Monday 16 September 2013

Dusk til Pawn Cocktail Bar, Manchester.

Dusk til Pawn is my favourite cocktail bar in Manchester. As is so often the case these days, I got the tip from a few people on twitter that it's a good 'un. I love it. First of all, I enjoy that it's behind a fake pawn shop window, like a NY speakeasy; a bit of creativity is always a good thing - why does nearly every new bar have the same boring, minimalist, cold, clinical style? It just takes a little imagination to do something different for a change.
You enter into near darkness. I prefer dark bars. (They don't tend to photograph well though.) Next up; the cocktails are fabulous, and not overly expensive, they start at £6.50. 

I always go for a smoking Old Fashioned, which is a little more, but worth it, as it comes in a jam jar that's properly smoked, and a bar of chocolate (that really cheap chocolate like you get in advent calendars, but that's beside the point). You have to wait a while for the smoke to work its magic....
Mrs B went for a Pawn Star Martini, another good one with a frozen shot. It's also an entertaining bit of theatre when they burn the passion fruit on the top. 
I overheard a few guys in the bar who were just leaving mentioning a special cocktail they'd enjoyed that wasn't on the menu, and being nosey, I had to ask them what it was. (I didn't know at the time that it was local photographer Mark Stuttard; we coincidentally follow each other on twitter.) Anyhow, they told me I had to try this special cocktail; the Integral Mind Boom. I asked the bartender about it, and he told me he'd come second in a competition with this cocktail, so naturally I had to try it for my next drink. It was mental, first you get basil, almost like a mojito, then it's a sweetness like almond cake, then a spicy heat at the finish. I've never tasted anything quite like it! Here's what's in it; Irish whiskey, almond, Tabasco, fresh basil, lime and a dash of ginger ale.
Ask for it, and tell them I sent you!

I always enjoy the atmosphere in Dusk til Pawn, it's very mellow, and I've never found it to be posey or pretentious at all. We had my sister and her partner up for the night, and they loved it in there. I always feel proud whenever I take people out of town somewhere like this, we agreed that we are dead lucky to have independent and unique bars like this one to visit in our city centre.

Oh yeah, and the music was spot on too.
Soundtrack (as played) : Louis Armstrong - A Kiss To Build A Dream On.

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