Review: Almost Famous Manchester

Almost Famous MCR

We tried cocktails (and maybe a burger or two!) at Almost Famous, at the Great Northern in Manchester. Almost Famous is an American style burger restaurant which is popular because of its extravagant, dirty and delicious burgers. Their Great Northern restaurant off Deansgate was opened after a fire burned down their original Manchester restaurant in the Northern Quarter (which has since reopened). The atmosphere is casual, the decor is trendy and everything screams America.

The drinks menu itself is not extensive: 11 cocktails, 4 sharers intended for 2-8 people, 8 bottles of wine, a good selection of beers and a couple of ciders. But for a burger joint, this is not a bad list at all! The also offer a different boozy and extravagant milkshake every week for £6.

Side 1 of the Almost Famous drinks menu
Side 2 of the Almost Famous drinks menu

In terms of draught and bottles, there is something for everyone: lager, pale ale, IPA, porter and apple and fruit ciders. In terms of cocktails, this is definitely a menu for drink lovers who like there alcohol decadent. That being said, it is a diverse menu, with a selection of gin, vodka, rum and whisky drinks, and the classics like Sex on the Beach or a Pornstar Martini are nowhere to be seen. Prices for cocktails range from £7.50-£9.00.

8-Day Weekend

El Dorado 5 Rum, falernum, mint, clementine, Campari, pistachio, lime and soda.

This looks, sounds and tastes a lot like a fruity, jazzed-up mojito. The clementine adds a refreshing acidic sweetness to the mix, as well as making the drink an attractive colour. The pistachio was difficult to taste but provided a nice texture, like undissolved sugar in an authentic mojito.

8-Day Weekend (Rum cocktail)

Lock Stock

Woodford Reserve, Punt E Mes, chocolate bitters, Frangelico, Johnnie Walker Black and salted caramel.

A subtle take on a classic Manhattan that turns it into a dessert cocktail. The chocolate bitters and Frangelico combination mimics a dash of Nutella, and the salted caramel and double dose of whisky keep the sweetness balanced. A twist of lemon is a nice alternative to the traditional orange, which would have pushed the flavour over the top.

Lock Stock (whisky cocktail)

Top Level

Rittenhouse 100, Appleton VX, Pedro Ximenez, cherry, vanilla, lime and ginger beer.

A tropical variation of the vintage cocktail Up-To-Date, in that it contains whisky, rum and sherry. All the individual flavours came through strongly, and the combination of lime and ginger beer create an overall Caribbean taste. The metal highball keeps the drink chilled, and is a rustic addition.

Top Level (Whisky, Rum and Sherry cocktail)

Antique, old fashioned and forgotten cocktails! – The Blue Moon

The Blue Moon

A cocktail which doesn’t require too many ingredients but is very pleasing on the eye. Each ingredient perfectly blends together and results in a semisweet floral flavour balanced by the tartness of the lemon juice and that gin tang. It is very fortunate for us all that creme de violette or Creme Yvette has been recently revived after thirty years of death.


Recipe I

2 ounces/ 6 cl/ 60 ml of gin
0.5 ounce/ 1.5 cl/ 15 ml of Creme Yvette or creme de violette
0.5 ounce of lemon juice
Lemon peel for a twist

– Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass
– Garnish with a lemon twist

If you wish add some egg whites for that silky texture!

Get your ingredients!


Creme Yvette/Creme de violette

Antique, old fashioned and forgotten cocktails! – The Alamagoozlum Cocktail

The Alamagoozlum Cocktail

What a wonderfully, fantastic way to start the week – or end the week, or the celebrate Thursdays , or drink away the Tuesday night. I think you get the picture. Originally found in Charles H. Baker’s 1939 book Around the World with Jigger, Beaker, and Flask and attributed to none other than J. P. Morgan – yes, the American tycoon – the Alamagoozlum is not just fun to say but rather historic.


Recipe I

1/2 egg white
2 ounces/6 cl/60 ml of genever gin
2 ounces of water
1.5 ounces/4.5 cl/45 ml of Jamaican Rum
1.5 ounces of yellow or green Chartreuse
1.5 ounces of gomme syrup
0.5 ounces/1.5 cl/15 ml of orange curacao
0.5 ounces of Angostura Bitters

Recipe II

1/4 egg white
1 ounce/3 cl/30 ml of Rutte Old Simon Genever
1 ounce of water
0.75 ounce/2.25 cl/22.5 ml of white overproof rum
0.75 ounce of Chartreuse Jaune (yellow Chartreuse)
0.75 ounce of sugar syrup (2 sugar to 1 water)
0.25 ounces/0.75 cl/7.5 ml of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
0.25 ounces of Angostura Bitters

with a pineapple wedge for garnish

– For both recipes place all of the ingredients into an iced cocktail shaker and shake it. Not a simple shake but a vigorous one – ‘shake it like a Polaroid picture’.

Yes, yes, there’s about 285 ml of cocktail in recipe I… This recipe is intended to be shared amongst several, chilled glasses. Well, unless you’re thirsty or just want that kind of night! Also, don’t fear the egg whites. It’s not for flavour, but instead adds a lovely foam on top and gives the cocktail a silky texture.

Get your ingredients!



White rum

Orange curacao/liqueur

Gomme/sugar syrup

Angostrua Bitters

Jamaican rum