Meet the Tastemakers
Meet the Tastemakers

If you go out drinking in Manchester the chances are you will have enjoyed a drink from one of these two - Adam & Adam - close friends and Manchester's tastemakers.

Adam Wilson (the one clutching a pina colada with amaro float) writes the menus for Black Dog Ballroom, Dog Bowl, The Liars Club, The Bay Horse Tavern, Crazy Pedro's and Cane & Grain (which also houses Science & Industry) and has been involved with 20 - 30 openings over the last few years.

Close friend, the voice of UK flair and hospitality incarnate is Adam Keeligan. Trainer for the European Bartender School he is currently penning cocktail lists for Vesper Bar, Guilty by Association, Lost in Toyko and soon to open Swedish venue Fika.

What makes a killer cocktail menu?

AW: We start with the customer, what type of persons visits this venue and what would they like. Crazy Pedro's is tequila led so the drinks are split agave and non-agave. The Bay Horse has a pub feel so we serve more classic drinks like the Bloody Mary, but then we sneak in some Science and Industry techniques, to make it the best Bloody Mary you will ever try.

AK: My personal style is to create drinks that are fun and this runs through all the menus, but they are adapted to the venues. For example, Vesper is a more sophisticated venue, but we still have a Banoffee Sour which is a fun drink, but it's presented in a way that suits the venue.

The Bay Horse Tavern

The Bay Horse Tavern


Favourite drink?

AW: The Daiquiri - tastes best with a young white rum. I'm quite a fan of the Plantation 3 Star or Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum.

AK: The Daiquiri - quick easy and tasty. My top tip is to add a dash of white agricole rhums to give it a bit more complexity.

Flavours or drinks that work and shouldn't?

AW: Sage and almond is a wonderful combination with gin. Bitter lemon with pineapple also works, and am amaro float on a Pina Colada.

AK: Balsamic glaze taste great in a Cuba Libra (rum, coke and a squeeze of lime). Watermelon juice in a Bloody Mary is also a winner.

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Vesper Bar Manchester


Favourite cocktail bar?

AW: Callooh Callay in London has always been great for me. I've been in lots of different situations and groups and they've always got it spot on. Recently I think the menu at Cottonopolis is really interesting and beautifully presented with a great concept, narrative running through it.

AK: Personally I loved the menu that Andy Gray launched at Arcane when they opened. It featured a Sage and Onion daiquiri which he first dreamed up when he using up some stuffing at home. I like the fact that it was so random and people were enjoying and ordering this drink. I love going to Dusk Til Pawn - the bar team are great and they have a whole list of pink drinks - that's difficult to do!

When you go out do you have any big bar 101's?

AW: For me the service has to match the pricing. If you are charging a lot the service has to be great.

AK: Bartender snobbery. If a guest wants a premium spirit with a mixer then serve it. The customer is number one.

Future drinks trends:

Both in agreement: Frankenstein cocktails - smashing together two classic drinks to create something new (and yes we know low abv and low sugar drinks are also a thing).

Posted on September 05, 2018 Category Announcements