I was watching The Big Lebowski last night and it made me want a White Russian so much that I decided to do a round-up of some of the best places in the city to get your hands on this creamy delight.
I’m also reminded of a dedicated White Russian bar I went to once in Edinburgh, but even though Manchester doesn’t have one of them, you can still head to one of these instead.
Another Heart to Feed – After Hours
Since opening at the beginning of the year, Another Heart To Feed have been absolutely smashing the breakfast and lunch game – serving up smashed avocado and poached eggs to anyone with a beard and a pug. They’ve also opened in the evenings too, with a great After Hours set up from 5 ’til 10pm throughout the week. Their White Russian is one of the highlights of their eclectic Cocktail Menu; one that features plenty of classics as well as unique ‘signature’ options. For an establishment who peddle copious amounts of coffee and milk during the day their White Russian is fantastic with a classic collection of Kahlua, milk and cream with Black Cow Vodka.
Another Heart To Feed, 77-79 Chapel St, Manchester, Salford M3 5BZ
Imaginatively named the Cereal Killer you can either expect a drink with plenty of milk or plenty of blood, and thankfully for us all – except any vampires that might be reading this – it’s the former. Menagerie have managed to bag themselves a few tonnes of Lucky Charms cereal, probably shipped in specially from America and they’ve added them to Santa Teresa Linaje Rum, Liquor 43, caramel and cream to make a pretty lovely cocktail that I’m sure even the most staunch White Russian guzzler will enjoy.
Menagerie Restaurant & Bar, One New Bailey, New Bailey St, Salford M3 5JL
0161 832 3818
Even though I usually struggle to actually see my drink when in Apotheca; they’ve usually been excellent – with a massive list of cocktails and some pretty decent happy hour deals knocking about. Here’s where I may cause a bit of controversy though – they don’t actually do a White Russian, but their alternative is excellent so it’s here – get over it. It’s called the Strawberry Sickle and as well as some Ketel One vodders, they add crème de cacao, strawberry, pistachio and soya milk. It’s a bit like the Strawberry Cream chocolates out of a box of Roses at Christmas – but without your nan leaving all the empty wrappers in the box to annoy you.
Apotheca, 17 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU
0161 834 9411
I was once on a FAM Trip with some people from Sweden and to give them the ideal Manchester experience we took them for a curry at Zouk. In between the starters and the main I got rather eggy and decided to challenge a Swedish fella to a chilli eating contest. Obviously I made a fool of myself, and as I sat there sweating, with people laughing at me – my boss mortified – I was served a White Russian which quickly dispelled the fire in my mouth – as well as relieved my embarrassment a little bit by slightly increasing my drunkenness. The perfect remedy for one of Zouk’s fabulously spicy dishes – this one comes highly recommended. By me obviously.
Zouk, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester St, Manchester M1 5QS
0161 233 1090
With a huge menu of some quite frankly mental concoctions of booze, juice, fizz, ice, baubles, toupees, ironing boards and whatever else they can make a drink out of, it’s not surprising that there is a White Russian-style cocktail knocking about at the Alchemist. Their Melbuccino is a splattering of Ketel One vodka, Vanilla liquor and milk, topped off with some espresso foam to give it that coffee tang that complements the classic White Russian flavours. The addition of vanilla as a very welcome bit of tweaking.
1 New York St, Manchester M1 4HD
3 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF
Trof in the Northern Quarter turned 10 this year and their combination of cocktails, lovely grub and top tunes are mostly to blame for their prolonged presence. Have a gander through their cocktail menu and you will find their Salted Caramel White Russian which, even though it’s a bit of an on-trend twist on a classic, it’s actually pretty specular. Salted Caramel is everywhere at the moment, you can probably even find shower gel with it in – but it manages to work very well with the traditional White Russian flavours, giving it a sharp injection of sweetness which also complements the slight coffee hustings of the Kahlua.
Trof Northern Quarter, 8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU
0161 833 3197
Another Salted Caramel White Russian here but this time it’s at Font, which you can find near Oxford Road train station or in Fallowfield or even in Chorlton. They’re well known for their massive drinks selections and cocktails and regularly appear on my round-ups – well, the booze related ones anyway. Their White Russian also comes with a Black Russian option too which are nowhere near as good – not that Font are bad at making them – I mean from anywhere. Adding Coke (or Pepsi if you’re in a Wetherspoons) to a cocktail is rubbish – I’d much rather stick with the milk thank you.
The Font, 7-9 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP
Vegan overlords VRev in the Northern Quarter not only supply the city with some brilliantly dirty burgers, hotdogs and loaded fries – all vegan – but they also serve up some fantastic vegan White Russians – featuring Absolut vodka, Tia Maria, oat and almond milk topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate dust. Just like all of the food, it doesn’t feel like you’re eating vegan – but not only are you probably doing your body some good (except for the booze) but you’re helping out the planet as well – guilt free boozing.
V Rev Vegan Diner, 20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN
0161 839 3883
Cane & Grain
I’m concentrating on the Coffee & TV cocktail here. Once again this drink is a bit of a variation on the White Russian – but it’s close enough to the real thing and it’s proper fit so it has made the list. Cane & Grain have replaced the vodka with Jack Daniels, added Kahlua, milk and cream and topped it all off with caramel syrup and popcorn and what you end up with is a delightfully sweet but still creamy cocktail that perfectly complements having your mouth around some massive BBQ ribs and chicken wings. It’s going to get messy so either take some wet wipes or a change of t-shirt.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
0161 839 7033
Here we have a classic White Russian from a place that has been part of the Manchester scene for almost as long as the cocktail has existed. Mojo is a classic – the perfect place to have a dance and about 25 drinks after work on a Friday and end up somewhere in a gutter round the back where that kebab shop is. I’m also running out of things to say about White Russian’s which is why I’m waffling on – you can’t really go wrong with vodka, Kahlua, milk and cream can you – especially not when you’re in Mojo’s and it’s all banging off.
Mojo, 59 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
0845 611 8643
Descend down the stairs of Hold Fast and you are greeted by a sort of Jules Verne inspired bar with old consoles and a cinema screen which regularly shows old movies. You’ll also find plenty of foreign peeps having a good time – being attached to Hatters Hostel, it’s usually the first port of call for any visitors to the city. On top of this you’ll find a cracking White Russian in the guise of their Captain’s Roast Martini, which isn’t really a martini at all – its Absolut Vanilla, Kahlua, caramel and an espresso shot – definitely a White Russian.
Hold Fast Bar, 50 Newton St, Manchester M1 2EA
0161 883 2950