Out with the old, in with the new at Northern Quarter cocktail joint
WE can almost sniff spring in the air and, to greet the new season, The Blue Pig has changed its cocktail menu, introducing some original concoctions and updating a few old favourites.
The all-change cocktail menu was the brainchild of The Blue Pig owner Cleo Farman, who challenged new mixologist Aaron to recreate a drink she’d tasted on a night out.”
Mixologist Aaron was tasked with designing the new list when he came across the street from Luck Lust Liquor & Burn and sister bar the tiki-themed Keko Moku. His brief? To open up the menu and offer something for everyone – so you can expect long drinks, short dessert cocktails, and even beer-based offerings.
The very pretty in pink See No Evil is quite the tart number, with orange-flavoured Cointreau mixed with herbal and cherry liqueurs. It’s a Mancunian twist on the Singapore Sling, using Manchester gin Thomas Dakin. Served in an ice-laden highball topped with a fresh-stemmed cherry and mint garnish, it’s a long, refreshing tipple perfect for lazy sunny afternoons.
Another reinvention is Aaron’s White Chocolate Old Fashioned, although this one is more for sipping while sinking steadily into a comfy armchair next to a roaring logfire. Stirring together dark rum, Crème de Cacao and vanilla essence, and finished with a twist of dried orange and grated dark chocolate, this is one of three dessert cocktails available, and is strong but smooth.
The all-change cocktail menu was the brainchild of The Blue Pig owner Cleo Farman, who challenged Aaron to recreate a drink she’d tasted on a night out. The result is Cleo’s Gin Shrub; a shrub being a syrup of cooked-down fresh fruit, in this case strawberries. Made in the kitchen by The Blue Pig chefs, the strawberry shrub is then chilled and shaken with dry gin and a splash of dry vermouth, and served in a coupette for a kind of creamy Martini.
Nicely refreshing, and back to the long drinks, is the Apple Blossom, combining Absolut vodka and Sauvignon Blanc wine with apple juice and elderflower liqueur. Served in a large wine glass with green apple slices and white gypsophila, or baby’s breath flowers, this invention is pretty as a picture and tastes as good as it looks.
A bit girly for the menfolk? Try The Walking Dead; subtitled Deep South Zombie. Like its namesake but with three shots of bourbon instead of rum and one shot of Crème de Pêche, and served in a dimpled pint pot, this will sort the men from the boys. Alternatively, there’s the Punch Drunk Love, described by Aaron as a “baby zombie”, with a bit less booze.
This is just a snifter – 13 cocktails are on the new menu – but it’s fair to say The Blue Big has managed to create something for everyone. And with prices ranging from £7 to £10, and selected cocktails available at £5 during Happy Hour (Monday to Thursday 5-7pm and Friday noon to close), it looks as if you’ll be able to try more than just the one.