My Love for Liquor
Owning up to liking a drink can sometimes be akin to admitting that you’re a regular shoplifter or that you laugh when old people fall over, especially if you admit to liking hard liquor. Well I’ll raise my head above the parapet and say it – I love hard liquor. Why do I love it so much? It’s all thanks to Manchester’s self-styled sauce specialists, The Liquorists.
We’ve all misspent our youth drinking in the park and our late teens downing shots and falling over with our mates, but as we get older, what options are available if we want to have a good drink? Sticky pubs are the haunt of beer-gutted older males, cocktail bars are loud and full of giggling girls, so all I can do is go round my friends’ and drink wine with dinner. Boring. What do you do if you want to a) drink a lot, but not fall in with the masses b) go on a bar crawl, but not have to queue for drinks c) do a and b, but with class and dignity? You book a trail with The Liquorists.
The Liquorists are a plucky pair of alcohol aficionados who are using their considerable skills, knowledge and contacts mixed in with some verve, passion and cheeky chat to create The Trails - upmarket bar crawls that aim to teach you about what you're drinking as well as getting you nicely lubricated.
Trails are based around a type of liquor (e.g. rum, gin, vodka etc) and incorporate five or six premium brands and specially made cocktails for each spirit. The Liquorists start off the night introducing you to the select group of drinking companions you’ll soon be firm friends with, serving you a slap up meal (matched to the spirit you’re going to learn about) and your first shot.
On a trail, you do not neck the drinks – you’re taught how to mull each one in your mouth, to smell it without burning your nose hairs and to discuss the unique tastes and flavour notes individual to that drink. You will then be passed a cocktail that has been created especially to match the characteristics of the spirit. Then you’re pumped full of facts and tall tales, which you can relate back to your friends the next time you’re out and sound super cool.
The trails are a well thought out alternative to crowding into sweaty clubs, tipping overpriced drinks down your neck, jostling at the bar and generally trying to make the best of a sweaty cattle market. The Liquorist’s spirit trails happen pretty often and range from about £30-50 (check out their website), which is bloody cheap if you consider you get five shots, five cocktails, five food pairings, reserved tables, history/information/geeky facts about the drinks AND a full meal. You couldn't replicate it anywhere other than Weatherspoons and the only facts you learn there is how many guys Sharon copped off with last Saturday and why Amy's got a bruise on her posterior.
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Sarah Tarmaster has been eating and drinking her way round Manchester for the past 12 years and has been writing about it for the past four. Sarah started the blog North West Nosh to shout about what’s great in the North West and because she suffers from that common British phobia, complaining in restaurants. When’s she’s not planning where to eat, eating, cooking or recovering from overeating, Sarah can be found putting on street food events, yomping round the countryside or crafting something; she rarely sits still, which is good considering how much she consumes.