You might remember I recently went on boat full of Gin on a night out, as you do- aka The Gincident. I must have made some kind of impression, either that or they were dazzled by my sea legs and/or sea shanties, as The Liquorists invited me along to sample their new Rum Trail. Rum, pirates, boats- there’s clearly a theme here isn’t there?
The Liquorists are basically specialists in booze, running trails (tours) of five bars with a theme of a particular spirit – hence the name Spirit Trails. This Rum trail is the mark three version and is bigger and better than all the others as instead of five bars and five cocktails, its six bars and six cocktails, along with tasty nibbles along the way at each venue and a slap up curry at the end. What’s not to like?
We met in Hula Bar in Stevenson Square- a tiki basement bar very close to my heart as I used to live literally next door. Me and my plus one (yes you Alison) were first to arrive- and we were greeted by the charming and larger than life Tom Sneesby, who is the epitome of a cheeky chappie- Robbie Williams eat your heart out. Tom has an encyclopaedic knowledge of spirits and didn’t let us down when it came to telling us all about the history of rum and how its made and loads of information about each rum throughout the evening.
The rum we sampled here was Plantation Rum and the cocktail made using Plantation was a Atlantic Boat Club Daiquiri, a very lemony and refreshing super fruity cocktail served with toasted pineapple and bananas.
Keko Moku was next on the list another Tiki bar, this used to be Rodeo and did killer Margaritas, same owners new name as far as I know. The Rum here was Eldorado, we had a sample of a 12 year old bottle and it was delicious, smoth and sweet. The cocktail they made here was almost luminous and far too easy to drink, called a Sanguine Swizzle.
Next up was Odd bar, and old favourite of many a Mancunian, they aren’t a cocktail bar, but do stock specialist drinks not just the ones you can buy in your local off licence. We had a treacly sweet sample of Matusalem and then had a Steel Bottom, basically a glass of ale and a shot of rum (a different age Matusalem) and you are supposed to alternate with sips from each. We also managed some food here- Mojito Chicken Skewers- yum!
Around the corner to somewhere I’d not been to called Tusk, decorated in a rustic seventies style. Here we had a 63% Wray & Nephew sample and a Hipster Daiquri- which was like the crazy child of a Margarita and Daiquri and had loads of lime in it- even lime infused salt decorated the glass.
Across the road Tom shepherded us to another new venue (what recession?) called the Blue Pig, very Parisian is the first thing you think when entering- it even seemed smoky, obviously it wasn’t, maybe just a trick of the light or more likely too much rum. Here we had a Apple Daiquiri made with Brugal rum which was mighty delicious. More food here too a cheese, fruit and meat platter.
The sixth venue is last but not least- its The Liquorists HQ its tucked away speakeasy style, special handshakes, special knocks – you know the drill. Like a luxurious air raid shelter is how I would describe it. Here we tried Pussers Rum and the cocktail was called Painkiller- it was bliss! We then all had big cartons of Thai Green curry which was just what the doctor ordered.
I had a brilliant night and as you can imagine the group were all best friends by the end of the evening and the fact that this costs £35 is an absolute bargain!
I’d recommend you follow the Liquorists on Twitter @TheLiquorists to keep up to date with their trails.
If you want a a more in depth look at our evening from a booze aficionado point of view go to Drinks Enthusiasts blog
The other guy and gals also on the trail were – Manchester Bars, Pride Of Manchester, Mancunian Matters, Melanie Hughes and North West Nosh who was hungover from the previous evenings blogging engagements- brave lady! I know they’ll all be typing away with their review so go and have a read.