Socio Rehab, home of Manchester’s finest cocktails, teamed up with Grey Goose Vodka to host a unique black tie event for the launch of their new Martini Kettles.
With food pairings prepared by Northern Quarter ‘gourmet bake house’ Home Sweet Home who better to report on this stylish event than Manchester’s most sophisticated reporters...!?
On entering we were greeted by a host of beautiful women and well dressed men holding drinks of assorted shapes and sizes.
Top sommelier and mixologist Joe McCanta, brand ambassador for Grey Goose was on hand to educate us on the history of the Martini, backed by a selection of historical cocktail handbooks.
Although the evolution of the Martini seemed to take longer than the evolution of man I did manage to capture some of the more interesting facts to share.
- The Martini is thought to have originated in California in the time of the gold rush in a town named Martinez just outside San Francisco.
- Although not certain it is thought it was invented by Julio Richelieu a bartender in Martinez. A gold miner paid for a bottle of whiskey with a gold nugget but thought he deserved more so Julio created a cocktail for him using gin and vermouth - the Martinez.
- Although made famous by James Bond a Martini should be stirred not shaken as shaking the cocktail results in the temperature rising faster.
We were then introduced to the Martini Kettle brought to us by Grey Goose. The kettles are designed for a group of people, holding several Martinis while keeping them at optimum temperature due to a metal core filled with ice. The kettle comes with an assortment of garnishes allowing customers to choose the style of Martini required – according to Joe – an age old problem solved.
Now fully understanding the epic journey from gold rush California to modern day Manchester the Martini had taken, the staff set about creating various Martinis for us to sample.
As the jazz and Motown tunes got louder the fantastic food from Home Sweet Home appeared to accompany our drinks.
Numerous serving boards appeared covered with too many foods to name, in particular the slow roasted fennel belly pork with gambas chilli prawns come to mind surpassed only by the pimento peppers stuffed with goats cheese - a reason in itself to visit the gourmet bake house.
The drinks began to flow and with dedication I set about educating my palate sampling Martinis with a twist (lemon peel), a Gibson (with onion), Dry Martini (with an olive), even the less traditional chocolate version served with toasted marshmallow and settling on the Dirty Martini served with olive and a splash of olive juice - unsure whether the name the taste or the fact it was my fifth did more to make it my favourite.
Socio Rehab is a great night out far removed from the usual pub-pint experience without embracing the pretentious atmosphere of other cocktail bars. The Martini Kettle offers everything it claims though is clearly a gimmick, it may be suitable for a group of friends on a busy night not wanting to wait at the bar but removes a key element of the cocktail experience, depriving you of the personal touch of having your cocktail created in front of you.