This week: gifts & hampers, seasonal specials, awards and fantastic new drinks to try
As you’d expect, things are ramping up as we head towards Christmas, despite you-know-what. Yes it’s all a bit different but our creative and talented bars, restaurants and retailers are still coming up with ideas. Essential shops have reopened and many who haven't have gone online, so there are lots of opportunities to support them via Christmas shopping.
This week there are even more fantastic drinks and meal kits on offer with UK wide delivery or click & collect. On top of that, there have been award winners and new product launches.
Here's the latest food and drink news.
Win win for gin
The Spirit of Manchester Distillery (makers of Manchester Gin) came out top in the Spirits Business Awards this week after winning best Distillery Consumer Experience in the Tourism awards category - beating many other distilleries from around the world.
Manchester Gin opened The Spirit of Manchester Distillery under Grade-II* listed brick railway arches in September 2019. Visitors can take part in gin tours, guided tastings and can experience distilling their very own spirit in intimate gin-making sessions.
Spirits writer and co-founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, Bryan Rodriguez, who was one of the judges, said: “I love that you can make your own gin with the mini stills, it’s a great way to enhance your experience.”
Manchester Gin Co-founder Seb Heeley said: “It has been a really tough year for many businesses within the drinks industry so to be recognised for our distillery tours really is an honour. We can’t wait to get back open and welcome guests to the distillery as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
Once they’re allowed to open those big black doors, Ducie Street Warehouse’s Bar Manager, Gethin Jones, will be able to reveal his brand new drinks list. But while we’re waiting, he’s not going to let us go thirsty. Gethin has created a brand new range of bottled drinks with the simplest of instructions; sling over ice and enjoy.
Ducie Street’s new range of cocktails works with classic recipes infused with interesting and unexpected flavours to create large format bottles perfect for gifting or keeping for you. With five serves per bottle, they're perfect for Christmas celebrations.
Available to buy via drinks at home who deliver nationally or click and collect from The Kiosk on Ducie St.
Read more - The best cocktail kit deliveries
Yuzu - newzu
Faulker Street Japanese restaurant Yuzu has launched as a takeaway service. Until further notice the Chinatown based restaurant will now be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with orders taken from 5:30pm. This is great news for fans who have really missed Yuzu’s fabulous authentic Japanese food. Their donburi rice bowls topped with the likes of freshly prepared sashimi, teriyaki salmon or tempura king prawns, stir fried udon noodles with pork loin, chicken, or vegetables, noodle soups, rice balls with crab, yakitori and sides like edamame, miso soup or daikon salad as well as much much more are all now available to pick up and take home. Expect a queue-zu.
A rum ting
Looking to spice up your evening drink? Well, having launched online earlier this month, Manchester based start-up, Witch Kings Rum, has introduced three distinct and exciting editions of fresh fruit rum liqueur which are ideal for pairing with tonics, soda and other mixers. Each bottle of rum is infused with 200 grams of fresh fruit and is artfully combined with award winning pure single rum from Ninefold Distillery.
Fires of the Wild combines strawberry, fiery chilli and lemon; Bohemian Dreams blends tangy pineapple with sweet blueberry and subtle mint; Sunset Solstice combines syrupy peach flavours with potent ginger and zesty sour lime.
All bottles retail at £25 and are available to purchase on their website.
If rum is your ting, then read - That's the spirit - A round up of Manchester rums
The Honest Christmas special (£13) is nearly as old as Honest Burgers itself. This festive favourite has returned for another winter, featuring Honest beef, smoked bacon, deep-fried Camembert, cranberry sauce and rocket. Time Out apparently once called it “naughty enough to make Rudolph blush."
This year they’re also offering a Veggie Christmas version (£14) featuring the Beyond Meat plant patty and This Isn't Bacon. You'll be getting the same molten, oozy Somerset camembert as the meaty version, made using the traditional techniques passed down by the French, but this time it's made with British milk and vegetarian rennet. Top this with cranberry sauce and rocket and you have yourselves a veggie merry Christmas.
Order in advance at Honest Burgers Manchester for delivery and pick up; or order in person for takeaway. You can also find them via Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Each kit comes in an Honest tote bag and contains everything you need to make two or four burgers at home. We tried them out and they were great.
Best of Barcelona
Tast Catala has re-launched their online shop where customers can now purchase hampers, gift cards and lots more of Tast's favourite products.
Inside the hampers you'll find high-quality charcuterie, proper Manchego cheese and some of their most popular wines - bringing all the best from Barcelona to Manchester and making the perfect gift for family, friends and co-workers.
Tast's online products are available to collect every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 11:00 till 18:00. For orders over ten hampers (pre-order with 8-10 days in advance), Tast are offering free delivery service (Up to 15 miles Radius from M26AG)
If anyone would like Tast to create a special bespoke hamper, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Open the Hatch
Food, drink and retail neighbourhood, Hatch, reopened its doors this week for independent Christmas shopping, haircuts and take away street food (Takeaway food can be ordered and collected here).
The Oxford Road destination will be open from Tuesday – Saturday 12-8pm. In line with Tier 3 restrictions, Hatch will be bringing an alternative festive shopping experience to the city centre. The site has been transformed into a cosy winter wonder-village offering a unique festive shopping experience underneath the Mancunian Way.
With Small Business Saturday coming up this weekend (Saturday 5th December) Hatch will be rewarding customers shopping from any of their indie traders by randomly handing out Hatch gift vouchers throughout the course of the day and there’ll be £100 worth given away.
You'll find more details on the Hatch website