This year Cocktails in the City hit it’s fifth birthday.
Five years of booze laden cocktails, creative bartenders, generous brands and intriguing venues. From Manchester Town Hall, to the Great Northern Warehouse and then this year to Old Granada Studios.
The biggest cocktail event in the city, it’s an opportunity for Manchester bars to show what they can do. Creativity, artistry, even a little flair. I’ve been lucky enough to go to every single one, and thanks to Sauvelle Vodka, I wasn’t going to miss out this year either.
As with any event of this size, it’s hard to know where to start. In previous years the event has been over two nights. This time around, everyone was in for one wild night. And with 19 of Manchester’s best involved, plus Duppy Share rum punch on arrival and extra tasting events everywhere, there was no way we could try everything.
Sauvelle Vodka had paired with Cottonopolis for a suitable oriental themed cocktail. Soba in Saigon – a balanced blend of flavours including cacao, cherry and tea, along with the vanilla notes of the gin, and garnished with fortune cookies (some of which contained boozy prizes).
Suitably warmed up by this little number, we headed out into the crowds to see what else we could wrap our tastebuds around.
Sister bars The Washhouse and Laundrette were next to each other in a sea of colour. Walking the Yellow Brick Road to The Washhouse led us to a genever pairing of Courage and Brains. Courage was a twist on a Grasshopper with a creamy white chocolate foam and boozy kick from the Before Gin Genever.
Meanwhile Brains was a heavy, rich Gimlet, lots of sharp lime with a malty finish.
As the drinks flowed and the temperature rose, my date found a spot to perch, while I went in search of more drinks. Roc & Rye has yet to open, but if their Vieux Carre with their own crafted vermouth is anything to go by, this venue is going to be a real addition to Manchester. Two heavy hitting drinks in one wax sealed bottle. Oh and if they do end up selling that vermouth… waves hand in the air excitedly.
It was at this point that another wave of ticketholders arrived. And, whilst things had been busy, they got intensely so. It’s probably my only grumble about this year – crowds I’m used to, but when it affects the bars, when they can’t get enough ice, or enough glasses that it slows them right down to a half hour queue, it gets frustrating for everyone.
So the queue at Arcane‘s bar was five deep and very slow moving. A chat with a line mate and a leisurely sip of Courvoisier VSOP later and I had my hands full.
The Illicit Parisienne was a fantastic blend of vanilla notes, smoky mezcal and rich fruit. Despite the queuing, it was no wonder this won the Cocktails in the City crown for Manchester 2017 (closely followed by Roc & Rye. I mean seriously, that place is going to be stonking).
Our final drink of the evening was from Manchester House. Pairing with Auchentoshan, they had created The Golden Eagle – whisky, bitters, and Antica Formula simple and a good finisher for the evening.
That a bottle of Roc & Rye’s Vierre Carre came home in my handbag cannot be confirmed or denied, but it’s all mine if it did, so ner.
Whilst Manchester’s turn is over, you can still catch Cocktails in the City in Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Bristol and Edinburgh. But if you can’t wait that long, how about a little cocktail at home? Maybe a little Sauvelle Vodka, served with tonic and garnished with vanilla?
To celebrate five years of Cocktails in the City, and because they are pretty damn generous, I have a bottle of Sauvelle to give away. Terms and Conditions are below, but all you have to do is follow the instructions – starting with a comment and telling me, how would you drink yours if you won?
Terms and Conditions
- This giveaway is open to residents of the United Kingdom only.
- You must be aged over 18 to enter.
- The competition is open from 19 May 2017 and will close on 31 May 2017, after which the draw will take place and the winners notified (within 24 hours).
- There are no cash alternatives, or alternative prizes on offer. The decision is final and will be drawn via the Rafflecopter widget.
- I will contact the winner by both email and via Twitter as long as both are detailed in the entry comment.
- The bottle can then be collected, or will be mailed to the winner, once a response from the winner has been received.
- Should there be no response from the winner within 28 days, the draw will be remade and an alternative winner selected.
- You will be disqualified for not fulfilling the Rafflecopter instructions, all entries will be checked.