Manchester's Hidden Cocktail Haven - 19 Cafe Bar 

I've recently discovered my ultimate gin cocktail at 19 Cafe Bar.

A hidden gem of brunch and bar spot sitting just back from Lever Street. I've been a number of times for their incredible smashed avocado but since going back to work wide eyed and bushy tailed on cocktails is never a good idea, I'd yet to of tasted their liquid lunch.

Brunch is served to around 3pm most days before they pack away the menus and pull out the cocktail shakers in their New York themed cafe bar.

Usually when you come across a hybrid coffee shop/ bar their alcohol selection is minimal so when I saw their poison packed shelves of gins, whisky, vodka, liqueurs and more I was impressed!

Their cocktail menu is pretty extensive, ranging from your classic mojitos and brambles to their signature cocktails with an interesting twist on your favourites like 'Lady Island Ice Tea' and an 'Expresso Martini' with an orange twist. But it doesn't stop there. To my joy they had a 'Make Your Own Gin Cocktail' section and boy oh boy their range of gins are pretty spot on!

To create your own gin cocktail you can choose from 6 types of gin (Manchester Gin, Three Rivers, Bathtub, Hendricks, Tanqueray and Daffy's, 8 garnishes and a handful or original and flavoured tonics!

The cocktails we went for were:

Amaretto Sour - which was probably one of the best amaretto sours we've ever had as the egg white added a smooth meringue topping which complimented the sour tipple.
Bramble - A summery fresh and fruity gin cocktail using Tanqueray.
Rum Runner - Which basically made me want to go sit on a beach and drink it straight from a pineapple. Although this fruity mix looks sweet, it packs an alcoholic punch!
Mojito - A classic so how could we not? Havana rum and fresh mint, a perfectly refreshing cocktail.
Aviation - This cocktail was like nothing I'd tasted before and was incredible. It was probably my ultimate drink made of Tanqueray gin (yes it seems Tanqueray swayed me on most of the cocktails) lemon, maraschino cherry liqueur and creme de violet. Basically if you're like me and love a perfumed, floral and sweet cocktail then this is right up your street. 

Orange Expresso Martini - Practically a dessert that's packed a punch. Expresso martini is one of my favourite cocktails and the orange twist in the Cafe Bar 19 signature cocktail just added that extra zing! 
Build Your Own Gin Cocktail - Which i had Daffy's Gin, Double Dutch Watermelon & Cucumber tonic (which is amazing!) and juniper berries.
Statten Island - A fruity cocktail made from Three Rivers gin, pineapple, lemon and apple juice but smoothed out with creme de casis and local honey. 

As well as the incredible more-ish cocktails we also happened to visit 19 Cafe Bar on a Thursday which meant it was acoustic sessions night which starts at 6pm! With great live music, amazing cocktails and a relaxed atmostphere, 19 Cafe Bar is the perfect little hideaway from the usual packed out NQ bars.

Beki Xo 

(As part of this post i was given complimentary cocktails in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own)

The Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Fizz ft Slingsby Gin 

 your regular reading time to alert you that it's rhubarb season and what better way to celebrate entering into Spring than with a new fresh and fruity seasonal gin?

Slingsby have gone and done it again by creating a stunning ruby-red bottle of rich and botanically sweet rhubarb gin. But unlike some fruit infused gins that become overpowered by the candied stuff, the herbal qualities of their flagship gin pull through with just enough notes of fresh rhubarb.

The rhubarb itself is grown in Wakefield and once ready to pick, immediately transported to be instantly blended with water before being mixed with the spirit to preserve that freshness. In the distillation process the natural coloring from the rhubarb is removed so Slingsby have added a touch of natural food colouring to set it apart from their flagship gin.

To taste? The sweet perfume of the Slingsby Rhubarb Gin is smoothed out with caramelized notes but still carries a kick. So when creating a cocktail I wanted to keep it simple and pair the gin with it's opponent... spice.

The Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Fizz

50ml Slingsby Rhubarb Gin
Crushed Ice
Rosemary for garnish

Top with Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

To make the cocktail simple add the crushed ice to a tumbler and pour over 50ml of Slingsby rhubarb gin.

Top with ginger ale (Fever-Tree is the best!) and mix/ garnish with a sprig of rosemary. 

Easy peasy! This gin also worked incredibly well with a Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic and garnished with grapefruit peel. But there's just something about the sweetness of the rhubarb and spice of the ginger ale that make this pair a match made in gin heaven.

Beki Xo

(*) As part of this blog post I was gifted the Slingsby gin to review however all opinions are my own

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