Where you can get hold of some amazing pre-mixed drinks this season
The festive season 2020 has turned out to be very different to what we're used to - but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a good time. Many of Manchester’s best bartenders and mixologists may have been twiddling their thumbs since bars and pubs were forced to close back in March, but they’ve not been idle. They’ve been busy working on the best ways to bring the party to you.
Here’s a handy round up of the best pre-mixed cocktails and the sweetest serves that can be delivered to party central (ie. your house) or gifted to a friend who will love you for it.
Since its launch back in 2010, The Alchemist’s passionate in-house mixologists have created a range of cocktails with an obsessive eye for detail, all orchestrated with a devilish dash of theatre. Now The Alchemist has bottled up their molecular magic so that you can enjoy a touch of their particular brand of liquid based theatre at home. They recently conjured up a cocktail gift box of their most popular signature drinks. These come in amber glass medicine bottles boxed in The Alchemist’s notoriously eccentric branded designs - perfect for gifting someone with a boozy dose of theatre or treating yourself.
The set costs £29 and includes four signature cocktails all crafted at their New York Street base: Smokey Old Fashioned (Woodford Reserve whiskey, Maple flavoured syrup, Aqua, Jerry Thomas Bitters, Smoke), Dead Red Zombie (Bacardi Carta Blanca, Wray and Nephew, Grand Marnier, Pineapple Juice, Cranberry Juice), Milk & Honey (Bacardi, Velvet Falernum, Cinnamon, Lime Juice, Chai Tea) and Lightbulb Moment (Tanqueray, Pimms, Citric Acid, Double Dutch Ginger beer.) Store chilled and use within 30 days. For the perfect serve pour over ice.
Dishoom’s daru-wallas have been busy in the Permit Room batching and bottling their first-ever bottled cocktail collection. There are three to choose from and they can be ordered individually, or as a beautifully packaged collection.
The Permit Room Old-Fashioned is a bottle-aged muddle of Woodford Reserve bourbon, bay leaf reduction, green tea, best sipped at room temperature, neat or on the rocks.
The India Gimlet is Dishoom’s take on the favoured tipple of the high seas. Dishoom’s version sees London dry gin infused with fresh dill, then bottled with Rose’s lime and a dash of celery bitters. Daru-walla recommends placing the bottle in the freezer, along with two coupe or martini glasses, for thirty minutes before serving with a sprig of fresh dill and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Sonia’s Negroni is a recreation of the famous Italian drink for the Italian-born, Indian politician. Dry citrus gin and bitter Campari are sweetened with Dishoom Chai Vermouth (macerated with cinnamon, fresh-cut ginger, cloves and vanilla), giving a more relaxed edge to the traditional robust Negroni.
The 200ml bottles contain two generous serves and are priced at £14 each, or £38 for the set, and are available to purchase in the Dishoom Store: Bottles can be recycled, reused, or returned to any Dishoom where this thoughtfulness 'will be kindly rewarded.'
Your Buddy Mary
This Urmston based beauty wins the award for the most elaborate offering and an added bonus is that it can also supply a much needed hair of the dog vitamin boost if you’ve been, er, overdoing it working your way though all these other cocktail sets. Launched by Bloody Mary enthusiast Simon Burgess in 2016, Your Buddy Mary delivers Bloody Mary mixes across Greater Manchester on Fridays (in anticipation of the weekend hangover.)
All the base Bloody Mary mixes are vegan (using unwaxed lemons and Hendersons sauce) and £5.95 per litre (2 litres £11, 3 litres £16, 4 litres £20). ‘About Bloody Time’ is the signature Bloody Mary mix, well balanced with a little background kick. ‘We wish you a Mary Christmas’ is enhanced with a little orange and rosemary, but it you really want to spice things up, go with ‘The Bloody Diane.’
What makes these extra special is the 'garnish kits' so you can 'Build-a-Mary' like you see in America. Kits include skewers, sticks, straws but then you can add on all sorts of meaty or veggie accessories separately or by way of one of their kits. The current menu is on their instagram bio but a seasonal highlight is The Full Mary Christmas Special (£14.95) - a litre of Bloody Mary mix, pigs in blankets, smoked ham, stuffing, bacon fries, pickles, cheese, olives, tomatoes, celery sticks, rimming salt, lemon, pretzels AND a candy cane. In fact, the only thing that it doesn’t come with is a partridge in a pear tree. Next year, maybe?
Since Hawksmoor released their Cocktail at Home kit last month, it has quickly become their best selling kit. Some of the pre-mixed selection of drinks are new, and have been created especially, while others are much-loved classics.
All have been mixed with love and contain a secret ingredient: sprezzatura, an old Italian word that means ‘concealed artistry’. In short, deceptively seemingly simple drinks that belies the hours of painstaking research, trial-and-error and technique that has gone into them. All you need to do is refrigerate or freeze, pour over ice, garnish and enjoy.
Bottled Cocktails at Home range features four drinks, each serving two people (200ml) and priced between £12 and £14 and £48 for a set of all four. They include the Ultimate Dry Martini, Sour Cherry Negroni, Fuller Fat Old fashioned and Hepple Gimlet.
A set of four canned Cocktails at Home are single serve and can only be purchased as a set for £28 featuring the Ginza Highball, Hawksmoor Calling, Back Burner and 20/20 Cosmo. Read more about them here.
To order, click here
Speak In Code
Since it opened in June 2019, this tiny bar hidden away on Jackson’s Row has become known for its obsessive attention to detail, home made tinctures and ambitions to make it onto the 'Best 50 Bars In The World' list. They recently launched their first three cocktail at home gift sets – with more of the range to come. Owner Nathan says that the first batch of Bourbon sets sold out in five days and have provided life saving revenue for the independent bar meaning they can stay busy, and more importantly, stay open.
The Makers Mark gift set (£30) includes a trio of classic bourbon cocktails (ClasSiC Old Fashioned/Manhattan/Boulevardier with a Speak in Code pin badge, a Makers Mark pin badge and a Makers Mark wax coaster.)
The old fashioned set (£30) is a fantastic opportunity for fans to try delicate variations of their favourite cocktail and includes ClasSiC, Smoked and a Bread & Butter Old Fashioned (infused with toasted grains, winter demerara orange peel, nutmeg and cinnamon bitters.)
Launching this week is the new Sipsmith Gin cocktail set (£35) which includes two serves of Cherry Blossom Negroni, two serves of a lacto peach & dandelion gimlet, a dropper bottle of SiC x Sipsmith Botanical Bitters, Speak in Code pin Badge and Sipsmith Copper swan stirrer.
Order yours here.
Friendly neighbourhood bistro Sicilian NQ are open for take away and deliveries via Deliveroo, JustEat and Goodeats every day from 12pm to 9pm and have set up as a speciality grocery store selling lots of homemade sauces pesto, marinated olives, pasta and flour and signature cannoli.
As aperitivo is part of their DNA, they have also been enhancing their fantastic drinks selection. Customers can now get hold of proper homemade limoncello (£8/250ml) and grappa (£9/250ml) as well as a range of pre-mixed cocktails, with an obvious Italian influence. Try their House Negroni or the wonderfully titled Mafioso, Sicilian Life, or the Sicilian Margarita (all £15.50 for 3 servings)
Sicilian NQ also sell Italian beer and offer a selection of original fine Sicilian wines.
Sicilian NQ, 14 Turner Street, M41DZ Manchester Tel 07851026135
Into The Gathering Dusk
Emma Roberts’ brilliant folklore-inspired, foraged cocktails are now available by the bottle and hand delivered to your door (read more about them here in our recent interview.) All the batches are specially created using carefully foraged ingredients making these drinks incredibly unique.
700ml bottles of pre-mixed cocktails include ‘Back to my roots’ (£40 - Bourbon, nocino green walnut liquor, 7 roots cordial), the unique ‘Hive Mind’ (£35 - Mescal, tequila, grapefruit, raw honey, gorse, chamomile, thyme, seasalt), and ‘From The Tidepool To The Stars’ (£35 -Gin, sea herbs, dry vermouth (natural white wine, for herbs see label, sugar) grapefruit, crabapple skin.) Emma has also created a selection of home made white, red and rosé vermouth (£30) from foraged botanicals and natural wine.
This has been the go-to place for cocktail lovers who definitely take themselves a little less seriously. The Font’s drinks are all about fun with a little bit of ‘extra’ thrown in…and also glitter. You'll find the likes of Mermaid Lemonade, Vimto Margarita and Jelly Tot Sour. ‘Unicorn Juice’ (£6) is a rainbow mixture of white rum, Triple Sec, passion fruit, fruit juices and, er, bubblegum, or there’s ‘Space Jam’ which mixes gin with blackberry liqueur, glitter and (of course) a flying saucer.
Their list of ‘classic cocktails’ or shots is also as out there as you’d expect, including drinks such as “Dr Pepper’ (£3 - Amaretto with cherry and cola) or the Peach Schnapps-based ‘Beach Please.’
If you download their app & click ‘order ahead’ you can see what’s available at the weekend. Cocktails are available for click & collect or Deliveroo, Fri & Sat, 4-10pm.
Of course if you’d prefer to create your own cocktails at home but also want to support small independents, read: