Whether you’re a bourbon, gin or rum aficionado, we’ve got an A-list of the 10 best cocktail bar experiences in Manchester…
10. The Fitzgerald
In classic speakeasy style, The Fitzgerald is a sultry venue in our beloved Northern Quarter with a cool, creative vibe. Great music and a creative cocktail menu – drinks come with extras such as suitcases, sweeties and billows of smoke!
If you’re a whisky lover don’t miss the Smokey Old Fashioned- a classic oak-smoked bourbon mixed with pineapple, grapefruit and passionfruit juice. The giant creation is topped with so much fresh fruit (and it’s effect so strong) you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a beach in the Caribbean (sadly the Manchester weather is a sad reminder that you’re anything but.) It tastes as good as it looks and is the ideal order for a night out.
If the feel-good music doesn’t get you dancing, the bartenders will. So get ready for a fully loaded night out!
Opening times: Mon 6pm-12am, Tues – Thursday 5pm – 1am, Friday 5pm – 2am, Saturday 3pm – 2am.
Champagne lovers delight! At Epernay you can choose from 15 champagnes by the glass including vintage, prestige cuvees & magnums.
Expect a fun environment and dress smart-casual.
Peckish? Their indulgent brunch features an exquisite award-winning champagne from Palmer & Co, alongside indulgent pastries, cheese, and a charcuterie board as well as quiche, pates and rosemary-infused croutons.
Opening times: Mon-thu 16pm-1:30am; Fri & sat: 12pm-1:30am; Sun 12pm-12am.
8. The Bar, Great John Street Hotel
The Bar is on the ground floor of the converted Great John Street Hotel – a swanky and cosy spot with a stunning pewter bar. It’s a great place to enjoy chilled drinks with friends and family or to celebrate a special occasion.
When you arrive be sure to pop up to their uber fashionable library and terrace inspired by Ralph Lauren designs. The Rooftop Lounge offers astonishing views of the city.
My cocktail recommendation is the “Mademoiselle Bramble” – it’s a twist on the modern classic, adding vanilla syrup and honey to Bombay Sapphire gin, shaken and finished with chambered viola.
Opening times: Check availability via their website.
Antique pharmacy cabinets, black leather sofas and classic Queen Anne chairs form the interiors of Apotheca – where you can glimpse contemporary artwork signed by New York-based photographer Anthony Crook as you sip rare spirit concoctions.
The award winning ‘Thai One’ is a mix of Ketel One Citroen vodka, fresh red chillies, lemongrass, lime, coconut and coriander and tastes delicious.
Opening times: Sun-Wed 12pm-12:30am; Thursday 12pm-1.30am.
Step inside the luxurious and modern Indian cocktail bar at Asha’s…
If you can’t resist a bit of Indian cuisine you’ll fall in love with their “Mumbai Mary” cocktail which is the perfect accompaniment to any spicy feast. It’s made with citrus grey goose, chat masala syrup & gold leaf and tastes as good as it sounds.
For non-traditionalists, their Indian take on the ‘Espresso Martini’ is worth a try – made with vanilla vodka, kahlua, espresso and Asha’s special spice syrup.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm; 17:30pm-11pm; Sat & Sun 12:30pm-12am.
5. The Alchemist, Spinningfields
Everyone loves a bit of magic…
The Alchemist is a circus for your senses with potions of drinks served in theatrical panache style servers – emitting bubbles, smoke and fire!
Molecular mixology, alchemy and craftsmanship meet in this Manchester hot-spot. Menu highlights include the ‘Bubblegum’ – a mix of bubblegum, apple, cranberry, lime and bubbles and the ‘White Cosmo’ a peculiar mix of white cosmo ketel, one vodka, elderflower, Cointreau, lime and flowers.
Their ‘Barrel Aged Corpse Reviver’ is also worth a mention – it’s an explosive mix of Bombay Saphire, Cointreau, Lillet, citrus, aniseed, oak and thyme.
Opening times: Mon-Thu 10am-12am; Fri-Sat 10am-2am; Sunday10am-11pm.
4. The Washhouse
Close to Shudehill, The Washhouse offers a modern twist on the classic speakeasy style. Guests are only welcome when they’ve made an advance booking via the website – so when you do, make sure you tell them how many bags you want to book in for a wash service!
The entrance hall is a tiny faux laundrette that leads to a surprise bar pumping our exciting creations including sorbet G&T’s.
Opening times: variable – check website for availability.
3. The Lowry Hotel Bar
The River Bar is an informal and intimate place to network and kick back with a fine cocktail to hand.
Their lemon drop martini is a real taste sensation. A blend of lemon vodka and limoncello creates a tart yet refreshing drink. If you’re a foodie expect nothing less than a 5-star menu, plus there’s the option of afternoon tea.
Opening times: Check the hotel website for bar opening times.
2. Cloud 23
The glamour and elegance of Cloud 23 will have you feeling sky-high. Located on the 23rd floor of Manchester’s legendary Beetham Tower, you’ll be sipping cocktails at one of the highest points of the city.
Cloud 23 offer an exclusive menu of branded Champagnes such as Dom Perignon and Bollinger. If you’re not scared of heights their top recommendation is the tallest cocktail in Britain – ‘Stratospheric 23’ made with Ciroc Red Berry & Tanqueray10, Hibiscus, Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Citrus & Bollinger – careful though, this baby’s strong!
Opening times: Sun-Thu 11am-1am; Fri-Sat 11am-2am.
1. Club Brass, Gotham Hotel
Opulent and mysterious, the bespoke hotel houses Club Brass – a VIP member’s club lounge on the seventh floor offering a tempting bar menu and cocktails.
Two vault-like doors invite you into the world of Bruce Wayne, with signature cocktails including the ‘Bruce Wayne’ name-sake and the ‘Lady Crumpsall’s Champagne Cocktail’ – both pretty fabulous.
Opening times: Check availability on the website.
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