2014-02-20 20.17.02

Bar Review: The Liars Club, Manchester

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How I miss my days as a student in Manchester.  A carefree time of all night partying, insanely cheap and barely drinkable booze, and the obligatory Adbul’s kebab at 4am- and this all would take place on a Tuesday!  That was so long ago it’s almost a distant memory, and I haven’t been back to Manchester since.

That was until a couple of weeks ago when I found myself back in town, and being a cocktail enthusiast, I never miss out on the opportunity to try something new.  After sending out a tweet for recommendations, some helpful souls pointed me in the direction of The Liars Club, a bar located in Deansgate.

Having lived here for 3 years, I didn’t think I would need Google Maps to find the place, but as I walked along Deansgate, it was almost unrecognisable to the place I lived 7 years ago.  Byron has replaced a stuffy old Italian place, dive bars have been transformed into Mayfair-esq night clubs, and there is no evidence of the loutish behaviour I’d become accustomed to after a certain hour.

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And that brings me to The Liar’s Club, Manchester’s number 1 Tiki bar and the spot for late night hours drinking as it’s one of the only venues open until 4am in the city centre.  Like any good Tiki bar, there are cheesy Hawaiian shirts, Polynesian mugs, and blowfish lamps aplenty around the venue; you are even hit by Caribbean style 40 degree temperatures upon entry from a concealed heater on the staircase.

I was slightly nervous about drinking solo but was soon put at ease by the friendly bartenders as I pulled up a stool at the bar.  Looking at the menu, there was a lot to choose from and found myself a bit bamboozled, so I opted instead to go for a recommendation from the men behind the bar.  First up, I’m given the obligatory Zombie, made with a selection of 6 rums.  It’s easy to see why this is the most popular drink on the menu as it’s easy to drink despite the alcoholic content, quick to make and comes with an elaborate fire display to keep the punters happy.

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Speaking of fire displays, I was lucky enough to witness the creation of the Treasure Chest sharing cocktail.  After pouring a lethal concoction of spirits, syrups and a full bottle of champagne into the chest, it was completed by the bartender telling everyone to move back as he spat flames of rum 10ft into the air, made all the more impressive by the fact that he managed not to set his beard ablaze in the process.

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Of all the drinks I tried, none disappointed, but by far the most impressive was the off menu Trinidad Sour, made with Trinidad’s finest exports, Angostura rum and Angostura Bitters.  After one sip, I was left totally in awe of this pink wonder and no words were exchanged as I shook the hand of the man that created such an amazing cocktail.

Watching the bartenders at work, it’s clear that they enjoy their work and enjoy having a laugh with customers.  Even a couple of unsavoury characters were handled with typically northern charm; a polite clip round the ear and told to behave themselves, and just like that, parity was restored.  At the Liar’s Club, there is banter in bucket loads, fantastic atmosphere, and cocktails as good as anywhere I’ve ever been.  Oh and one more thing… an Abdul’s kebab at 4am still hits the spot!



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