Top Ten Spirits for a Mobile Bar Manchester
One of the most important things to think about when hiring a mobile bar in Manchester is what spirits you would like the bar stocked with. A good bartender needs all the classic spirits to hand so that he can mix any drink your guests want with ease, and ensure that your event goes off without a hitch. So, we have pulled together everything we have learnt over our years of mobile bar hire, to give you this top ten list of the spirits you should think about stocking your mobile bar with!
Amaretto di Saronno
An unusual first choice, you might think, but actually, there are over 100 cocktails that contain Amaretto including the Almond Old Fashioned and the Mae West Martini - and it also tastes nice splashed into coffee in the morning too. Amaretto comes from Italy and is a sweet flavoured liquor with a base of almonds or apricots (or sometimes both). The legend behind the creation of Amaretto is that a church in Saronno needed a model for the painter Bernardino Luini to use as the inspiration for the Virgin Mary he was going to paint in their sanctuary. He chose a young widowed innkeeper, who went on to become his lover, and out of gratitude the woman wanted to give him a gift. She had no money with which to buy him anything, and so she steeped apricot kernels in Brandy and presented him with the resulting concoction. DiSaronno, who now produce Amaretto, claim that their formula for this drink has not changed since 1525!
Bourbon is an American Whiskey that has been manufactured since the 18th century, is distilled from corn and is named after the area it was originally produced in - Bourbon County, Kentucky. Nowadays, it is produced all over the United States, but still retains strong ties with the Southern areas including Kentucky. In fact, Bourbon is such an important drink in America that in 1964 it was named as "Americas Native Spirit'. This has legal implications meaning that Bourbon can only be called Bourbon if it is aged in charred oak barrels and contains no added caramel colouring. The longer the Bourbon has been aged, the darker it will be.
Brandy is a very popular spirit that is created by distilling wine. Wine used to be distilled as a preservation method when it had to be transported long distances with the intention being that the water would be added back to the wine before it was drunk. However, by lucky accident, it was discovered that after the distilled wine was stored in oak caskets for the journey, it actually tasted better than the original distilled spirit and so Brandy was born! Again, Brandy features in many cocktails such as the Sidecar and the Brandy Alexander, but it is also regularly enjoyed on its own as well.
One of the most popular drinks at summer events is a good old Gin and Tonic, but did you know how this drink originated? Back in the days of the British Colonies, the only effective anti-malarial compound was Quinine - which didn't taste so good! Gin was therefore used to hide the taste of the Quinine which was dissolved into carbonated water (forming tonic water). Gin has long been associated with medical practices though, even as far back as the Bubonic Plague in the 11th century, with its base flavour juniper being renowned for its medicinal properties.
Dark Rum is a drink that has long been associated with the Royal Navy since it captured the Island of Jamaica in 1655. As there was such a large amount of locally produced rum available in the area, the Admiralty quickly decided to change the daily liquor ration from Brandy to Rum! There are many stories involving the Navy and Rum, but perhaps the most famous one concerns Lord Horatio Nelson. After the tragic Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Nelson's body was preserved in a barrel of Rum for the return journey to England. However, on landing in England it was rumoured that there was no rum to be found remaining in the barrel as a hole had been drilled in it and the sailors had drunk it all! This has led to the term 'Tipping the Admiral' being widely used!
It is often said that the history of Rum is the history of sugar, as Rum is produced from the by-products of sugarcane, most specifically molasses. Unlike its darker counterpart, white (or light) rum has very little flavour and so is mainly used as a base for cocktails - a little like Vodka. Light Rum also differs from Dark Rum as it is aged in plain oak or stainless steel casks to retain its light colour, rather than charred oak casks like the Dark Rum.
Another great spirit from our American neighbours, Southern Comfort has been produced since 1874 and is a natural grain spirit-based liquor. Beloved to have first been brewed by an Irish Bartender in New Orleans in 1874, this spirit has retained strong ties with this part of the USA and the Mardi Gras that is famously held there. Based on the popular spirit Bourbon, Southern Comfort also contains vanilla, lemon, cinnamon, cloves and a hint of cherry. Good on its own or mixed with Cranberry Juice to make a Scarlett O'Hara.
Tequila is a spirit that is blue-agave based and made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila in Central Mexico. Agave is not a cactus, contrary to popular belief, but is actually a spiky-leafed plant from the Lily family. It is believed to have first been produced in the 16th Century by the Aztecs and is often drunk straight. You should be able to notice a difference in taste in Tequila that is made from Agave from the lowland areas and those from the highland areas. The Agave plants that are grown in the highlands tend to have a sweeter flavour and more vegetal notes due to the growing process. The most well-known cocktail made with Tequila is, of course, the Tequila Sunrise, containing Orange Juice and Grenadine.
Vodka is basically a mix of water and ethyl alcohol, and is named after the Russian term for water - 'Voda'. It is the closest thing you can get to pure alcohol, and its neutral taste makes it the spirit of choice for cocktails and other flavour infusions. Vodka is a popular drink in Northern Europe as it is believed to have originated in the grain-growing regions there, and it doesn't freeze in their extremely cold temperatures of winter like beer and wine do.
Whisky is an alcoholic beverage that is distilled from fermented grain mash, with different grains being used to produce different varieties. Whisky is strictly regulated the World over and has many competing denominations of origin and lots of different classes and types. A little-known fact is that Whisky gets most of its flavour from the type of cask it is stored in and is heavily influenced by the wood used and the amount of charring and so on. The 'age' of the Whisky is therefore calculated by how long it has spent in the cask between distilling and bottling and is a reflection of how much the cask has changed the chemical makeup and taste of the final product. Can be drunk neat, with coke or in a cocktail.
So, that is our brief roundup of the top ten spirits to think about when hiring a mobile bar in Manchester. For more information about our mobile bar service, please call us on 01925 633 131 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org