Yo ho ho and lots of bottles of rum: all aboard for a cocktail cruise on the canal with The Liquorists


It may still be summer, but the grey skies are back. The Mediterranean weather is long gone and so are my grumbles that it’s too hot and sunny to be stuck in the office.

I’m sure the sun is shining somewhere, but it’s hidden by our usual grey clouds that hint at rain and, dare I say it, whisper at autumn.

But there is a solution, thanks to those booze-loving, canal-hopping, cocktail makers The Liquorists.

They’ve been sailing the high seas – well, the Manchester canal network, actually – since 2010, serving a selection of boozy concoctions to passengers, plus hearty offerings from the galley. Hawaiian shirts optional.

This particular trip was one for rum lovers.

The Rum Runners Revenge set sail from Castlefield Bowl with a full passenger list, laden with rums from Barbados, Jamaica and Cuba.

After greeting us with a cocktail – this is definitely my kind of boat trip – and ensuring we were suitable briefed health and safety-wise (basically, falling in is not recommended), our host Joe took us on a journey through the Caribbean, with a sojourn in South America and a little piracy on the high seas.

While our boat sailed from Castlefield, via Piccadilly Basin, over to the lock at Pomona, through to Media City, we were transported to sunnier climes in seven cocktails.

We washed up on a beach in Bermuda courtesy of the Dark and Stormy. We salsa’d our way over to Cuba for a Mojito, and strolled our way over to Barbados with the Mai Tai.

With seven cocktails on the menu, there had to be a little sustenance. That came in the form of jerk chicken and slaw, rice and peas, and mutton curry from Jerk Shack in the Northern Quarter.

A gentle barely-there hum of conversation descended on the boat as we dived into the spicy fare, punctuated by the occasional request for more gravy. Well, we are northerners, after all.

The lock safely navigated, our journey recommenced with more cocktails.

To South America with the Daiquiri  – a deliciously sweet dessert to our feast, which saw us arrive in Media City, where the boat turned to return to the city.

The Swizzle accompanied our journey back home, and the last few nautical miles saw us slowly return to reality suitably softened by the Painkiller.

If you fancy finding your sea legs with The Liquorists, they offer a number of cruises from the Rum Runners Revenge and the Gincident to Wine and Cheese cruises. And they’ve just announced – yes I know, it’s early – their Christmas cruises.

There’s a £10 discount off tickets for any of their cruises listed on Eventbrite for the first 25 I Love Manchester readers using the code ILOVEMANCHESTER.



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