Cocktails in the City returns to Manchester…….


Celebrating Manchester’s vibrant cocktail scene, Cocktails in the City the UK’s largest ever cocktail master class returns to the grandiose surroundings of the Great Hall, Manchester Town Hall on 8th May 2014, with tickets priced an amazing £10 for 1 cocktail, cocktail book and entry. With Manchester’s greatest cocktails being served and a dedicated North West following eager to see what this years event entails. Cocktails in the City Manchester is the only place where cocktail lovers and Manchesters finest bars will gather together, for an evening dedicated to the art of cocktail making.

So what’s new this year? For the ladies Harvey Nichols beauty SOS area including nails, beauty and hair technicians on hand. Perfect your beauty techniques with advice from Harvey Nichols finest beauticians or just sit back and be pampered whilst sipping on a cosmopolitan. For the gentleman, especially the MOD cocktail contingent, there is a chance to win  your very own Cocktails in the City Vesper Moped. Every person has the chance to win by entering the draw in each of the 4 regions that Cocktails in the City visits!

From 18.00 – 22.30 visitors will be able to enjoy food from the hippest operators in town Almost Famous. enjoy the soulful sounds of Manchester’s finest Danielle (Crazy P) and Neil Diablo of El Diablos Social Club who will both be playing on the decks, as the North Wests capital of cocktails makes and shake delicious cocktails with Manchester’s finest bars and bartenders. The Great Hall will be hosting Manchester’s top bars with some exciting new additions including news bars such as Elixir.

Without doubt Cocktails in the City is the UK’s greatest cocktail night, showcasing the greatest bars and the greatest cocktails with venues such as the luxurious Harvey Nichols bar, Alchemist, Manchester House, Epernay, party bars Mojo and Sandanista with many more involved it is an event not to be missed! Last year attracted the shows biggest ever crowd of cocktail enthusiasts, with over 1,500 cocktails made, and this year it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Visitors will be able to enjoy practical cocktail demonstrations on the main stage within the great hall whilst Cocktails in the City hosts will be on the floor entertaining and educating in unique and interesting ways. Demonstrations include

  • 19:00 – 19:30: ‘Making cocktails at home’ – How to make amazing cocktails from common ingredients at home.
  • 20:00 – 20:30: Sours, Punches and Flips – Get to grips with three distinctive styles of cocktails and get creative with them.
  • 21:00 – 21:30: A very British affair – A selection of very British cocktails using  some of Britain’s best boutique spirits.

Founder Andrew Scutts comments:

 “the interactive nature of the event made it a great success in 2012 and 13. We’re delighted to welcome some new bars this year, and with the addition of food and music it’s now a complete night out.  The night epitomizes everything that is both educational and fun about the drinks industry. With every bar creating a little “pop up” it’s a great way to learn more about the art of drinking and bars in your area”.

To celebrate Manchester’s world beating cocktail scene the #ATOASTTO hash tag is once again launched with the aim of raising awareness of the bustling Manchester bar scene, with the city’s bars now being home to some of the world’s very best bartenders. You can follow Cocktails in the City news on twitter (@Cocktailsinthec)

Having never attended any of the previous events, but having heard the tales, it looks like it’s not to be missed…….and I’m sure there’ll be rum there………….there HAS to be rum……surely?!?

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

DeSilver Spiced White Rum

This is a mysterious rum……so mysterious that there is precious little information out there about it! I first saw DeSilver Rum advertised in Robs Rum Guide and the idea of a spiced white rum was one that intrigued me, and made me want to seek this out. Imagine my delight then when I found out that DeSilver Rum, now distributed in the UK by The Bottle Drinks Company, was signed up to display at the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester! I attended the show and got to try DeSilver Spiced White Rum…………… takes a second to get your head around the concept given that ALL spiced rums that I’d previously tried were gold or dark…….never white……it may even be the only one, but it works, and it works well. But more of that later……

DeSilver Website Header

In the 17th Century, piracy was rife in the Caribbean and one of the more feared pirates was a bloodthirsty and cruel old pirate going by the name of Captain DeSilver! Rumour is that he carried a silver sword and that it was the speed of his swordsmanship that earned him the nickname ‘DeSilver’. It also earned him the admiration of almost every lady that crossed his path, and he lived in such refinement that he was envied by the nobility! Legend has it that his speed, strength and vitality came from a secret spice mix that only he knew. He mixed Caribbean Rum with this secret spice mix and left it to marry in a cave…….this elixir was the secret of his success!

With the cave no longer used for barrel storage and Captain DeSilver unavailable for comment on the distillation methods used, I have found out that this rum uses a distilling process not dis-similar to the one used in the production of gin whereby the spices are added to the still prior to the second distillation, and this is where the infusion occurs.

This is most certainly an interesting rum……the rum itself is not from St Barth though as there are no distilleries there. The base rum is from Guadeloupe and it is the spices themselves that are obtained from St Barth.

DeSilver Bottle

Enough chat though…..what does a white spiced rum taste like………

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The rum is crystal clear with a little alcohol up front. Ginger immediately jumps out along with anise and slight nuttiness. It doesn’t smell sweet at all. A little savoury with black pepper and a real depth of spice but it retains a freshness and an agricole edged vegetal base full of fennel, cinnamon and fresh sugar cane. I don’t detect much vanilla but I believe it’s there in the background, just carrying the spice. It may be me, but I can smell a little black cardamom note. Very interesting stuff and unlike any spiced rum I’ve encountered.

In the mouth: Straight away there is a white pepper tingle up front and the rum dries out rapidly. Fresh cane, freshly cut ginger and fennel dominate. Not fighting for attention, just coming in waves. The finish is creamy and long with the ginger and fennel lingering for an age. Slight anise to round out a really pleasant experience. But a VERY different one. Leave your preconceptions at the door.

DeSilver Daiquiri

As a drop to be sipped neat, it’s actually a pleasant and unique experience. It’s almost a palate cleanser. An experience not too dis-similar to a mouthful of the sweet masala that you would find in a decent Indian restaurant as a digestif. Mixing presents a challenge. I tried it at NRB with Ruby Grapefruit juice as someone had suggested…….it did it no favours. It was lost and dominated by the acidity of the grapefruit. With cola as a mixer, it lacks the sweetness to work. I tried a Spiced Daiquiri using the standard quantities. It was lost behind the lime and lacked the sweetness, even with the addition of sugar syrup. When changed up, reducing the lime to 15ml and upping the sugar syrup by 10ml, the whole drink combines to lift the spice above the citrus and the extra sweetness compensates for the savoury nature of the rum. It’s all about finding the balance for the spice and I’d love to see what a Bartender, rather than an Architectural Technologist can come up with.

All in all, a very different but very interesting take on a spiced rum. It’s available on Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange for around £28 a bottle……or if you’re passing by, I like to share. As for it being the secret to vitality, strength and speed… swordsmanship hasn’t improved, neither has my speed, we’ll have to wait and see on the vitality!

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.