Whether you’re searching for wildly innovative creations or timeless classics, Manchester boasts some of the finest cocktail bars the UK has to offer. Take a look through some of the best…

Henry C

A charming little spot in the suburbs, Henry C is a cosy neighbourhood cocktail bar that has gone down an absolute storm since opening back in 2016. If that wasn’t enough, then the dedicated, ever-changing Negroni menu should be — drinks from this are available for just a fiver on Thursdays and the Cafe Pacifico, which incorporates tequila and homemade coffee liqueur, is a stunning riff on the classic.

107 Manchester Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9GA

Named after a ‘forgotten classic cocktail’, Blinker’s menu is influenced by British seasonality, changing monthly and always focusing on four in-season flavours. Fans of the Martini and Old Fashioned are spoilt for choice here, with special menus dedicated to the two favourites.

Inside, the sleek interior provides one of the city’s coolest drinking settings and the team are more than worth their spot in the latest Top 50 Bars list, in which they sit sixth.

64-72 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ
The Fitzgerald

Inspired by the secret drinking dens of the prohibition era, The Fitzgerald, with its back street entrance, blends moody lighting with wonderfully eccentric 1920s furnishings. The end result is a gorgeous, atmospheric space matched by a superb traditional cocktail menu.

There’s also live music with free entry every Friday and Saturday night, perfect for those who are after somewhere a little more lively.

11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

Another Chorlton spot, this time nestled within the bustling food and drink goldmine that is Beech Road. 97 hasn’t been open long but the team, the same one behind NQ veterans Tariff & Dale, have hit the ground running and earned plenty of justified plaudits.

The intimate 35-cover venue looks fantastic, and the cocktail menu, which comes via a Top Trumps-style deck of cards with different scores for key tasting notes like acidity, bitterness and strength, offers plenty of innovative creations, alongside tried and tested classics.

97 Beech Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9EQ
Schofield's Bar

Schofield’s needs no introduction in Manchester, the team are a constant staple in just about all the major cocktail awards, and now officially boat the title of best in the UK. To call them experts in their craft wouldn’t even come close to doing them justice.

Set within Sunlight House, an art deco architectural triumph and one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, Schofield’s is simply a must-visit for anyone after the best.

3 Little Quay Street Sunlight House, Manchester M3 3JZ
Speak in Code

Speak in Code also boasts plenty of industry accolades, and is another flying the flag for Manchester in the 2024 Top 50 Bars list. The forward-thinking, plant-based cocktail menu earns rightful acclaim, and their reuse and repurpose approach to creating drinks is as admirable as it is impressive.

Exposed brick and velvet furnishings replicate the most attractive NYC drinking haunts, while laid-back Hip Hop playlists provide an always stellar soundtrack to the evening.

7 Jackson's Row, Manchester M2 5ND
Project Halcyon

Project Halcyon is certainly one of the more unique cocktail bars Manchester has to offer. Set within the historic Bonded Warehouse, the opulent space has been dreamt up as an illicit blues bar with much of the cocktail offering coming directly from the bar’s own distillery, with each drink inspired by a specific moment in history.

Bonded Warehouse, Lower Byrom St, Manchester M3 4AP

10TibLane with its stunning stripped-back interior offers a lovely backdrop for grabbing a drink in the city centre. Operating under the same ownership as Henry C, guests can rest assured that they’re always going to be in good hands. On the food side of things, the restaurant’s seasonal small-plate menu always proves a hit, as does its daily £1 oyster offer.

10 Tib Ln, Manchester M2 4JB

Hidden in the basement of the historic Queens Chambers building, Arcane’s owners say they wanted to build a creative but unpretentious cocktail spot. The result is a gem of a bar, one that retains much of the structure’s original Victorian features, where the incredible drinks shine through.

Earlier in the evening you’ll find a welcoming and relaxed setup perfect for casual drinks, while later on the space is filled with great tunes and dancing into the early hours.

2 S King St, Manchester M2 6DQ
Wood & Company

An intimate subterranean hideaway on South King Street, Wood & Co’s brooding, dark wood-clad interior ensures the NYC-style venue looks just as strikingly good as the cocktails the team stir and shake up behind the bar. Head down on a Friday or Saturday and there’ll also be a live DJ adding to the buzzing atmosphere.

39 S King St, Manchester M2 6DE, United Kingdom
Red Light

Despite only opening in Manchester last year, Red Light has made quite the impact since its arrival at Kampus. A proud LGBTQ+ bar, Red Light’s warming welcome to all who enter its doors, married with a marvellous cocktail list, has made it an instant favourite in the city. The team were also recognised in this year’s Top 50 Bar awards, taking home the One to Watch title in the specialist awards category.

4-2 Little David St, Manchester M1 3GL, United Kingdom
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Thu 25 Apr 2024