(The Champs)

Occasionally, very occasionally,  you receive invites that seem too good be true, this week was a case in point.

Late last year I spent an interesting and informative evening in the company of ‘The Liquorists’ a team of guys who train bar-tenders and ‘mixologists’ in the subtleties and nuances of alcoholic drinks. This week I was invited by the aforementioned Liquorists to spend an evening sampling ‘Aqua Riva’ Tequila in the company of the founder of the Aqua Riva – Cleo Rocos – who also happens to be the President of the Tequila Society.

She’s also probably best known for her television appearances, back in the eighties, with Kenny Everett, a long time hero of mine.

The invite promised an evening in the company of Miss Rocos, and a variety of cocktails based on her own-brand tequila, in a number of cocktail bars in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Well it was a Wednesday evening, I was in Manchester, so I paid my money and turned up at the appointed bar (Apotheca) to join the tour. The previous tour I’d done (also sampling tequila) comprised about a dozen people, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we were to be a group of just five. Rather than a structured evening discussing the merits of her tequila, the evening became a bunch of friends drinking cocktails and sitting around chatting.

And, of course, as President of the Tequila Society, all the mixologists raised their game and presented us with wonderful cocktails, although frankly there’s not much to beat a “Tommy’s Margarita”.

cleo-rocos at Tolfalas.com

Cleo was charming company, witty and entertaining. She regaled us with tales of drinking sessions with Kenny Everett, Freddie Mercury (another hero) and Princess Diana.

And told us the story behind her, frankly excellent, tequila.

cleo rocos at Tolfalas.com

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