Moonshine Minnie’s styles itself as a ‘speakeasy’ – but it’s set in the basement of jazzy mini-chain Blues Kitchen, which doesn’t exactly conjure up visions of illicit Prohibition-era boozing. It looks good, though: atmospherically small and dark, there’s a panelled ceiling made from stained glass from a Yorkshire church, and wall hangings of plaited rope. It’s a bit like a pirate ship, but with corporate air conditioning. There’s also a random decapitated (plastic) head on the bar that looks a lot like Khal Drogo from ‘Game of Thrones’.
Cocktails are the thing to order here, and they’re exotic. Banana daiquiris, lychee martinis and burnt pear old fashioneds stand out on a menu that is otherwise whisky-heavy – but order the Mezcal Margarita. Smoky, smooth and strong, it came in a glass garnished with wonderfully fine salt. Two sips in and I already felt tipsy. I combatted the feeling with buffalo chicken wings, which were thick with tangy, brilliantly wet sauce, and served with a side of an additional chunky blue cheese dip. Juicy and moreish, they were some of the best wings I’ve had in my life.
Other cocktails – notably the pisco sour – came a little over-diluted, and accessing the bar through a packed-out Blues Kitchen was a bit of an effort. If chicken and mezcal are your thing, though, that’s a labour of love.