Stepping out of our taxi, we looked eagerly around for the legend that is Under New Management.
Down Barlow’s Croft we were pretty shocked to see nothing there, we walked up to the end of the road, turned left and crept back along a narrow alleyway. Gravel crunched under our feet and loud, mechanical sounds boomed and buzzed around us.. where was the bar?
We decided to have another go, I was pretty sure it was my ineptitude keeping us from the cocktails and not the bar itself. Holding my hand to the wall, I walked slowly again down Barlow’s Croft. Passing Number 2 and Number 4, I led my hand over the bricks until I found the black double doors, now glaringly obvious, and a little sign that read ‘Under New Management’.
We were sold. As speakeasy style venues go, this had hit the nail on the head. An understated doorway and inconspicuous sign are all this place needs, as the cocktails scream volumes.
Creeping through the doors, we followed a short corridor to the main bar. A huge, steely blue space opened up before us, shut out from the sunny evening, candles twinkled and low lighting produced a cool and comfortable atmosphere. Giant, red leather booths lay in wait for the crowds to come, and at the bar, a friendly face awaited.
Tony came to be our host for the night, cool and collected, we laughed and joked as he made us some of the best cocktails we’d ever had.
A light, refreshing cocktail that oozes class and supreme mixology. Vodka and elderflower compose the main body of this cocktail, whilst a hint of citrus is also noticeable. What impressed us the most was the use of white pepper! It enhanced the flavour beautifully whilst the celery bitters also gave it a great taste, something I never would have expected.
Cuckoo Clock Cocktail
One of their most popular drinks, the creative and skillful use of egg whites gives a delicious texture to the gin and lemon. Orange bitters give another dimension to the flavour of this drink, and we noted that it was sweeter than we had anticipated.
Shake A Tail Feather
Gorgeous, frothy and as pink as a flamingo, this sweet and tangy citrus number is perfectly suited being sipped slowly or gulped down. Another one of their spectacular gin compositions, this is made with sloe gin and serves as a fine example of what these experts can do.
If you love the taste of parma violets, this is the ultimate retro sweet fix. Violet liqueur is what makes this cocktail so stupendous. Tasting exactly like the classic sweets, with a fruity twist; vodka, raspberry and lemon complete its composition. Beautifully served on one of their hand stamped tissue mats, this is the epitome of girly girl and a fine example of mixology.
Not to overload you with violet, but another signature cocktail that receives top marks for taste and ingenuity is this gorgeous creation. Violet liqueur has another starring role in this quality cocktail.
A bitter grapefruit and tequila mixture, the Salford Sling takes on the Goliath that is Singapore, and comes out fighting. A truly dazzling jewel in Under New Management’s crown, I’m not a fan of bitter drinks personally, but you have to appreciate the brilliant skill and craft put into this cocktail. It goes down very easily too.
Served in a cute and quirky little vintage glass, this blend of delicious rum, espresso, chocolate and orange bitters screams Terry’s Chocolate Orange. It’s a tart and sweet taste of coffee and chocolate. The best bit is it’s not even bitter, so anyone can appreciate its silky soft and luxurious taste.
Bread and Butter
This cocktail was by far my favourite, as it had all the qualities I look for in a tasty tipple. Sweet, rich and completely new to me, this drink is far better than any bread and butter pudding. Rum infused raisin fuses with bread syrup and is topped off with a vanilla custard cream. I also thought it tasted like cookies, something you can never have too much of in my book.
Something I believe would please the kid in all of us, well definitely me, is this sweet and sour bourbon cocktail. By far the best garnish I’ve ever had, I asked Tony if I could take home the little toy car. Pink, fruity and easy on the way down, this is a great example of why cocktails are the ultimate big kid’s toy.
We were lucky enough to sample a couple of other amazing drinks on our adventure to Under New Management, as well as watch Tony knock up a brand new cocktail just for my friend, based on what she loves.
These guys are true geniuses in their field, and during the intimate hours of an early evening, they’ll happily chat away and make you your all time favourite cocktails if you can’t see them on the menu. They make as much of their ingredients themselves, and have a wonderful collection of bitters on the bar, which really demonstrate their passion for their work.
Brodie and Tony gave us the best hospitality, undivided attention and a great time, which is why we’ll be back every pay day for the rest of time!