Top 5 Cocktails at Ivy Asia

While eating a lovely meal, I also decided to drink 87% of The Ivy Asia's cocktail menu... just for you.

Of course we all know what The Ivy is about, we’ve read the reviews, seen the interior and smelt the fire.

Personally I rather enjoyed my visit to the ‘Asia’ restaurant, but as Finest’s booze correspondent I felt obligated to try as many of their cocktails as was possible (before falling down the stairs on the way out) – just to make it easier for you when deciding what to drink. So here are my 5 favourites…

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Kyoto Lavender

Featuring a hefty dose of Japan’s first artisanal gin, the Kyoto Lavender (£11.00) is a little bit more expensive than the other cocktails on the list, but it’s well worth the money. As I sat in The Ivy Asia, drinking this cocktail and taking notes, I ended up writing “like eating a sheet of Bounce but in a good way”. By this point I was certainly a little sozzled, but I still stand by this comment – the Kyoto Lavender is very fresh and very floral, especially with the strong lavender foam on top. It may be an acquired taste but once you start – it’ll be hard to stop.

 

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Shikoku Lychee Spritz

Probably the quintessential oriental fruit, the lychee is everywhere in China, getting included in everything from breakfast dishes, desserts, drinks and probably even shower gel – they bloody love it. Also massive in China is Aloe Vera, especially with the introduction of all of those new fandangled health drinks that resemble semi-transparent sludge. Well, the Shikoku Lychee Spritz (£9.50) is nothing like that – it’s light, fresh and surprisingly tasty. Even coming from someone who isn’t usually a fan of lychee, I found it working fantastically with the gin and the final touch of prosecco is a stroke of genius.

 

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Smoked Plum Negroni

This cocktail is probably the most well-known creation at The Ivy Asia, mostly due to the impressively Instagrammable bit of theatre that accompanies the Smoked Plum Negroni (£9.00) to your table. They’re really pushing the ‘smoked’ aspect of this Negroni as it arrives surrounded by smoke under a bell jar. But how does it taste? Well, with such a complex list of ingredients it’s surprisingly subtle, with light notes of plum coming through right at the end. I was confused as to what an English aperitivo was but it’s great – adding some rather complex flavours of grapefruit, ginseng and fennel to the drink and elevating it to the upper echelons of cocktail greatness.

 

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Golden Fortune

Okay, so this one might not be to everybody’s tastes, especially considering how divisive coconut-based products can be. As a personal huge fan of all coconut related endeavours though, the Golden Fortune (£10.50) was certainly well up my street. With a mix of Prosecco, coconut liqueur and topped with a naughty coconut foam, this cocktail is both surprising and devilishly delicious. I’d never have ever thought to pair Prosecco with coconut but it’s a revelation, giving the dry fizz a subtle sweet nuttiness that’s difficult not to like.

 

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The Spice of Life

The clear winner in this taste test, The Spice of Life (£9.50) certainly doesn’t seem to have anything at all to do with Asia – but who cares when it’s this good? It’s more of a Mexican cocktail, mixed with a bit of the Caribbean as they start with a Pineapple rum and top it with chilli syrup, bitters, lime, mint and soda. The real winners here are both the chilli syrup which gives the cocktail a proper kick and the Xocolate mole bitters which lend a subtle chocolate taste to the concoction. If you’re still struggling to decide on a cocktail – have this. Have it now.

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The Ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HG
0161 503 3222
www.theivymanchester.com

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