Whether you’re a local or traveling for a city break, Manchester is an amazing city full of different events, architecture and places to visit. It’s well known for its diverse population with areas such as China town and “the curry mile” to explore and likely, never seen the end of. Manchester has a famous nightlife were restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs all become the highlight of your stay.
Looking into Manchester’s bar scene can be tough, there are hundreds of places to try, however, there are some highlights when it comes to cocktails. Here’s a look at some of the best cocktails spots central to Manchester.
Also on Manchester’s list of “secret bars”, the washhouse isn’t a bar you can simply walk into. The front of the bar looks like a small laundrette with a few washing machines, in order to get into the secret bar, you need to phone up and book a washing machine (table) and state how many garments you need to wash (number of people). They will take a name from you and when you reach the location a secret door opens to enter the bar. It’s a small but pleasant bar to be in which offers some of the best and most unusual cocktails you can imagine, they range from jalapenos cocktails to an old-fashioned mixed with orange chocolate. It’s not the easiest bar to go to last minute, but it’s certainly an experience to try whilst staying in Manchester. Even their website is laid out like a laundrette, this bar gets an A for effort and authenticity.
Known for its aesthetically pleasing blended drinks, the Alchemist is one of the most famous places in Manchester to grab a cocktail. Some of the selections let you add parts to the drink yourself and with it, comes smoky effect that works as entertainment as much as they do as a quencher of thirst. There are two locations for this bar in Manchester, Spinningfields is the original, which is located next to other luxury bars which are best suited to a “dressed-up” evening out, but there is also another bar location near Piccadilly Gardens which is likely the easier find for tourists.
The Liars Clubs
An underground hidden gem in Manchester, located a few minutes away from Spinningfields, The Liars Clubs is a Tiki Lounge with something extra. The bar is located underground and offers dozens of different cocktails that are all offered in a very casual manner. The liar’s club is a relaxed dress down bar that doesn’t mess around with appearance, most of the cocktails come in mugs and regular glasses rather than high neck cocktail glasses. A highlight to watch out for in the bar is the treasure chest cocktail, it’s a cocktail for sharing but it comes in an old carved out chest with straws for everyone. The bar staff are all well trained and offer entertainment whilst making your drinks, ordering a “zombie” is a highlight as it involved rum, tropical juice and fire!
Dusk Til Pawn
Also on the list of secret bars, comes Dusk Til Pawn, you don’t have to book to get into this bar but it’s hidden with a unique bar front. The outside of the bar is small and has been designed into a pawn shop with neon signs and old goods to buy, a nice touch to get you in the mood. The bar inside is small but has a brilliant atmosphere to help the drink flow even easier. The cocktail choices offer all the classics with the bars own subtle twists, however, the taste and price always go down well when people review this bar. The bar’s inspiration comes from a New York style Speakeasy that comes across as dark with a lot of character, you can find it along with other unique bar ideas in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
One of Manchester more prestigious bar and restaurant to attend, its located in Manchester’s iconic Beetham Tower (The Hilton Tower). It’s an imposing landmark to visit and what better way to see the city than with a cocktail in hand. Cloud 23 offers both the traditional favourites and their own complex creations which usually have dry ice wafting out of them for extra effect. Being located in one of the more luxurious places in Manchester means that the quality is heightened to meet a perfect standard, which is also seen in their beer and wine selections.
One of the few true jazz bars in Manchester, the Northern Quarter is home to this magical bar that’s bound to take your fancy. This bar includes fairy lights dotted all around and old sewing/ weaving machines that have been repurposed into tables, the spirit of the bar is in the 1920’s and its inspiration is very clear. The champagne and cocktail bar offers all the classics in a premium quality which is enhanced with the old-fashioned table service which completes the experience. It’s an evening of socialising, dancing and creating memories in a perfect location. If you’re a fan of the famous “Jager bomb” the Fitzgerald offer a little spins on the drink and like to call it a “Jager Royal”
6 bars to grab amazing cocktails that are matched with atmospheres that make the whole experience better. It’s hard to go wrong in the bar scene in Manchester, depending on what sort of night out you would like will dictate the are you venture out to. Places like the Northern Quarter are more casual and dress down whereas Spinningfields, Deansgate and Printworks are all a smarter dress code to take note of.
Amelia Morgan is a freelance writer that has recently settled in Manchester after travelling around Europe. She started her journey in England and loved the idea of living here for the foreseeable future. Recently, she has been given British citizenship so she can start setting foundations down in one of the best cities to live.