Anyone over the age of 22 will know just how expensive it can be to 'have a few drinks' nowadays. In fact, as a 34-year-old man I remember a time when I could go out on a night out with £20 and still have enough change left at the end of the night for a £2 kebab.
Well, that's not the case anymore unless you take full advantage of some of Manchester's brilliant Happy Hours. Even though they're never usually an hour (not a bad thing at all), there are plenty of them knocking about to ensure you a top night that doesn't break the bank.
Well, I was in Dog Bowl last week helping to film a video and stumbled upon their Happy Hour, one which allows you to enjoy some of their brilliant NEW cocktails for only £4!
Taking place between 4pm and 8pm Monday to Friday, the Dog Bowl Happy Hour offers up a pint of lager or cider for £3, a bottle of wine for £10 or selected bottles for £3. But it's their £4 cocktails that took my fancy and my word - are they good.
I started on the 'Highballs & Copas' with a #6 - Aperol, Irn Bru, Prosecco and Bloody Orange. Any drink with Irn Bru in it gets my vote straight away, but this bad boy is a brilliant twist on the classic Aperol Spritz - taking something Italian and making it slightly Scottish. Brilliant.
I also devoured their #4 - a dangerous mix of Stoli Raspberry, Stoli Original, rose water, lemon and Ting. A fruity, tangy concoction that had me gasping for more. Also available on the Happy Hour is the #3 (Beefeater Gin, lychee, green tea syrup and lemon) and the #5 (Bacardi Spiced Rum, apple and pineapple juice, lime and ginger beer).
Next up I tucked into a few off the 'USA Cocktail' Menu. First up - In Cold Blood - a lethal tipple of El Jimador Tequila, Orange Juice, Blood Orange, Lime & Bitters. Always a fan of tequila, this drink was fresh, tangy and mighty moorish.
Next up was something for all the gin lovers - When Tom Met Collin - a mix of Hendricks and Beefeater Gins, guava, watermelon and pineapple, while rum lovers are covered with the Strawberry Lane with Bacardi Carta Blanca, elderflower, strawberry, apple, mint and lemon.
Finally, for all you fans of the classic Espresso Martini, you can get Dog Bowl's version for just £4! The Washington comes with Salted Caramel Vodka, butterscotch and coffee - sweeter and stronger - just how everything should be in life.
As is to be expected, I was feeling a little tipsy and so ended up on the nearest bowling alley throwing my weight about. After a few more cocktails I ended up winning, getting an Uber home and falling asleep watching Karate Kid 2. The perfect night.
Happy Hour & New Cocktails at Dog Bowl
Date: Monday - Friday
Time: 4pm - 8pm
Cost: Selected cocktails - £4
Dog Bowl, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 228 2888