Leading bartenders devise drinks for new Manchester bar


Asha's Strawberry Passion

A new cocktail bar with drinks designed by two of the UK’s leading bartenders is to open in Manchester as part of a new restaurant specialising in modern Indian cuisine.

Consultants Jamie Jones, an award-winning bartender based in Manchester, and Marian Beke, bar manager of the Nightjar in London’s Old Street, have been brought in to develop the drinks for Bollibar.

No details of the cocktails have been revealed yet but they will include one called a Strawberry Passion (pictured), made with ripe strawberries, passion fruit, vodka, strawberry liqueur and fresh lemon juice.

The 70-capacity cocktail bar will open on the ground floor of Asha’s restaurant which is being opened by Aril Group in Peter Street in Manchester city centre in September.

The 6,000 sq ft Victorian building, formerly the Baby Grand nightclub, will also have a 100-cover restaurant with modern Indian dishes, including many based on the recipes of multi-award-winning Indian singer Asha Bhosle.

Also known just as Ashaji, she is the inspiration behind the restaurants and will attend the opening to meet fans and road-test the menu. She is one of the most famous playback singers in Bollywood cinema with a career spanning over 60 years.

Jamie said: “It’s always exciting to work on a new project, and Bollibar has been a great challenge as we’ve tried to capture the essence of the brand with a range of bespoke cocktails that combine classic combinations and creative outbursts.

“The cocktail bar will look stunning, and Marian and I have created some amazing cocktails to capture the essence of everything Asha’s stands for.”

The bar manager will be Jose Ribeiro, formerly at Brass at Hotel Gotham and Manchester235 Casino in Manchester.

It will be the second UK site for Asha’s which opened in Birmingham in 2006. There are also Asha’s restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Peter Warden, general manager for Aril Group, said: “At Asha’s we pride ourselves on our relentless commitment to research and development of trail-blazing cocktails, soliciting the involvement of international mixologists from many of the best cocktail bars worldwide, including Nightjar, Lab and the highly acclaimed Berkeley Hotel.

“We are influenced by many of the world leaders including Artesian bar, London. I am convinced our list will be well received by the discerning Manchester cocktail drinker.”

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