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Bring & Mix: Bringing 1920’s Flare to Manchester.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manchester chapter.

I arrived at a darkened doorway on a busy Chorlton street. A few seconds after I knocked on the door, a woman presented her ear for the secret phrase I had received by email the day before. She ushered me in and took me to my table before introducing herself as Maria.

Inside the unassuming café that is Bring & Mix, the walls were decorated with red velvet drapes that added to the intimacy of the event, while jazz renditions of popular songs fooled the mind into believing you were in the middle of prohibition era America. But trust me, there was nothing “dry” about this speak-easy except the gin I brought with me.

The bar staff for the evening, Oli and Connan, enquired about the flavours I usually go for and were helpful when I couldn’t decide between the sharp, warming bourbon and fragrant dry gin I had brought with me. They told me they make cocktails from scratch using their knowledge of mixology and the individual tastes of their customers. Each drink could be adapted to my specification, but I wanted to experience as many combinations as possible, so I left the creativity up to them and I was not disappointed!

My first cocktail was a fruity gin and cranberry fusion designed to “open up my taste buds”. Complimented by thyme syrup, fresh cucumber and burnt rosemary, this was the perfect cocktail to kick off the experience. It demonstrated Oli and Connan’s variety of mixology experience. The cranberry juice was sweetened by the gin, while the fresh cucumber and burnt rosemary offered a surprising combination of earthy, savoury aromas that balanced the sweet, fruity cocktail with each sip.

Later, Connan served a foamy gin cocktail with citric acid solution, cherry flavoured bitters, basil syrup and a sprig of fresh mint. Using a reverse dry shake, this cocktail of strong flavours was shaken into a liquid cherry bakewell; a quirky adventure swirled in a glass with care and precision.

Throughout the evening, I got to know Oli and Connan as incredibly dedicated and experimental mixologists whose sense of humour really brought the intimacy of the event together. Connan shared his interest in game programming with me and told me he fell in love with the social aspect of bartending. Getting to know my hosts personally is a trait that should be adopted in every aspect of hospitality; it encourages new experiences and connections to develop naturally and adds a valuable quality to these bespoke services.

Bring & Mix offered unimaginable quality for unrivalled value and is the perfect experience for any occasion, from casual drinks at the weekend, to birthday celebrations or just to encounter new alcohol and flavour combinations under the attentive guidance of your hosts. This is an experience everyone should try at least once!

I am an English and History student at the University of Manchester, with a fascination for fine dining and food journalism. I want to use my university's Her Campus chapter to build on my current journalism experience and begin formally publishing my work, as I have been doing independently through my Instagram account - @mcrfoodadventures. Independently, I have made restaurant reviews and covered events in Manchester, London, Paris, and Barcelona. I love to travel and tend to stay away from popular tourist places to heavily immerse myself in the local culture and cuisine. I love French food and culture, and my ultimate goal is to bring my future children up there. The easiest way to cheer me up is by feeding me sushi! Surprisingly, some of the best sushi I've ever eaten was in Paris! I've always been business-orientated and have often tried to use this to express my creative flare. Over the years, I've created businesses from handmade bracelets, to portrait photography, and even baking bread loaves! I am always excited by collaborative projects and currently have a number of food-related projects underway; maybe you'll see them in my articles soon!