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31 Jul 2020 - 5 minutes

Cocktail concoctions with Atlas!

Cocktail concoctions with Atlas blog header

Earlier this week, we asked you to vote between a classic Cosmopolitan and a minty Mojito for the ultimate holiday cocktail! It was a close one, but the Mojito came out mighty. And we’d agree! What’s better than a cool, refreshing hit of minty ice whilst you're soaking up the sun?

So, to keep the holi-stay going we decided to partner up with the fantastic team at Atlas Bar to bring the perfect Mojito to you!

Situated in the railway arches of Deansgate, Atlas Bar has been a Manchester icon for two decades, and has matured into an elegant, quality bar specialising in gins from around the world; over 520 at the last count! The largest offer in Manchester city centre - right on the doorstep of AXIS!

Whilst Atlas is undoubtedly known for being a gin specialist, we paid a visit and the fantastic team took the time to show us how to make this staple member of the cocktail menu.

Atlas bar roof terrance with a drink

Your Recipe:

Top tip for making the perfect Mojito: A well iced glass and lots of ''smacked'' mint. This really enhances the flavour!
  1. Ice your glass first. Ideally in the freezer or fill with crushed ice.
  2. Add 50ml of Havana Especial to a shaker, along with the juice of five squeezed limes and two teaspoons of soft brown sugar.
  3. Muddle the mixer by swiveling a long spoon in the shaker
  4. Now, add the mix to your iced glass. Ensure that there's plenty of crushed ice, five mint leaves and then garnish with a full sprig of mint.
  5. Finally, sit back, enjoy and feel those holiday vibes.... Delicious!

We made a quick video to show you just how to muddle those ingredients together - take a look at our Instagram!

Bartender mixing a mojito at Atlas bar Manchester

As Manchester is slowly and steadily re-opening, the hospitality industry is continuing to innovate and adapt to this “new normal” whether that means reduced capacity, ordering from your table or only being allowed in a pub for a whole two hours. After our cocktail-making fun, we sat down with the Atlas team to see how they’re navigating the situation. Here is what they said...

Congratulations on the successful reopening! What has the reception been like so far?

"We've been overwhelmed by everyone's support. It's great to see our regular locals back and also to welcome new regulars. We've worked hard on social distancing measures and our customers are feeling safe and returning. Our private terrace is also a hidden gem in the city.”

How have you adapted your menu and offering since reopening?

“Our menu is now online and you can order from your table. Due to our range of over 520 gins, they aren't all on the ordering app, so we've full menus available, which can be sanitised, and customers can then order any gin as normal. We aren't currently offering breakfast and lunch, due to reduced trading hours, but as things move slowly back to a normal world, we'll open up, all day, again.”

Have there been any changes you've made since reopening that you'll be keeping long-term?

“Customers are loving ordering from their phone and the table service, so we'll certainly be keeping this for our day service, and it'll remain an option on busier evenings.”

What changes have surprised you since reopening?

“No changes have really surprised us, but we are already learning to evolve how we do things. Learning as we go. We have some great customers and hearing their feedback is always so valuable.”

What would you say to people still unsure about ‘drinking out’?

“We have worked hard here at Atlas, to deliver as safe an environment as possible. We temperature check everyone arriving at the bar, capture all customers details and where they are sat. Customers order from their table, and can pay from their phones, and we serve and clear the drinks. Screens are used throughout to support distancing, and we are managing occupancy in our bathrooms. We are fortunate also to have our outside terrace, which can be covered and heated to cope with our famous Manchester weather!”

Atlas bar roof terrace in the summer in Manchester

What is your most popular cocktail?

“Being gin specialists, our Negroni and Martini are hugely popular. Espresso Martinis would be the most popular non gin-based cocktail!"

Why do you think Mojitos are so popular?

Mojitos are such a taste of summer, whatever the time of year, and our gin and tonics, all technically cocktails, offer such a broad spectrum of flavours and styles. There's a G&T for every occasion, out there.

Continuing with our holiday theme, what is your recommended ‘Spanish’ gin?

Gin Mare was one of the first Spanish gins, that we ranged at Atlas. The team behind the gin, are amazing, and we've been fortunate to take some of our team there to learn all about how the gin is made. It is such a versatile gin.

Our perfect serve is with rosemary and olives, or basil, on its own, for a savoury twist. It's equally fabulous with a generous lime garnish for a more citrus-forward flavour.

What cocktail would you recommend to someone who is new to gin?

Probably a Gin Fizz. It's a gentle introduction made with gin, lemon juice, sugar and topped up with soda or sparkling water. Very refreshing! Another option is the Bramble, which has the same ingredients with some Creme de Mure added. Garnished with some red fruits, you almost feel like you are on holiday.

A selection of gins at Atlas bar in Manchester's Deansgate
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