford (header image: Gimlets at The Bay Horse Tavern)

Manchester bars are fun – the city has a vibrancy and attitude which is reflected in its bar scene. Manchester is also dangerous – it’s the home of Lyndon Higginson, bar impresario and super host.

At the first of the following seven bars, Tariff & Dale, I was introduced to "Difford's Roulette". Ask Siri to choose a random number between 68 and 490 - the cocktail pages within Difford's Guide to Cocktails #10 [I must send then a new Cocktails #12 edition]. Siri selected page 135 for me and on that page, there are 7 cocktails, so I was instructed to ask Siri to select a number between 1 and 7. Siri chose 5, which corresponded to a Brandy Alexander. Accordingly, a Brandy Alexander was duly mixed according to the recipe in the book. What more appropriate way than to start a cocktail tour of Manchester than with a drinking game.

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Tariff & Dale

2 Tariff Street (corner Dale St), Manchester, M1 2FN

Named after the roads which dissect the corner on which this neighbourhood bar sits, Tariff & Dale is a long two-tone bar with booth seating down its length. The drinks menu cleverly features classic cocktails and riffs on classics grouped in threes with each trio headed by that cocktail's original incarnation, followed by a mainstream riff and then the bar's own take on that classic. E.g. a Whiskey Sour is followed by an Amaretto Sour and Ginger Infused Pisco Sour. The Carrot Top appears as one of the Bloody Mary trio on the menu.
Full review of Tariff & Dale with hours etc.

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Carrot Top
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Dehydrated olive, rosemary sprig, fresh chilli and sea salt
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and double strain into ice-filled glass.
40 ml Star of Bombay Gin
½ fresh Red chilli
25 ml House blend spice mix (Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, lime juice and crushed black pepper)
1 fresh Lime wedge
1 fresh Lemon wedge
200ml Organic carrot juice
We say: A brilliantly executed lightly spiced Red Snapper. The organic carrot juice has a slight sweetness to it, making this cocktail perfectly balanced with just the right degree of spice.
Bartender: Cocktail created and made for us by Mike Ramsden. "Because I'm ginger!"



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Chiaro Martini
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Olive & rosemary sprig
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
50 ml Star of Bombay Gin
20 ml Olive infused vermouth (Infuse vermouth with olives for 24 hours and strain out. Then for every 100ml vermouth add 7ml white wine vinegar and 4ml 10:1 salt solution)
We say: Chiaro is apparently Italian for clear and this cocktail is basically a clear Dirty Martini. However, there's nothing basic about it, Chairo is complex and perfectly balanced.
Bartender: Cocktail created by Peter Lambet and made for us by Mike Ramsden.



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Camomile Paloma
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Himalayan sea salt rim & dehydrated pink grapefruit slice
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
40 ml Patron Reposado tequila
25 ml Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
20 ml Lemon juice
5ml Green Chartreuse
2 dash Grapefruit bitters
5 drops Bittermens Boston Bittahs
15 ml Camomile tea syrup (2:1 with 4 Camomile tea bags per 100ml water. Gently simmer until sugar dissolved and then leave teabags to infuse for 4 hours before removing and bottling)
We say: A beautifully balanced Paloma with very subtle nuances and distinctive camomile finish.
Bartender: Cocktail created and made for us by Conor Knowles.

Cane & Grain

49 -51 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1NA
Spread across three floors, Cane & Grain comprises three very different bars under the one roof: The Rib Joint & Tap Room (a "rum-and-ribs good times locals bar") on the ground floor, Science & Industry (a cocktail lounge) on the first floor, and The Liars Lounge (a DJ Tiki bar) on the 2nd floor. The three cocktails featured below are all available from the progressive second floor menu.
Full review of Cane & Grain with hours etc.

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61 Manhattan
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Lemon zest twist
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
20 ml Woodford Reserve Rye
20 ml Woodford Reserve Bourbon
20 ml Martini Rosso
10 ml Benedictine
7.5ml Burnt sugar mix (20ml overproof rum, 2 spoons brown sugar, Angostura Bitters, Orange bitters, Jerry Thomas Bitters and House made Smoked Apricot & Rosemary Bitters. Combine all in metal container and flame until all the alcohol has been burnt off)
Bartender: Cocktail created by Massimo Zitti.



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Lord Of The Seas
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Sea air (salt saline & soy lecithin powder)
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into ice-filled glass.
30 ml Mastiha liqueur
30 ml Freya Birch Spirit
15 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 ml Paradise syrup (made with Grains of Paradise)
Bartender: Cocktail created by Massimo Zitti.



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Negroni Ristretto
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Orange zest twist
Method: Throw all ingredients with ice and strain into mocha coffee maker charged with dry ice. Pour into ice-filled glass.
30 ml Star of Bombay Gin
10 ml Martini Rosso Vermouth
10 ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
25 ml Campari
15 ml Mr Black coffee liqueur
We say: Espresso Martini meets Negroni in this dramatically served cocktail
Bartender: Cocktail created by Massimo Zitti.

The Bay Horse Tavern

35-37 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1NA
Yet another Manchester bar that has benefitted from the Lyndon Higginson touch, this glorious gastro pub has literally been reincarnated from its ashes. Lyndon aptly describes it as 'The Rovers Return meets Soho House'.
Full review of The Bay Horse Tavern with hours etc.

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The Red Snapper
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Celery stick, lemon wheel, pickled onion & dill pickle
Method: Throw all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
50 ml Star of Bombay Gin
120 ml Tomato juice
10 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 spoon Sriracha (Green Top)
1 pinch Maldon Smoked Sea Salt
1 pinch Ground Green Peppercorn
4 dash Worcestershire sauce
6 dash Maggi Liquid Seasoning
We say: Every pub should be judged on its Bloody Mary serve. This one is brilliant.
Bartender: Cocktail made for us by Adam Wilson.



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The Irish Coffee
Glass: Toddy
Garnish: Float 3 coffee beans
Method: Build/layer in glass.
50 ml Slane Irish Whiskey
2 cubes White sugar
200 ml Filter coffee
50 ml Whipping Cream (float)
We say: Perfectly layered with a silky smooth creamy head and a well-judged whiskey bite.
Bartender: Cocktail made for us by Adam Wilson.

Roc & Rye

60 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 2BQ

Set in a landmark Grade II listed building, Roc & Rye is quite a statement of an all-day bar with plush bordello-like interior design features -most notably the green leather chesterfield-style padded bar counter. The folk at Roc & Rye are as proud of their barista-made coffee as they are their cocktails, many of which are crafted with ingredients made in the bars own rotavap equipped lab. More info RocAndRye.co.uk

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BBF (Brown Buttered Figs)
Glass: Nick & Nora
Garnish: Lemon zest twist (discarded)
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
40 ml Brown butter fat-washed Woodford Rye
20 ml Fig liqueur (housemade)
5 ml Cocchi Americano Rosa
5 ml Orange Curacao
2 dash Orange bitters
We say: Buttery fig - exactly as it says on the tin.
Bartender: Cocktail created by David Cole and made for us by Manjari. David says, "It is based upon my experience of the Christmas markets, and my memories of them for the first time when I was at university. The smells, the sounds, the food, the drinks... The time of year when everything seems to be a form of indulgence, and the warmth rendered by a hot (or boozy) drink makes everything seem magical."

Epernay

Unit 1A Great Northern Tower, Watson Street (Petersfield District), M3 4EE
Épernay in Northeast France is one of the two towns of Champagne, so it is perhaps not surprising to find that this eponymously named bar specialises in champagne and sparkling wines. However, those expecting a crusty old wine bar are in for a shock as Epernay is both contemporary and one of the best cocktail bars in Manchester.
Full review of Épernay with hours etc.

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Stars In Your Äy
Glass: Nick & Nora
Garnish: None
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
30 ml Star of Bombay Gin
30 ml Martini Ambratto dty vermouth
15 ml Champagne cordial (reduce leftover champagne to half its original volume and then add sugar to make 1:1 syrup)
2 dash Grapefruit Bitters
We say: Rich and yet dry and lightly spirituous. Delicious.
Bartender: Cocktail created by Tatjana Titimova and Anthony Hogan, and made for us by Tatjana Titimova.



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Porto To Picardie
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: None
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
25 ml Grey Goose Vodka
25 ml Port
25 ml Strawberry syrup (1 litre of blitzed strawberries boiled with 300g water and 3g Agar Agar powder. Then freeze for 3 hours and filter)
10 ml Citric acid solution (700ml to 10 g citric)
1 dash Absinthe
We say: Best described as having a flavour reminiscent of spirituous raspberry ripple ice-cream. And who doesn't like raspberry ripple ice-cream?
Bartender: Cocktail created by Tatjana Titimova and Anthony Hogan, and made for us by Tatjana Titimova.

Liar's Club

19A Back Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 2PB

To quote Liar's Club's own website, this is "A tropical hideaway packed with rum, fun, cocktails and Tiki craziness."
Full review of Liar's Club with hours etc.

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The Bronson
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Lemon wedge & mint sprigs
Method:
12.5ml Bacardi Oro Rum
25ml Plantation OFTD
12.5ml Velvet Falernum
4 dash Pimento dram
12.5ml Orange and ginger syrup
25ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dash Angostura aromatic bitters
2 dash Orange bitters
We say: This drink packs a punch, not for the faint hearted.
Bartender: Created and served by Rory Bourke, General Manager

Peggy's Bar

6-8 Barlow's Croft (off Chapel St - opp the corner with Rover's Return pub), Salford, M3 5DY

Back in 2009, Ian Morgan fulfilled his dream to open a bar when he converted a former textile warehouse into a bar he called Corridor. Then in the summer of 2017, Adam Day and Shane Kilgarriff took over this unlikely site and turned it into a hidden treat called Peggy's Bar. Named after a former local landlady who was famous for her parties, this dimly-lit cocktail bar is one of the best in Manchester.
Full review of Peggy's Bar

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