In 2019 Cocktails in the City has partnered up with Stylist Loves and Laurent-Perrier to offer guests a selection of innovative and sustainable champagne cocktails created by the cities leading female bartenders.
Moving on from the five-star hotels and skyscraper bars of London and onto Manchester we catch up with Carmel Healy one of the bar-team behind Manchester’s most exciting new opening: Wilderness Bar + Kitchen.
Originally from Paris and former assistant bar manager of the highly regarded Whiskey Jar, Carmel has moved to Wilderness to continue her professional development:
“I love my whiskies and I like my cocktails straight up and strong as a rule. Having learnt so much about whisky of all styles whilst at Whiskey Jar I was attracted to Wilderness to continue my education and I’m really interested in the links between the bar and kitchen, focus on sustainability and Adam Day our bar manager is doing some really interesting research on drinks production”.
What made you decide to become a bartender?
I was studying sound and video engineering at university but found I enjoyed being behind the bar more than I did a mixing desk. I’m naturally a friendly person and like to make people feel comfortable and I think that’s an important quality for bartenders.
Do you have any ethos on cocktails or making drinks?
My view is the simpler the better, don’t crowd out a drink with too many ingredients as many will get lost. Being French I am a big fan of the classic champagne cocktail and my preference is for straight up drinks with the Sazerac as my favourite, cognac, rye whiskey ideally with a dash of black walnut bitters.
What will you be serving at Cocktails in the City?
I wanted to produce a drink that reflects my own tastes alongside the style and ethos of the bar. Inspired by the classic champagne cocktail this drink is served straight up incorporating a sugar cube infused with seasonal elderberries lengthened with Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut and a couple of dashes of homemade elder-flower pickle.
This drink hits all the different elements of taste, sweet, sour, dry and tart for a complex but well balanced cocktail.
Who inspires you inside or outside of the industry?
My boyfriend was a big reason for getting into the industry. He is very passionate about making drinks and puts 110% into everything he does particularly when preparing for competitions.
Do you have advice for would-be bartenders or home mixologists?
I have learnt a lot from reading and would advise anyone to read around the subject. I really like the Curious Bartender series by Tristan Stephenson, each book covers a different area and you can go quite deep into the subject without being overwhelmed. The books are well laid out and easy to navigate.
And where do you like to drink in Manchester?
I’m a big fan of Cocktail, Beer, Ramen + Bun. They serve great drinks and food until late, the ingredients work well together and the lighting and sound levels are just right to catch up for a conversation, I’m not a big fan of busy, loud bars.
And if we come to visit you at Wilderness Bar + Kitchen what would you recommend?
Currently my top three drinks are Scorched which is essentially a whisky sour served straight up using citric and malic acids using left over whey from the kitchen which provides a great body to the drink.
The Nebula which is a pisco based milk punch and finally the Territory which is a homemade blackcurrant liqueur with a dash of vodka and violet liqueur topped up with white natural wine so it’s our version of the classic Kir.
Meet Carmel at Cocktails in the City and enjoy her Laurent-Perrier champagne cocktail alongside Agnes Nemeth of Tattu and Melike Sahin from Grand Pacific.
In association with Stylist Loves and Laurent-Perrier Champagne.