Science and Industry has an aesthetic which conjures up a secret hideaway and there is something very beguiling about the wood panelled room, with candlelit tables and a classic bar area flanked by high stools.
We were welcomed by Nick Fox, the founder of Manchester Loves Cocktails, who has hosted the hugely popular Leeds Loves Cocktails festival over in Leeds since 2013. This is his first year of transporting the concept to Manchester and between 8th-14th August there will be a host of events at more than 40 venues across Manchester, including masterclasses, competitions, tastings and parties. Nick started bartending aged 17 and his passion for cocktails really shone through as he talked about his vision and inspiration to begin the festival.
We were treated to a welcome cocktail which was a spin on a classic Aviation, called the Midsummer Murder which was a blend of basil, Death’s Door Gin, Crème de violet, lime, rhubarb syrup, classic syrup and a little salt. This flavour combination worked so well and this was an ideal summer cocktail for parties or barbecues.
I asked what the most difficult cocktails are to make, which proved to be an interesting question since we were then treated to a Ramos Gin Fizz, a delicious cocktail which requires considerable effort and skill to make due to the inclusion of egg whites in the recipe.
A gin based summery cocktail always sounds appealing to me, so I really enjoyed the Apple Collins made with Fifty Pounds Gin, a tall and cooling drink which is fairly simple to make.
I also had the pleasure of getting behind the bar to make a cocktail under Nick’s expert guidance!
The Pineapple Margherita we sampled next was a real treat, with a lovely hit of herbs from the thyme syrup and a tropical taste from the pineapple. Sherry and Tequila added a heady strength to this drink which is served long garnished with a little black pepper and basil.
The last drink of the evening was the perfect conclusion to the masterclass, which would make the ideal after dinner cocktail. The Negroni Ristretto combines coffee liqueur with vermouth and contains a delicious saffron perfume which is made from scratch. The drink is served in a cafetiere and it is a refined cocktail which is perfect for sipping after dark.
It was a privilege to learn all about cocktails and to hear about Manchester Loves Cocktails from Nick during the course of the evening. Any cocktail fans who will be in Manchester between 8th-14th August should definitely check out the events! Wristbands cost £10 and entitle you to entry to the events as well as £4.50 cocktails and there is so much going on.
Cane and Grain
49 -51 Thomas Street,
What do you all think, do you like the idea of a cocktail festival and which of these drinks appeals to you? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,