Updated: Sunday, 5th April 2020 @ 10:41am

All aboard: On a voyage of discovery with The Liquorists' rum trail across Manchester

All aboard: On a voyage of discovery with The Liquorists' rum trail across Manchester

By Natasha David-Hilton

Rum – the dark, golden or even white spirit conjures up the laidback image of sandy beaches, wooden beach bars and perhaps even the odd pirate.

So you’d be forgiven for thinking the drink would be out of place in cloudy Manchester but The Liqourists with their latest round of tempting trails are revealing just how to enjoy rum across the city.

The evening kicked off in Keko Moku, a South Pacific tiki cocktail bar in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Within seconds of walking in it feels we’ve been transported to far-off shores, which gets everyone instantly in the mood for some good rum.

First up was a brand everyone knew but didn’t necessarily always love, Bacardi. But this eight-year-old flavoursome rum raised a few eyebrows after the first sip. Barry, our guide for the evening, told us how even the most experienced bar tenders snub the brand, thinking it’s just mass-produced but after our taster paired with some dark chocolate everyone seemed suitably impressed.

A classic daiquiri was the first cocktail of the night. With an unusual 60mls of Bacardi, along with lime and sugar, it’s not a drink for the fainthearted but definitely went down a treat with everyone.

Feeling suitably warmed after our first hit of rum, Barry guided the group towards the next bar – Hula. Set underground and just a short distance up the road, Hula, with its oversized tropical fish tank, is another hidden tiki gem boasting an extensive rum menu.

Here Barry shows us a personal favourite of mine, Appleton Estate VX. A delicious amber coloured rum with a distinctive limey flavour produced from a single 11,000 acre estate in the Nassau Valley. It was paired with some caramelised pineapple and showcased in a traditional Mai Tai, a sweet tropical cocktail.

After a short taxi ride was Mojo’s infamous Rhum Room, with a bar boasting enough rum to raise even a connoisseur's eyebrow. After eagerly eyeing up all the bottles the group settled down to sample some delicious Santa Teresa rum paired with salted pistachio’s and dried figs and mango.

With over 200 years of history in every bottle, it’s no wonder Santa Teresa seemed to be the biggest hit of the night, especially when it was served up in a fruity rum punch.

Popping just next door we found ourselves at The Liars Club, Manchester’s latest tiki addition, to put Bacardi’s new rum, Oakheart, to the test. Much sweeter and more spiced than the eight-year-old we tasted earlier, but served up in the legendary classic the Mojito and paired with crystallised ginger, everyone seemed suitably impressed with Bacardi’s latest offering.

Last but not least was Sandanista, a gem hidden away in a quiet corner of St Anne’s square. But with four samples and four cocktails down I couldn’t quite recall what the last rum was, except to say I’m sure it was delicious!

After a little digging and making a few calls, it turns out it was the Havana three year light style Cuban rum - a real favourite among bartenders for mixed drinks, I hear. I do however remember how well it was showcased in a beautiful Espresso Martini and served up with what can only be described as a feast of tapas.

Overall the night was rumarkable and I’m sure had many of us running to the shops to stock up on a few exta bottles of our favourite tipple once we'd shaken our hangovers off, that is!


If you're eager to jump on board the Rum Trail, you can email Jody at [email protected] for further details, or visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/theliquorists