Location: El Gato Negro Tapas, King Street, Manchester
Last night I hit the press preview for Manchester's first cocktail festival: Manchester Loves Cocktails, to hear from founder Nick Fox about his vision: to drink better, not more. Against the backdrop of the city's dusty blue evening sky, the preview was hosted at the beautiful El Gato Negro in their rooftop bar. Guests were welcomed to a menu of three specially catered cocktails for the event as the barmen put on a show. So, with the festival kicking off this August, find out everything you need to know about a week long of partying, masterclasses and of course, cocktails.
The festival takes place from 8th-14th August in thirty venues including The Liars Club, The Alchemist, Alberts Schloss and of course El Gato Negro to name just a few. With forty individual events, the festival is not only a chance to party it up but also has an educational element, giving cocktail lovers alike the chance to join in with cocktail masterclasses and learn a thing or two about what goes into the perfect cocktail. Wristbands, which are now on sale, are just £10 and will give the holder free access to each venue during the week plus discounted cocktails - just £4.50 each. For more info and to get your wristband head to the official website here.
The Black Cat Punch
The Black Cat Margarita
The Black Cat Collins
A Taste of What's to Come
El Gato Negro's press release menu invited guests to try three cocktails.
First up, The Black Cat Punch, which mixed together Rum and Tequila, Pomegranate and Passionfruit, gave a fruity kick.
The Black Cat Margarita - using El Jimador Blanco Tequila, Lime and Pineapple, this cocktail complimented the sunny skies above.
Finally, The Black Cat Collins, a slightly sweeter Portobello Road cocktail topped off with Apple, Pear, Lemon, Soda and Thyme - an ideal refresher. Complete with excellent bar staff, bluesy upbeat music and sexy sunshine vibes, El Gato is a great venue to chill out with a few drinks, or enjoy their award winning food.
Back to the festival, it all began in Leeds under the title 'Leeds Loves Cocktails', and its success sees the Leeds festival now in its fourth year. As it expands to Manchester, in addition to the educational aspect of the festival, Fox hopes the week will encourage festival goers to 'drink better, not more'. With my university days of sneaking off-license £4.99 vodka into the club, and checking the questionable beverage hadn't turned me blind the next morning long behind me, the vision of drinking better and not more is something we can all cheers to. See you at the bar Manchester!