In his new fortnightly column, bar consultant and creator of Drinks Enthusiast, Dave Marsland, brings us the latest behind the scenes news from Manchester's bar and cocktail scene. 

Drinks Enthusiast

Dave Marsland is a consultant and drinks guide working with some of the best bars in Manchester.

Well, what a week so far! On Tuesday we crowned a winner of the annual Sloane’s gin cocktail competition, a legend of the bar scene made an appearance in our fair city, and Manchester is gearing itself up for Cocktails in the City; the biggest cocktail master class in the North West.

Sloane's Gin Cocktail Competition

Alex Jones, formely of Liquorice, Kosmonaut and now tending at Almost Famous, won the ‘Inspired By Sloane’s’ cocktail competition held at gin palace Gorilla on Whitworth Street. His creation, named the ‘Sloane Ranger’, involved a good dose of the Dutch gin Sloane’s as well as ingredients such as Bols infused with star anise and smoked star anise, ginger syrup, lemon, egg white and orange bitters - all served in a lovely cut rocks glass and garnished with star anise. His creation impressed all three of the judges (one of which was myself), as did his second cocktail, which consisted of a twist on the gin Martini. The aptly named ‘Sir Hans Martini’, included Sloane’s, Cocchi Americano, Benedictine and orange bitters. 

Alex won himself a trip to Amsterdam and the Sloane’s distillery, as did Charlene Holt of Apotheca who came second with her drink ‘A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down’. Alex will now go up against winners from London, Spain and Holland to try and big himself a prize of €1000.

Sloane's Cocktail Competition

Alex's ‘Sir Hans Martini’ won the Sloane's Cocktail Competition held at Gorilla earlier this week.

Kamm & Sons Cocktail Competition

Another Alex - former bartender, Grey Goose Brand Ambassador and now creator of his own tipple - Alex Kammerling was in town on Tuesday offering like-minded bartenders a history lesson in alcohol as well as an insight into his closely guarded recipe of Kamm & Sons, and how his knowledge and passion helped him create a bartender must-have. He also launched his first ever Kamm & Sons cocktail competition with a Manchester vs Liverpool shake off, with the winner receiving tickets to a festival of their choice. Expect to see some of the best Manchester bars creating some interesting concoctions in the coming weeks!

Cocktails in the City 

The biggest cocktail master class is coming to Manchester Town Hall next Thursday, with brands and bars in Manchester collaborating together to showcase a special cocktail to be served to the public. With tutored tastings and demonstrations to enjoy as well, Cocktails in the City brings together a whole host of names for you to experience including Epernay, Whim Wham Café, Mojo, Proof and Harvey Nichols as well as top brands Chase, Belvedere, Absolut, Havana and Sloane’s. Find out more and buy Cocktails in the City tickets through

Cocktails in the City

Cocktails in the City 2013 is set to be a massive, must-visit event in Manchester.

Also in the coming weeks there is the opportunity to come and experience one of my own master-classes, as I collaborate with Manchester Business Introductions and four brands to bring you a beginner's look into all things rum. Find out more about that in my blog.

Check out Drinks Enthusiast for bar news, cocktail recipes and more.

Follow Dave on Twitter @drinksenthusist