Rosso Restaurant may not be a usual shout on many lists for a weekend drink but it’s where our editors found themselves this past Friday having been invited to come and experience the new D1 London Spirits Cocktail Exchange venture.
Mixologist matchmaker D1 London Sprits has paired up nine top UK cocktail bars (including Rosso Restaurant & Bar in Manchester) with bars in South East Asia to swap signature cocktails. This means that the residents of Manchester will be able to experience an authentic taste of South East Asia in their home town.
Rosso aims to expand its mark on Manchester City Centre and become a venue of choice for it’s bar as well as it’s food menu, with the Cocktail Exchange being the first step in this rebranding of the locally renowned location. In collaboration with the Cocktail Exhcange, which will also be coming to a select few other bars in the country, Rosso has introduced two cocktails, taking on Singapore’s Artesian HK Spice Cocktail and curating a local delight the Mancunian Mandarin.
Visiting during the Christmas period seemed a wise move as the usual luxury decor was taken up a notch with an expensive Christmas makeover which resembled something mostly witnessed in films. The ornate marble arches have been strewn with lights to adhere to the season and the entrance fireplace deigned as the welcoming centrepiece for design, hosting a festive wreath, decorations and large white and red Christmas tree for good measure. Truly delightful to dwell in, the bar and restaurant areas both made a welcoming gesture that made guests happy to overstay their welcome. Alongside the bar is a wall of fame, brandishing photos of the many celebs which have haunted the venue throughout its lifespan.
The Mancunian Mandarin
Fruity with a slight citrus kick, this Cocktail utilises D1’s Vodka for a subtle kick. The cream on top offsets the fruity tang and allows a creamy texture to balance out flavours, making this an easy drink to enjoy, particularly for those partial to lemon or mandarin influences.
30ml D1 Potato Vodka
20ml Ancho Reyes
25ml freshly squeezed Mandarin Juice
15ml freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
10ml Szechuan Pepper Syrup
5 drops of Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal Liqueur
5 Sage Leaves
2 dashes of Aztec Chocolate bitters
The Artesian HK Spice Cocktail
Warned in advance about the strong alcohol content of this cocktail, we were intrigued as to the taste. Advised there were only a few drops of mixer, sips were taken cautiously. The drink was strong in flavour but still had an enjoyable texture, which may not be to everyones tastes but all the same adds a bespoke addition to Rosso’s drinks list.
45ml D1 London Gin
20ml Tio PePe
5ml Domaine De Canton (Ginger Liqueur)
5ml Fernet Branca
2 drops of Grapefruit Bitter
Whilst at Rosso we also tried some of the signature Cocktails on offer, sampling the Long Island Iced Tea and Dolce Vita. Both were aesthetically pleasing to behold and packed a punch with taste. Rosso are established arbiters of the cocktail, hosting a book full of classics and bespoke inventions which are sure to cater to all alcoholic and non-alcoholic persuasions.