To celebrate Manchester’s status as European City of Science, the city’s iconic skyscraper has launched a ‘Summer of Science’ including a quirky afternoon tea.
I sampled an array of themed edibles including chocolate volcanoes, lunar rock cakes and Galileo wraps that were bright, colourful, imaginative and – believe me – delicious. The afternoon tea also comes with a test tube of Baileys, grenadine and peppermint for good measure.
Of course, you need something significant to top it all off and the Hilton mixologists have been busy in the lab coming up with unique combinations of flavours and tastes to produce amazing and original cocktails.
The tea includes choosing one from the selection on offer to finish off your experience and, for an additional cost, you can even have a masterclass in the scientific art of making a cocktail. With white coat and goggles on, you can learn to make a Project X, a Vertigo and (my favourite) a Daiquiri 2.0, a deceptive little drink with so many flavours going on you’re too busy enjoying it to realise that it impedes your ability to walk in a straight line.
Chief mixologist and, as I have now retitled him, ‘beverage architect’ Alex Montrose has worked up different cocktails inspired by the locations of other Hilton Hotels around the world.
“Puerto Rico is famous for its bacon so it now features in a cocktail along with vanilla and spices,” says Montrose. “It works well because salt balances out sour and sweet mixtures. It results in something that tastes good that also has a story we can work into it. Just as a chef will try out different ingredients in dishes, coming up with new drink combinations involves having similar instincts about what flavours work well then adding a different, unique twist to them.
“For the more adventurous you could try drinks specially made to compliment food. If you were having a steak dish there’s now a mustard daiquiri that blends the condiment with rosemary, red wine, demerara sugar and citrus fruit. We’re going to push things a little for Manchester…but not too far.”
Never has science been so much fun. Hic.
By Drew Tosh
What: Science Themed Afternoon Tea
Where: Cloud 23, Manchester
When: Available now until August 31, 2016
More info: to make reservations at Cloud 23 call 0161 870 1688/1670 or book online via www.cloud23bar.com