From the Northern Quarter to Spinningfields, you’re always within 10 metres of an excellent cocktail in Manchester! There’s so many cocktail bars across the city and its suburbs that we’ve struggled to narrow down the choice, but here are six of the very best luxurious locations to wet your whistle with a drink that will tantalise your taste buds.
Bar, Contemporary, Pub Grub, $$$
This popular drinking den in the Northern Quarter takes its name from the apothecary drawers in old pharmacies, setting the scene for a cocktail menu that leans towards an unusual, slightly scientific aesthetic. Their beautifully presented menu offers everything from twisted classics to unusual inventions and even bottled cocktails to share. Don’t be surprised to see unusual ingredients such as chilli, beetroot and even bacon – embrace the unexpected. Bespoke cocktail classes are also available for those who wish to create their own concoctions.
Located on the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower (above the Hilton Hotel), Cloud 23 is one of the city’s most exclusive bars. Come here to watch the sun set and to admire the panoramic views of Manchester while sipping on a delicious cocktail. Their signature cocktails include the world’s first floating cocktail, an impressive fruity rum affair that is as much fun to drink as it is to look at. There’s also an interesting array of alcohol-free cocktails that stand out among the usual fare.
Perfect for a cheeky post-work cocktail (two for £10 during happy hour), Tusk is located on the edge of the Northern Quarter, offering a variety of cocktails within intimate surroundings. Alongside their own take on the classics, Tusk offers a selection of predominantly fruity cocktails with a vague African theme. Choose from their house specials (the Sex Panther’s mix of cherry and chocolate is delectable), fizzy treats for a special occasion, or even a grown-up take on your favourite childhood drink (Umbongo).
In typical speakeasy style, the Fitzgerald isn’t the easiest bar to locate. Look for Rosylee on Stevenson Square then step around the corner and enter through an unassuming doorway and up a flight of stairs. You’ll soon find yourself transported back to the 1920s with the décor, music and even the staff uniforms fitting seamlessly into the genre. Cocktails are on the experimental side here with drinks that delight simply by their experience (dry ice is a big deal). If you’re lucky, your delectable cocktails will be accompanied by a live jazz band.
One of Manchester’s many hidden bars, The Washhouse is tucked away behind the false façade of a normal laundrette near Shudehill. To gain entry, you must first call the number on their website and book in ‘a wash’; you’ll then be permitted to enter the small hidden room behind the fake laundrette where a scattering of leather booths await. Aim to dress to impress and sit back and enjoy the table service as you are presented with an eclectic cocktail menu that covers everything from the classics to extravagant sharing drinks and luxurious glitter balls.
One of the city’s most glamorous cocktail bars, this is where to head if you’re dressed to impress. Offering the most varied champagne list in the city, Epernay is a favourite haunt of local celebrities seeking the finest drinks. Their cocktail list focuses on fizzy cocktails featuring a selection of their current favourite champagnes, but there are also a variety of signature drinks that stand out from the usual offerings with an emphasis on luxury and creativity. Special birthday cocktails and pre-booked masterclasses are also available.