The North West Bartender’s Ball

What is the definition of “Dangerous Mathematics”?

Boys on film...

1 Tory MP + £5000 of other people’s money + 7 Eastern European call girls x tabloid journalists = autoerotic asphyxiation to the power of resignation

Yes, agreed. But even more dangerous is this… 100 bartenders + 1 dwarf x 150 bottles of top booze x free bar = broken toilets + broken relationships – employment

And so this autistic maths conundrum was made real and given flesh last week, and at least 24 unfortunates failed to make work the next day. But on the plus side a good guy was given a send off and some cash was raised for a good cause, not Colombia, a GOOD cause….

The North West Bartenders Ball was a towering inferno of a night, followed, for some, more or less, by a Twin Tower of a morning. The Liquorists hosted a Gala bash (by the end it was definitely more Gala Bingo) at the world renowned Corridor Bar in Manchester, where the great and the good frankly had their night gate crashed  by us lot to celebrate our achievements over the last 12, and celebrate the loss of a good friend.

On Tuesday the 11th of January a huge character in the bar community of the North of England, Gaz Hill, died in the ICU of Salford Hope Hospital. The circumstances of his death made it all the more poignant to everyone that knew him. How did his friends mourn him, we had a party, a f***king big one. I like to think it is what he would have done…..

“Tom, I have to be gone by midnight..” – Fabrice Limon, Mangrove

Fit squared...

Mourning was not all the evening was dedicated to, and an awards ceremony to rival the Latin Grammy’s, or at the least the Thomas Cook Regional Sales Awards (Lincoln) 2005 was one of the many highlights, including Callum Francis singing, very impressive, very impressive indeed.

The full list of Awards and winners is at the bottom of the page, but a quick run-down saw Keko Moku scoop two of the hottest prizes Favourite Bar, and Best Bar Manager for Lyndon Higginson (WTF…), Lyndon also received the Most Influential Person (who can’t balance a Daiquiri) Award, and balance was restored to the cosmos.

Nick ‘Foxy’ Fox of Neon Cactus and Ye Worlde Famouse Portobello Starre received the hotly contested Bartender’s Bartender Award, presented by Gaz’s sister, Rachael . All the main awards of the night were voted for by the people, of the people and with the, never mind, they were People’s Choice awards not decided by two twats in an office, but by those who work with or party with the bartenders.

“I’m not surprised I didn’t win anything….I don’t give away enough free booze” – Ian Morgan, Corridor

You wanna dance?

The night was made possible by the donations of numerous generous brands, in no particular order our heartfelt thank go to Appleton Estate 8yr, Chase Vodka, Beefeater 24, Arette Tequila, Bacardi, Zubrowka, The Kraken Spiced Rum, Plantation Rums, Martin Millers Gin, Lillet, Evan Williams Bourbon and Windhoek lager. Their generosity enabled us to raise a significant amount of cash for a charity nominated by Gaz Hill’s family, MIND, for better mental health.

The remainder of the night shall be forever more clouded in mystery, and more than a little shame. Thank fully we employed a professional photographer and Film Maker so cue embarrassed tagging, and tearful phonecalls.

“Of course I still love you baby, but you know, I was drunk, he was in a tux. What do you want….?” – Random Girl

As an outpouring of emotion for Gaz it was perfect, but it must be said that this should have been organised long, long ago. We have broken the seal now, and expect more of the same very soon. And remember, all the photos end up on here, you have been warned……


The Liquorists

The Awards

  • Fittest Rep – Gemma Monaghan, Bacardi + Fabrice Limon, Mangrove
  • Unfittest Rep – Alex Johnson, Eaux de Vie
  • Fuck it, it’s not my Money Award – Daz Haldane, Reserve Brands
  • Rotas are for Cunts award – Jon boy, Socio Rehab
  • Never go full retard/biggest Liability – Biggy
  • The Lyndon Higginson Lifetime Achievement Award – Stuart Baillie
  • 1 Gear on my Fixie Bike – Common bar and patrons
  • Most Influential Oriental – Susie Wong/ Andy Vo/ Dan Ngyou
  • Most Influential Person (who is unable to balance a Daiquiri) – Lyndon Higginson
  • Best Bar Back – Stevie Pilling, Socio Rehab/Keko
  • Worst dressed – Ian Melville (ret)
  • The 6 dashes of bitters award for the Wankiest cocktails – Tom Vernon
  • Excellence in the industry, Best Bar Team – Epernay, Manchester
  • Best Bar Manager – Lyndon Higginson, Keko Mok0
  • People’s Choice Favourite Bar – Keko Moku
  • The Gaz Hill People’s Choice  Bartender’s Bartender of the year – Nick ‘Foxy’ Fox, Neon Cactus