Red drinks, cloudy drinks, and drinks that'll cure the Sunday scaries
We've been sippin', slurpin', and getting sloshed in all of the cafes, bars, and bottle shops across Greater Machester, again. As a result, we're about to bombard you with another load of drinks recommendations. You're welcome.
This month we've drunk cool coloured cola, fluorescent carrot juice, and Mother's Day cocktails at The Midland, all whilst lapping up the springtime sun and making our way back into beer gardens. We might have been a bit pre-emptive with our summer sippers though, as we're currently clutching cups of tea with the windows firmly closed.
Read on for a selection of the best things to drink in Manchester in April 2022.
Vault City Cloudy Lemonade, Batch Bottlestore (£5.60)
Sour is one of my favourite flavours: rhubarb, sauerkraut and Tangfastics are all permanently in my good books. So if I’m in a bar and there’s a sour beer on, I’m all over it. I appreciate the lip-puckering, eyeball scrunching, tooth enamel dissolving assault of a sour beer isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a sourpuss like me, I can highly recommend this cloudy lemonade session sour (4.2%) from Scottish brewery Vault City available at the brilliant Batch Bottle store at the King’s Court in Altrincham.
Batch is like a sweet shop for beer drinkers with rows and rows of colourful cans as well as a decent selection of wines and reportedly (though I haven’t tried it yet) a banging Sunday roast. On a sunny day, this acid drop of a beer will get you all twinkly-eyed in no time. Kelly Bishop @keliseating
Thai iced tea, Thaikhun (£4)
A couple of weeks ago the Confidentials team moseyed down to Thaikhun for a taste of its new cookery classes. We wore chef hats, aprons and did the whole kit and caboodle - including a slow-motion Masterchef walk down Hardman Street in Spinningfields for full social media impact.
The result was a delicious beef and garlic dish that saw us through lunch all the way to dinner. Refreshments ranged from coffees to bottles of Singha beer. But this wasn’t my first Thaikhun rodeo and I knew that iced tea was on the cards. Keep your bubble tea, Thai iced tea is a strong, sweet refreshing sip with black tea. Often gently spiced with star anise, tamarind and cardamom, topped up with sweetened condensed milk. A perfect post-cooking class pick-me-up. Sophie Rahnema @sophieshahla
Sour Cherry Negroni, Hawksmoor (£11)
A flashback drink here - but not back to the Mateus 70s or Cosmo-sipping 90s. This drink is more precisely dated than that - all the way back to two summers ago. Fashion finds a way and even when we were all stuck in lockdown trends abounded. Alcohol-wise, Hawksmoor’s sour cherry negroni was the It drink, seen on Insta grids everywhere. It’s actually quite a bitter drink, the off-centre sourness of a negroni enhanced by the cherry, but maybe that suited the era. This time around, I was happy to be enjoying it in the handsome dark wood interior of Manchester’s Hawksmoor with my favourite lunch date, appreciating the fact that I can. Lucy Tomlinson @hotcupoftea
Baladin Cola, The Pasta Factory (£1.90)
If there’s one thing that has cleansed my soul this month, it’s the power of the Sunday mooch. Grab a friend, set a course to nowhere and take in the city. Don’t just go to the Northern Quarter, dedicate some steps to NOMA and pound the pavements of Shudehill. I did just that recently, dropping into The Pasta Factory for some fresh Bucatini. When in Rome. All paid up, I was just about to leave when I spotted a waiter loading up a tray with vivid red bottles so I ordered two of the mystical drinks to go.
Baladin Cola is great. It’s the world’s first Fairtrade all-natural cola and it gets its vivid colour from the use of Kola nuts. If you sip on it steadily, it’ll last you from The Pasta Factory to Cutting Room Square and the aesthetically-pleasing bottle can be saved and used as a small vase, if upcycling is your thing. It’s less sweet and fizzy than a Coke and it doesn’t have that cloying aftertaste that makes your mouth taste weird after. Treat yourself to a walk and keep an eye out for it. Davey Brett @dbretteats
Freshly squeezed orange and carrot juice, Laco Cafe (£3.25)
No, this isn’t a glass of Sunny D, I wish it was, but it isn’t. Instead, it's a tall glass of orange and carrot juice that was freshly squeezed on-site at Laco Cafe in Stockport's Underbanks.
I don't normally go all soft when it comes to my drink of the month, usually they involve tequila or Ketel One vodka, but with a full English brekkie, I think it was just a tad too early in the day for a slammer. Back to the juice. I'm not a pulp lover, but this had the perfect kind of smooth yet thick texture that makes you feel like you're consuming all of your 5 a day in one glass. The carrot added that little note of sweetness to an otherwise citrusy situation, and anything that glows like a neon orange highlighter is always a go for me. If I could ask for every class of OJ to come with a hint of carrot, I would, and now I want to splash out on a NutriBullet to re-create it daily. It might have been my slight hangover that made this juice taste like the tears of Jesus, but I’m pretty sure a more sprightly morning-time Ellie-Jo would’ve loved it all the same. Ellie-Jo Johnstone @elliejoj.
Industrial Revolution, The Midland (£14)
You’ve got to spoil your mum rotten on Mother’s Day, haven’t you? A get together at the lounge bar in the Midland Hotel seemed suitably fancy pants for mine. I don’t think some people realise you can just bob into most hotels for a drink in the bar, whether you’re staying there or not. They’re a great option if you want to avoid the decibels and drama of the main drag and I’m choosing to visit them more and more: see also Leven and The Alan as good shouts in this category. Continuing my sour theme for this month - and worth ordering for its name alone, the Industrial Revolution was a hit for me with its slightly bitter, very lemony hit and a good glug of Earl Grey Forest Gin. Bergamot and lemon go together like Rolls and Royce and Earl Grey is incidentally my mum's favourite tea. But hands off, Mum, this one's mine. A gorgeous vintage coupe glass adds even more glamour to the occasion. Kelly Bishop @keliseating
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