Manchester’s tropical haven The Liars Club is launching a new cocktail menu which aims to make tiki drinks ‘more accessible’.
Developed by Liars Club general manager Rory Bourke and Liars Group training and drinks development manager Adam Wilson, the list is a single sheet with 21 cocktails.
‘We gave ourselves the task of making things more easily understandable by the general public,’ Wilson told Imbibe.
‘Guests who didn’t necessarily know tiki didn’t really understand what they were getting [with the previous menu]. Quite a lot of those drinks were heavy-going, professional-level boozy Sours or Old Fashioned style drinks. We made some of the drinks that were on there a little more accessible.’
Thus, Wilson and Bourke decided to divide the menu into three sections: one with easy-going tropical drinks, a second with tweaked tiki classics and a third with ‘serious stuff’ with an emphasis on rum.
The first section, dubbed ‘For the Mermaids’, includes approachable tipples like the Piña Colada, the Saturn cocktail and a tiki-twisted Cosmo drink called The Lost Lady, a fruity mix of Havana 3yo rum, Clement Creole Shrubb, cranberry, homemade grenadine, Angostura orange bitters and orange.
Meanwhile, the second section, ‘For the Land Lubbers’, presents tiki favourites as well as traditionally non-tiki drinks that have been crafted with a tropical flair. The Zombie combines Liars Club’s six-rum mix, orange, guava, apple and Gosling’s 151 rum, all set alight with cinnamon; the Double Shot Coconut Latte marries Blackwell’s rum, crème de cacao, coconut milk and cream and coffee in a takeaway cup.
Finally, the third section, ‘For the Pirates’, goes heavy on rum cocktails with big flavours – including another take on the Zombie called The 1934. ‘[The 1934] is a little more grown-up and boozy, and the [second section’s] Zombie is a little more classic: super juicy and lots of pineapple, apple juice, cherry. It’s a Zombie but still quite accessible. It doesn’t have two ounces of juice and five ounces of spirit.’
But Wilson made it clear that more accessibility is not always synonymous with less alcohol.
‘[By “more accessible”,] I don’t necessarily mean lower-abv, but more approachable flavours,’ he explained. ‘In the first section we’ve got an Irish whiskey and some Bacardi, which is a little bit lighter, and then as you move over you’ve got a bit of agricole, a bit more Jamaican influence in the drink which can be quite challenging for some people.’
Though many of the drinks on the list are new, the Liars Club team did decide to keep the previous menu’s illustrated format. ‘The previous illustrated version of the menu was well-received so we wanted to keep it like that, and we have an artist in-house so we get to work really closely with them on the design,’ said Wilson. ‘Presentation is a big aspect of how people order this sort of drink.’
The Liars Club’s new menu hits the bar early this month.
Want a closer look at tiki? Read Nate Brown and Sly Augustin's debate on how tiki is affecting rum's reputation here