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World Of Whisky Trail

The Liquorists turn Confidential's PA, Rachel, into a whisky-drinkin' woman

Published on May 1st 2012.

World Of Whisky Trail

IT used to be that only a certain type of lady would be seen drinking whisky. She was more likely to be found in the lyrics of a country song than in a chic cocktail bar in Manchester. And she'd probably be drinking alone, not as part of a happy gang of fellow whisky-loving ladies.

Manchester Confidential's PA Rachel and her friend Vikki were two of a group of whisky-drinkin' women on the Friday night World of Whisk(e)y Trail held last week – a sign that times have changed for this hard-drinking, hard-hearted spirit. There were chaps there as well (inspired perhaps by the whisky-fuelled Mad Men?). And of course the Liquorists themselves, Tom and Jody – tour guides, drinks experts, and the type of raconteurs who get the banter flowing even before the shots are poured.

The night took in four of the Northern Quarter's finest drinking dens – Socio Rehab, Trof, Apotheca and Noho. The fifth and final venue was billed as a 'surprise' on the tour description...more on that later.

When the Liqourists have done whisky trails in the past, they've had a Scottish slant to them. This one had wider horizons. The whiskies sipped, savoured, and slung back recklessly came from the US, Ireland and Japan as well as the lowlands of Scotland.

In each bar, the drinks and food differ but the format is the same. You savour a shot of straight whisky while Tom entertains you with anecdotes about its heritage and tips on how to serve and drink it, then you're given that same whisky as a expertly-blended cocktail.

To stop you getting too giddy too early, you're also served a snackette in each bar. Forget crisps and pork scratchings – the food pairings are chosen for their eye-opening flavour combinations when matched with whisky.

In Trof, the girls nibbled on cumin tortilla with BBQ pulled-pork and apple sauce, while sipping Jim Beam bourbon. In Apotheca they dined on ginger and all-spice melon balls while drinking an Auchentoshan Lowland single malt and a Suntory Yamazaki 12-year-old. In Noho the drink was Jamesons, while the food pairing was caramel and cheese popcorn.

Their favourite cocktails of the night were the Whiskey Old Fashioned, made with Woodford Reserve in Socio Rehab, and the Drugstore Bandit made with Jack Daniels in the surprise final venue – Almost Famous. This is the temporary burger joint that's been lapping up a whole load of love since it opened above High Street about a month back.

The tour culminated here with a proper feed of burger and chips. American-style, 100 per cent beef, served in a plastic basket – and by all accounts, first-class.

Rachel was well impressed by the burgers, the tour guides, the cocktails (even the ones made with egg white) and the night as a whole.

She said, “All in all, it was a very well organised and thought-out event. The best thing going on in Manchester, I reckon, and the best night out I’ve had in a long time, hosted by two really fun guys who definitely know their booze.”

If you want to go on the Liquorist's World of Whisk(e)y Trail, you'd better act fast. There's three this week: (Wednesday 2 May, Thursday 3 May and Friday 4 May) and three next week (Wednesday 9 May, Thursday 10 May, Friday 11 May), then that's it for this run. Book your tickets today here.

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