It's a fruity selection of cocktails, wines and softs we have for you this month
A long bank holiday calls for some serious liquids. Whether you're just staying hydrated in the sun with plenty of H2O or squaring up to your liver with a scary schedule of hard liquor, the drinks will be flowing this weekend.
But bevvies are not just for the bank holiday, help your June along a little by following in our food and drink team's fruity footsteps. We've got cocktails, natty wine and a mango lassi among our besties this month.
Here are the best things to drink in Manchester this June.
Sandalwood Old Fashioned, Blinker (£11)
Schofield’s is so good, you’d struggle to prise me away from there if you wanted a cocktail date with me. However, life without variety is like mashed potato without too much butter, safe but boring. So I allowed my old mucker Neil Sowerby to drag me to the trendy new spot in town, Blinker, just up the road from Six By Nico. It comes from the Scho bros mate and tons-of-fancy-London-bars alumni Dan Berger. We visited in between a few other arduous food and drink bod duties like MFDF meetings and craft beer festival launches. Yes, we are very much to be pitied.
I must go back when I’m not sandwiching the visit in between other essential booze duties, to sample more of the menu but I can’t complain about the Sandalwood Old Fashioned I knocked back. Blinker has a whole section of the menu dedicated to Old Fashioneds as well as one for Martinis alongside its main rotating cocktail list. The addition of Sandalwood brings a reddish hue and a subtle elevation in flavour from your standard OF. It is also one of the most expensive woods in the world which may give you an idea of how Blinker is setting its stall out - see also the B embossed ice cubes and the only crisps on the snack section being truffle flavoured. Sandalwood makes me think of Hindu temples, dark, seductive perfume and Afflecks palace back in the mid-90s - all of which get my hearty nod of approval. I’ll take off the Blinkers and tear myself away from Schoeys more often then. Kelly Bishop @keliseating
Kimera Ancestral Garnatxa Blanca, Sip Wine Bar (£39)
I will admit that I bought this bottle of sparkling natural wine (emphasis on the natural) to try and impress someone, not knowing anything about it. When it came out and turned out to be very good, it was a welcome relief. The origin story made me love it even more. It’s Spanish (like me in another life), all-natural (this life) and thanks to inexperienced disgorging management, labels that didn’t stick and a bad bottling experience, it was a bit of a shitshow in production (a past life).
But winemakers Luis Moya Tortosa and his best bud Gonzalo Celayeta persisted and there I was on a rainy night in Didsbury drinking the final product. Light, refreshing and dry with a satisfying silky richness, it was criminally easy to drink with a welcome bit of apple and vanilla on the nose. The equivalent rosé apparently tastes like Cherry Bakewells in a bottle. Also a bit of me, that. Davey Brett @dbretteats
You Had Me At Yellow, Yours, (£11)
Other than feeling a little bit out of place when I missed the heels memo at Yours on Deansgate, I ate and drank and drank and ate until I couldn't fit one more blue corn taco into my gob. The sushi was great, I had more than my fair share of lobster wontons, and washing everything down with a mix of vanilla vodka and fresh pineapple juice is something I'll never turn my nose up at.
You Had Me At Yellow is on Yours' Sunny Delights menu, alongside an Asian pear martini and a peach tea mojito. A mix of Cariel vanilla vodka, Licor 43, passion fruit, pineapple, and vanilla, it transports you right to a white sandy beach with a hibiscus flower in your hair. Think Rihanna's video for If It's Lovin' that You Want. Served with a whole palm leaf that's just out of shot and a dried chunk of real pineapple on top, it's the Carmen Miranda of Deansgate cocktail offerings with a foamy top and loads of ice. If you love a thick, fruity, refreshing affair, this one's your new summertime sipper. Ellie-Jo Johnstone @elliejoj
Strawberry tea with cheese foam, Ohayo (£5.20)
Sometimes you just want to try something you’ve never had before, you know? Sometimes that thing is cherry flavoured Jaffa cakes and other times its squirty cheese foam on top of a chilled strawberry drink. Bubble tea menus can be a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. I am one of those people, usually asking the staff to fashion something for me that they might enjoy themselves. I was feeling confident this time though, and in lieu of actual lunch, went ahead and ordered what I thought might taste like an iced strawberry cheesecake.
One can confirm that the strawberry fruit tea with cheese foam from Ohayo does in fact taste like an iced strawberry cheesecake. According to its website, the tea here is made with fresh fruit, and the cheese foam is described as artisan. Though perhaps this is one place in town The Crafty Cheese Man doesn’t supply. It’s toothachingly sweet, but who wouldn’t be seduced by that cute image of a smiling shiba inu on the cup? As the sign in shop says, “Drink it! Don’t ask why!” Sophie Rahnema @sophieshahla
Mango lassi, Bundobust Brewery (£3.50)
Occasionally, you have to try and shoehorn something non-alcoholic into your schedule just for a change. So after a morning of tasting Georgian wines among the North's worldliest wine worriers, we popped to Bundo for a restorative lunch. While other hardier souls stayed true to brewery conventions with pints of coriander pilsner, I slurped a cute Alphonso mango lassi topped with confetti-like sugared fennel seeds. I do love a yoghurty, fruity lassi and as always Bundo takes the classic and gives it a li'l retro-modern style. A solid choice alongside the pre-requisite okra fries. Kelly Bishop @keliseating
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