Beautiful settings and fantastic food – Three Little Words proving a big hit

Three Little Words and The Spirit of Manchester Distillery are making some interesting moves as we head into the Winter months

Three little words is in an exquisite location.

It is nestled under the historic Grade II listed railway arches in the heart of the city.

You may have heard of their extensive and fantastic selection of cocktails, but there’s so much more to this place than that.

They distill their own gin, vodka, rum and have just made a foray into the whiskey market too.

They even got a shout out from Lonely Planet as one of the hot tipped places to visit in the evenings for a drink.

Not only that, but they have  just launched their small plate menu for Winter, with plenty of interesting dishes to accompany an amazing selection of drinks.

The site on Watson Street is also home to the Spirit of Manchester Distillery, where some amazing things are happening too.

We spoke to Max Coleman, who talked us about the distilleries origins, and  how they made their unique gin, whiskey and rum.

He said:

“Owners Jen & Seb Heeley-Wiggins, started distilling from their living room in 2016 and still run the business today.

“They had a big still called Wendy, named after Jen’s mum.

“They produced 25,000 bottles from their dining room, which is quite incredible really, working nocturnally to check on the stills, as they get very hot and didn’t want to burn their own house down.

“It just blew up from there and they have moved to where we are today.”

After initially moving to a smaller warehouse, Three little words moved to their current site in September 2019.

Spirit of Manchester Distillery opened during the Covid 19 pandemic, and as the hospitality sector was all but closed down, the brand started producing hand sanitiser for the Manchester Nightingale Hospital.

They were struggling to find the basic ingredients for gin anywhere during Covid, which is called Neutral Grain Spirit.

But the scarcity of this product meant they started to import Molasses based spirit, which is the base ingredient for rum.

Max continued: “We were using molasses based spirit to make the hand sanitiser, but we figured as it was the base ingredient for rum, we’d try our hand at making that too.

“So now we make pretty much everything here, rum, vodka, gin and whiskey.”

Rum has long been a dream of the owners, Seb and Jen.

Being a huge rum lover, creating rum has been a lifelong dream of Seb’s, and lockdown has allowed he and Jen to focus on this passion project, turning it from a dream to a reality.

One-Eyed Rebel botanical spiced rum is now a firm favourite with their customers and comes in 3 expressions, Original Spiced, Black Cherry, and Passionfruit & Coconut. You can try One-Eyed Rebel for yourself on the distillery tour.

You can see the copper stills through tall glass panels in the restaurant that create a beautiful, almost steam punk inspired atmosphere, which is next to a glass room where you can create your own gin.

Inside the beautiful high modernist bar, velvet seating and a beautiful geometric floor coupled with the beautiful arches truly make this a special place to get a divine cocktail and some wonderful food too.


The copper stills are used because they are conductive to heat, malleable, antibacterial and it spreads heat evenly across the surface.

Max explained the botanicals used in the gin.

“So here we use 12 botanicals, including of course, the holy trinity of juniper, coriander seed and angelica root.

“In our signature gin we use dried orange and lemon peel, liquorice and almond, cassia, grains of paradise, savoury spice and dandelion and burdock.

“All the other gins we produce are variations of this recipe appealing to different pallets.”

You can see the Manchester Distillery’s amazing selections of gins by clicking here.

They currently have 6 gins on the main stay, with varying limited editions popping up.

They are currently working on a ‘Mother of Pearl’ gin, made of crushed oyster shells for Mana restaurant in town – and are also ready to release their Christmas gin.  They also have a gin called Tie The Knot which was a special gin made to celebrate Jen & Sebs wedding earlier this year.

We were also lucky enough to try their new food menu, part of the  ‘A FULL CICLE’ menu for winter.

The plates are on the smaller side and designed to be shared, with two or three putting together a full meal.

I ordered the one-eyed rebel beef skirt with shallot and burnt orange (£8.50) which was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. The meat fell apart in your mouth.

This was followed with the haddock rarebit with new potatoes (£9) which showcased strong but great flavours. As an accompaniment I also had the tenderstem broccoli, with romesco and almond  (£7.50) which was a fantastic accompaniment to both and very flavoursome.

My companion on the night ordered on the waiters recommendation the wild spirit salt baked celeriac with garlic honey and walnut (v) (£7.50) which was absolutely gorgeous and something a bit different.

They accompanied this with the gorgeous crispy chicken, one eyed rebel black cherry and buffalo sauce (£7.50) which was sumptuous and a great addition with a few beers.

The final dish they ordered was the luganica sausage roll with apple ketchup and chilli (£7).

All in all, the food matches the laid back and sociable atmosphere, and complements well the excellent selection of beers, wines. and mode cocktails.

Beautifully presented and fantastic tasting. You’ll wish the plates were twice the size.

The Manchester Distillery are also launching the first ever members’ club to give experimental drinkers and whiskey enthusiasts the opportunity to follow the journey from ‘cask to glass’.

They have launched Manchesters first single malt whiskey, One Point Six.

The Founders’ Club offers three tiers of membership and allows its members exclusive benefits and a rare insight into what it takes to produce a premium English Whisky.

With packages available to purchase now, a membership to the Founders’ Club makes it a must-have for whisky lovers and experimental drinkers.

One Point Six Founders’ Club boasts three tiers of membership, ranging from ‘Concrete’ to the premium ‘Granite’ package that span a range of price points, giving exclusive access to enthusiasts of all buge

Co-founder and master distiller at The Spirit of Manchester Distillery, Seb Heeley-Wiggins, said: “The launch of the Founders’ Club is a key milestone in the One Point Six story.

“The club gives a unique opportunity for the public to sample One Point Six as it evolves from crystal clear new make spirit, into Manchester’s first single malt whisky, with the golden ratio.”

“We’ve imagined the flavours we want to achieve for One Point Six and created them using a unique blend of English malts, including unusual brewer’s malts, a combination of yeasts not typically found in distilling; a longer-than-average fermentation process and a choice selection of casks, which will
result in a complex, fruity flavour profile which will continue to develop as One Point Six matures.”

There are three different tiers of membership as follows:

Concrete Membership – £40
Giving drinks enthusiasts lifetime membership to the Club, this package grants members an annual tour of the distillery, access to releases before they go on general sale; a lifetime discount of 5 per cent and the member’s name in the Founding Members’ Hall of Fame.

Steel Membership – £85
This Founders’ Club membership includes all Concrete Membership benefits including an annual distillery tour and early access to all new releases, plus collectable merchandise, 7.5 per cent discount on all purchases and a Founder’s Tasting Set, available exclusively through the Founders’ Club and Cask Programme and not on general sale.

Granite Membership – £275
This premium package includes a lifetime membership and 10 per cent discount on all purchases, plus early access to all releases; a Founder’s Tasting Set and annual samples and bottles of the new make, one and two-year aged spirit, along with a 700ml bottle of Founder’s Cask, all of which are available exclusively through the Founders’ Club and Cask Programme and not on general sale.

Entry to the One Point Six Founders’ Club is open now, with the first batch of membership packs due to be shipped November 2022.

For more information, please click here.


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