The Blind Tyger is Manchester’s hidden drinking den that takes reference from America’s first Prohibition era of the 19th century where secret taverns of sorts would advertise themselves as attractions offering patrons the chance to see a ‘blind pig’ or in this case a ‘blind tiger’.
Tucked away underneath Sandinsta on Old Bank Street (just off St Ann’s Square), to gain access you’ll first need to make it known to one of the bar tenders in Sandinista that you’d like to see the ‘Blind Tyger’ in question.
Once you’ve been taken through the low-key entrance you’ll go down a staircase that is adorned with different sets of arcane collective nouns like ‘Memory of Elephants’ and ‘Quiver of Cobras’ before arriving in a cosy candle-lit snug.
Decked out with dark wood furnishings, intriguing trinkets and taxidermy on it’s walls, it’s the perfect setting for a low-key sophisticated drink.
The cocktails are a carefully considered selection of concoctions that take inspiration from the ancestors of the cocktails we know and love today. There’s a clear concept and story behind each and every one.
Take the ‘Blind Grog’ for instance – back in the day a grog (or a half pint of rum) was on daily ration for men in the Royal Navy. To make the ration go further, and to stop the crew getting too drunk, this would be diluted with water and flavoured with sugar and citrus and was probably the first ‘cocktail’ as we understand it. An homage to ‘the grog’ features on Blind Tyger’s cocktail menu and is made up from Appleton white and signature rums, cynar, pineapple juice for sweetness and a twist of lime.
Blind Tyger also has a range of masterclasses and evenings that you can get involved in, including their gin club every Thursday where you can join fellow gin enthusiasts on a discovery of different brands alongside an exclusive ever-changing menu. Membership is available too giving 20% off this menu as well as access to a weekly secret serve.
On Friday evenings you can get stuck in to their Friday Fix offering where you can enjoy Prosecco with a range of homemade fruit purees so you can create your own Bellini’s.
Sunday Service pays homage to the churches that a lot of these secret taverns were housed in and the tradition of having a menu of classic cocktails that are only available on Sundays. These cocktails are poured at your table for a real intimate drinking experience.
If you’re into your cocktails, history or just somewhere a bit different for a decent drink, Blind Tyger is the one for you, just make sure you keep it on the down low…
Blind Tyger (beneath Sandinista), 2 Old Bank St, Manchester, M2 7PF