A couple of weeks I was lucky enough to be invited to sample cocktail on a cocktail crawl around the Corn Exchange in Manchester. Having been here many times I thought that I knew everything it had to offer, I was wrong!
Armed with a score card in one hand an a pen in the other, we started our journey at Vapiano for a traditional Italian Aperol Spritz. A perfect drink for summer, with lots of ice and vibrant colour it’s certainly one I’d enjoy again on a nice warm day. I’m a regular I have to say at Vapiano and absolutely love their food. It was a shame that we weren’t staying for more. But the tour had to go on.
Next up we hopped over to Cosy Club, somewhere I’d actually never been to before but heard so much, stepping inside, I wondered why! The openness of the bar and restaurant into the corn exchange was really lovely and the kooky decor was fantastic.
I have to say I did not enjoy the drink we sampled in here, but that’s only because of my distinct hate of bourbon and whiskey. If you like an old fashioned and are into drinks like this, I feel the Spiced Pineapple Old Fashioned with dehydrated pineapple slices would be something you could certainly get on board with. Whilst we were here, a few nibbles were brought out and the small taster made me definitely want to come back. the popcorn bacon balls were a delight along with the soft boiled scotch egg coated in black peas.
With only 30 mins in each bar we soon were on our way again and progressed to the tour to Alstron Bar and Beef. How I never knew this existed I have no idea why. A gin and beef bar? where has it been hiding! I LOVED this place, the vibe, the decor, the atmosphere was everything I would look for in a night out. I loved it so much I managed to knock back two of the chosen cocktails at this place, a Cathedral Bees Knees cocktail, which is made using locally foraged ingredients with honey from the hive over the road. I loved the fact that the gins were homemade and the staff were really knowledgeable. Locality is key with the bar often making drinks with ingredients found hyper local.
Next up we went over to Cabana which I had been to before and enjoyed the food. The cocktail today however, not so much! We were treated to a very strong Caipirinha – the national cocktail of Brazil. It wasn’t for me!
At Pho we had a Piña Pholada their signature version of a Colada and it was delicious. So fruity it almost didn’t taste of alcohol. We tried a few nibbles which I was very thankful for having tried so many cocktails. I’ll certainly be back again to try the food in more detail.
At Wahacca we sampled a traditional margharita. Despite not been a tequila fan, I quite enjoyed this, there was a delicious sharpness to the flavour ing. We also sampled some delicious nachos, and despite dropping them all down my top they were delicious! Since the event, I went back to wahacca to try their tacos and can vouch for them been absolutely lovely, I’d recommend the chicken and avocado ones!
Our last stop of the evening was at Banyan, where I had my very favourite cocktail a Pistachio Espresso Martini. Been my favourite anyway, I was quite biased and gave it a full score, however, that score may well have been aided by the disarano brownie which accompanied it.
As you can see my scoring was heavily biased towards my favourite drinks, however, if Gin is your thing I’d definately recommend Alstron and if different takes on cocktails are your bag, Banyan is the bar for you. But as we saw, with everywhere so close, you can go on a cocktail crawl of all of the them in one evening! The Corn Exchange makes the perfect venue for friends with fussy tastes with a bit of everything avaliable.
I’d like to thank the Corn Exchange for inviting me and to all the resturants for hosting us all, we had a great time, with only a slightly sore head in the morning 😉