I admit it. 10 June 2017 is going to be my favourite day of the year.
No, it’s not my birthday. And no, not because whatever fallout we have from the Election will have begun to die down and some sort of new normal will begin, whatever the result, and the hangover from celebrating or drowning my sorrows will have subsided.
No, it’s because Saturday is World Gin Day, following hot on the heels of Negroni Week, and just before World Martini Day. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in a little of the good stuff.
This year Manchester has a number of ways to celebrate that clear spirit and I’ve pulled together six of the most exciting for you to indulge in.
It wouldn’t be World Gin Day without something featuring Manchester’s biggest gin bar, Atlas over on Deansgate. They’re holding a Gin Garden Party, featuring gins from Koval Distillery, our own Didsbury Gin and that green bottle classic Tanqueray Gin. Expect gin chat, tasters, competitions, and a few other surprises in store.
Atlas will also be on the move with Virgin Trains. The Atlas Mobile Bar will be on the Virgin Manchester to London train on Saturday, dispensing samples, competitions, and of course a G&T or two to passengers on the train and in the Euston First Class lounge.
As 10 June is also the birthday of the Queen, Grand Pacific are hosting a gin-themed high tea fit for a queen. Along with a selection of savoury classics and sweet treats, you can have a gin cocktail created using one of two local gins – Manchester Gin or Forest Gin – all for the same price as the Prosecco High Tea (£25).
Over on Portland Street, tea shop Leaf have a Build Your On G&T bar, bottled gin infusions and a number of special G&Ts on offer on both Friday 9th and Saturday 10th.
In the Northern Quarter, gin bar Allotment have special gin cocktails featuring gins from Australia, Sweden, America and England, plus 20% off on selected G&Ts from around the world. Having sampled some of the cocktails, I can highly recommend the Key Lime Martini with Leopolds Gin.
And if you need to start things off a little early, Tariff & Dale have a gin brunch running from 10am on Saturday which is accompanied with a perfectly garnished G&T – including one from our very own Manchester Three Rivers if you want to really keep it local.
Spinningfields’ Slug and Lettuce have a month long gin offer (4 G&Ts for £20), and for Saturday they have a unique gin trolley from Tanqueray Gin to serve you from.
And they tell me they’re the only bar to have one – so they can dispense gin in style.
Over at the Corn Exchange, there’s no better place to spend the day than Banyan, which has its very own Gin Lover’s Paradise – a selection of 11 premium gins from around the globe, served long over ice with a perfect pairing of herbs, spices and fruits.
Take advantage of the Gin To Table service, where you can enjoy a bottle of your favourite gin, served with a selection of Fever Tree tonics and a range of botanicals to bring out the notes and flavour of the gins.
And if you’re looking to continue the celebrations all week, Cosy Club is welcoming gin lovers to its outdoor terrace on Friday 16th June.
Outside the city centre, Stretford has a speakeasy with Dr Sid at 1118 Chester Road, Altrincham’s Riddles Bar has a takeover from Manchester themed Gin Thomas Dakin, and Time and Place Bar in Heaton Moor are giving away free G&Ts.
So, Manchester, shall we get a little ginny with it?