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63 Degrees: The Cocktail Review

Helen Ramsbottom appreciates the new French restaurant's liquid essence

Published on November 21st 2011.


63 Degrees: The Cocktail Review

AFTER falling for the new French place in town (click here) and with an aversion to all things cocktail related Jonathan Schofield tasked me with judging the quality of the 63 Degrees' concoctions. 

What a pleasure to discover a plethora of creative recipes created with tender loving care and flair. They are divine.

I’d had a heads up on the list as Mr Schofield had swiped a menu. Pitched as ‘Boutique Cocktails’ with promises of adventure I set off, flanked by four of my girlfriends to indulge.

On a Friday night straight from work it was quiet. People haven’t discovered this place yet. The welcome was warm though and we were led to comfy seats in the window area. Lighting was a bit Mastermind so we requested a reduction to avoid looking like illuminated ladies in a shop front. 

Despite the grammatical gaffe in the introduction, ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’, a personal pet hate, (we’ll let them off, they’re French) the descriptions on the menu were to die for.

All priced at £7.50, first up was Clafoutis aux Cerises. I didn’t even try to articulate this one. Described as a ‘truly indulgent combination of cherries, vanilla, cream and a touch of spices’, this was a wow start. It met the lips like a velvety kiss. Smooth, soft, decadent. The ever-so-subtle spices tangoing with the taste buds as the liquid bid farewell. Lush.

Clafoutis Aux Cerises

L’Ile flottante, another dessert inspired creation promised a creamy vanilla sipper with special extras. This was like dessert in a glass. Super thick and very vanilla but I couldn’t quite coax out the claimed extras.

L'ile FlottanteL'Ile Flottante

At total odds came the Le Petite Anglaise. Like a splash of water to the face it had zest and zing. A delight with bite, it’s a G&T stepped up a few gears. But oh how easily it washed down like lemonade. Grapefruit liqueur, gin and Italian bitters, my friend inhaled this in seconds remarking what a refreshing holiday drink this would be. For breakfast. Yes, if you’re looking to be on your ear hole by midday. 

La Petite AnglaiseLa Petite Anglaise

Raised eyebrows from the waiter amidst comments about our ‘creamy affairs’ and the ordering of La Coquette. Jane’s Bury twang meant this was delivered less gentle and more genital. The fizzy flirt in a glass was a strawberry and champagne affair and could certainly tempt you for more. 

La CoquetteLa Coquette

L’apres, a modified espresso martini is from the Red Bull rocket-fuel school of danger. These devils keep you going when you really should be going home. Superior to any espresso martini I’ve tasted, the orange liqueur gave it added charm. Caramel too. Delicious.

 

L'apresL'apres

By this point we were feeling warm inside. Next up Bonne Maman. The 'granny' of the bunch was far from it. Armagnac meant it was a more adult tipple but with a thick apricot jam mixed in - it took me back to childhood marmalade on toast days. A wicked lip wetter it also has a hint of lavender lurking in there too. Cheeky. 

By this time we were discussing the breasts-plates issue as described seven stories down in this Food and Drink Round-up on Confidential. It's apparently a real problem for food and drink writers as evidenced in the picture below. Sometimes the things just won't get out of the way. 

Bonne Maman And BoobsBonne Maman And Boobs

As a lone lover of tequila my companions’ noses were turned up at La Maitresse. How premature that was. With pear liqueur, tequila and bitters, this was gorgeous. Like angel tears. Don’t let the T word put you off this inventive, delicate use of the spirit. It’s a hit. 

La Maitresse

At this point Cath, who was driving, opted for one of the two non-alcoholic cocktails. It is standard for the poor relations to be long style, stuffed with ice, talked up cordials. Pleasingly the Sans Souci, £4.50, was served coupe style and was a carefully considered sensation. 

Last, but by no means least, was Le Coeur Parisien. Vanilla vodka, pineapple, raspberry liqueur with a mint leaf perching proudly on the top. I’m. In. Heaven. Hic. 

Le Coeur ParisienLe Coeur Parisien

What a pleasure to discover a plethora of creative recipes created with tender loving care and flair. They are divine. They aren't classic cocktails but should you so desire the staff are happy to whip up all the regulars as well.

For us it was a joy to try something different. Cocktails can often by drowned in syrupy, everyday fruit nondescriptness. There is none of that at 63 Degrees. 

You can follow Helen Ramsbottom on Twitter here @helenrambo

63 Degrees is at 20 Church Street, City, M41PN, 0161 832 5438

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Buster OnionsNovember 22nd 2011.

Bonne Maman indeed!

I'm not sure the photos bring out the cocktails in the greatest light - literally. Is it too much to ask you trundle a little studio kit along to your luxurious booze-up to make them sparkle?

TWoNovember 22nd 2011.

I like the adornment on the top of the Bonne Maman. I always think sort of thing enhances a good drink.

adornmentNovember 23rd 2011.

It wouldn't be a confidential review if you whipped out the photography gear though would it? I reckon they might cotton on then......

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