After a fair few months in Central America a couple of years back I came away with two things. One was easy cured by a slightly corrosive cream, the other was a true love for RUM.
The rum over there, as you’d expect being so close to Caribbean, was fantastic and so now I’ve got a little taste for the sugary stuff I want more.
My favourites are Flor de Cana and Wray & Nephew so if anyone from either one of those companies is reading this, feel free to send some bottles to: Ben Brown c/o Manchester’s Finest.
I’m located in the dungeon in the basement. Oh yeah, check out these brilliant rum joints in the city if you like it too!
The Liars Club
One of the cities favourite rowdy Tiki bars; Liars invariably offers a smattering of rum cocktails usually decorated with something that would make Del Boy blush. If you squint really hard, and drink about 12 cocktails then you could swear you were in a beach bar in 1970s Barbados – with a huge rum selection to match. Word on the street is that they’re launching a new drinks menu very soon but until then – drink ‘The Banana Drink’.
The Liars Club, 19A Back Bridge St, Manchester M3 2PB
Occupying buildings on Oxford Road and Oldham Street, Turtle Bay have done pretty well since opening a few years back and this undoubtedly is in part due to their selection of rum-based wet ones which help calm the fires of their typically spicy Caribbean food. All you need to know is that if you want to have a truly Caribbean cocktail, ask for a Tingwray – basically just Wray & Nephew and a tin of Ting. Head there for their happy hour and you can have 2 of them for the price of 1 – I guarantee you’ll be in a gutter in no time.
Turtle Bay, 46-50 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE
Turtle Bay, 33-35 Oxford St, Manchester M1 4WB
Cabana Rio Street Food
This Brazilian newcomer to the city is located in the Corn Exchange, which was once one of the worst shopping centres in the world. Now though, you can head on down and check out plenty of great places to feed your face, including Cabana Rio Street Food which also happens to serve Cachaça which is a Brazilian sugarcane rum and is simply fit. Add this to a Caipirinha and you’ve got a very authentic Brazilian rum cocktail that will be the next best thing to being sat on Ipanema Beach itself. Of course, there’s a far lower risk of getting mugged in Manchester than there is on that beach too – so win-win.
Cabana, The Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester M4 3TR
I used to live on Newton Street about the time that Hula opened and for a couple of months I was happy to call this place my local. This was a time when Stevenson Square was still a cess-pit of derelict fashion wholesalers so it was usually pretty quiet. Nowadays this place is heaving, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only is the place decked out to look just like a proper beach Tiki place (including the brilliant blow fish lampshades), but they have a fantastic selection of rums and rum cocktails in which to sup. There’s one in West Didsbury too, oh and Hale!
Hula, 11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB
Cane and Grain
Walk up the back stairs of Cane and Grain; past the smell of ribs and the people with BBQ sauce smeared all over their faces, and you will end up in their brilliant rum bar (The Liars Lounge) which gets proper busy and proper fun – particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. You can expect an absolute shed load of rums to choose from, as well as the standard rum cocktails that you’d come to expect. I’d give their Zombie a try, which includes some lovely rum, jungle juice and fire. In fact, this is a warning for most of these rum places – don’t wear too much lacquer – if Bonnie Tyler walked in here on a Friday night, she’d be up in flames in seconds.
Cane and Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
It’s sometimes hard to distinguish the kind of vibes that Sandinista are going for. They serve up (delicious) tapas dishes so it could be Spanish, but then their selection of rums is outstanding so it could be Cuban? Hmmm, I think we should all just stick to ‘Latin American’ and not worry about it. What we should worry about is what we’re going to drink and if rum is your thing (and I’m presuming it is because you’re reading this) then Sandinista have LOADS to offer. Try their Plantation Punch if you get a few minutes – it’s excellent.
Sandinista, 2 Old Bank St, City Centre, Manchester M2 7PF
Revolution de Cuba
If you manage to get past the bouncers you will find a huge selection of rum, which, when I was in there a couple of weeks ago, I just couldn’t stop looking at. To be perfectly honest I was sat at the bar alone – waiting for someone – so there wasn’t much else to do other than look at it. I could have tried talking to one of the barmaids but they were significantly more attractive than I was – so I didn’t want to embarrass myself. Their rum cocktails are great too, with a great selection of rum punches on offer. Pick any of them – they’re all good.
Revolution de Cuba, 11 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
Here we have a verified Manchester institution – Mojo’s has been going for years and, it’s always been a fantastic night out, somewhere you can just let your hair down, get destroyed and dance on top of the tables to some top tunes. They also have a great selection of rums and their Old Fashioned is definitely one of their best cocktails. Oh and their Zombie’s are limited to a maximum of 2 per person so you just know that it will blow your tits off.
Mojo, 59 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ