A tot of rum with your tapioca tea, madame?
Another bubble tea shop doing its thing in Manchester is hardly newsworthy, there’s at least one on every street nowadays. But a cafe in Altrincham has piqued our interest by taking the simple but inspired step of adding booze to its bubble tea.
The bubble teas have been our most popular item so far, and we’re hoping the alcoholic versions will be just as popular.
In case you’ve somehow missed the memo, bubble tea, aka boba, originates in Taiwan and is a sweetened, chilled milk tea with chewy tapioca “bubbles” in the bottom to add a bit of fun and substance to proceedings. It’s massive all over Asia and, these days, the UK too. There are hundreds of bubble tea outlets across the UK, but none outside London sell it with booze in - until now.
Smooch Shakes launched quietly on Stamford New Rd in Altrincham in late 2021 and has been knocking out milkshakes, bubble teas and desserts for locals since then. Smooch’s signature slurp is the “Dirty Biscoff” - a sort of mash-up of the modern bubble tea and the “freakshakes” of yore.
Now, the cafe has launched its new cocktail-inspired bubble tea menu with mocktails for the younger customers - or those who don’t do booze - and an expanded lunch offering.
Altrincham, always on the food and drink frontier
Everyone knows about the success story of Alty’s food and drink scene by now, so it’s no surprise that the popular market town is home to another first for our region.
Smooch owner, Alty-born Peter Donoghue says: “I’ve seen Altrincham go through many highs and lows over the years, but I love what the town has become.
“There are some excellent bars and restaurants here and we want to complement that with something fun that can be enjoyed by kids and adults. The bubble teas have been our most popular item so far, and we’re hoping the alcoholic versions will be just as popular.”
The North's first bubble tea cocktail menu
What's your poison? On the cocktail menu at Smooch will be bubble tea versions of classic cocktails including a Pina Colada with pineapple, coconut, passionfruit, coconut rum and boba and a "Boozy Baileys" which combines milk tea with baileys and tapioca pearsl with a sprinkling of Oreo dust on top.
Peter also says he has plans for a second Smooch Shakes in Greater Manchester this year. Watch this space.
Smooch’s cocktail bubble teas are available now in the Altrincham store and exclusively on Deliveroo. Prices start at £4.70.
Smooch Shakes, Unit C 1, 3 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1BD
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