Education and drinking came in the form of The Liquorists' seasonal spirit bar crawl on Friday night.
It was a great way to get in the Christmas spirit and there was not a glass of mulled wine in sight.
Five bars, five cocktails, five liquor tasters (or 'shots' if you will) and five canapés were on the menu for the night, which did not disappoint.
What started off with awkward introductions soon turned into meeting people from all walks of life, many those we would not otherwise have gained the opportunity to interact with.
With an enthusiastic tour guide, everyone soon settled in. Well it would be hard not to after our first tipple came in the form of a shot of Bacardi at 6pm!
Our tour took us to The Lowry Hotel, Apotheca, 24 bar and grill, Sandinista, and finishing at The Moose Bar next to Spinningfields ice rink.
The sophisticated Lowry Hotel was our first port of call and after the Bacardi shot came a pear cocktail. This was an infusion of pear, cinnamon and Bacardi and brought us trail-goers right into the festive mood.
Lemon and pear mini desert canapés accompanied this, which we all enjoyed. A great start.
Without the aid of a mini bus (our driver had a crash before coming to collect us), our 13 strong group jumped into taxis to head to Apotheca in the Northern Quarter.
A very different vibe from the Lowry, Apotheca, which is situated in the up and coming area of Manchester, brought us a new bar and a new tipple - this time Southern Comfort.
As the procedure goes it was a shot first and then a cocktail. Brought to us in a jam jar, it was a unique way to drink this Southern Jam beverage.
This was served along with a taste of dark bitter chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the Southern Comfort.
24 bar and grill, formally Obsidian, was the next stop on the bar crawl, situated in the basement of the Arora Hotel, on Princess Street.
Despite the taxi driver getting lost, this place was one of the biggest hits for me personally on the trail.
An enthusiastic barman explained how he made his Christmassy cocktail and even asked us for our suggestions.
With a mix of cranberry, fig, and Ketel One Vodka, there were not many suggestions we could provide to improve this ‘unnamed’ cocktail.
Of course a shot of Vodka preceded this cocktail and was followed by some Cumbrian beef canapés
A change of scenery again in the next bar and yet another area of Manchester.
Sandinista, located just off St Anne’s Square, is a cocktail bar and restaurant inspired by Latin cuisine who provided us with a shot of rum and a glass of eggnog.
I have to admit the eggnog was not a favourite amongst the group, but then a milky creamy drink mixed with cinnamon is never going to appeal to everyone!
The lack of canapé in this bar (a little disappointing with the array of tapas that was on offer) was made up for by the great vibe of the place and being treated to an extra shot of rum. You can't argue with that.
Final port of call - The Moose Bar at Spinningfields ice rink. There appeared to be no better place than to finish the seasonal spirits trail but here.
Greeted by an array of friendly bar staff we were provided with Grand Marnier and a mini Christmas food banquet consisting of soup, mini sandwiches, a variety of sausages, and cheese fondue.
Now if this didn’t make the others on the tour get into the Christmas spirit then I don’t know what would!
At £35 this tour is a great experience and would be great for Christmas Parties, Birthdays or even just a unique night out where you can meet new people.
It was a novel idea for us as we are new to Manchester and had not experienced these bars before. If you were a local Mancunian however, what appeal you'd lack in visiting the different bars would presumably be made up for when enjoying such a range of cocktails, shots and canapes for the price.
Education and cocktails proved to be a fun night for us and by the end we were most definitely in the Christmas spirit!
The tours begin at 6pm-10pm and cost £35.
The seasonal spirit bar crawls continue to run throughout December on 1 December, 2 December, 7 December, 8 December, 9 December and 14 December.
Get yourself booked on one now by vitising http://www.wearetheliquorists.com/ or contacting them on Twitter @TheLiquorists