We asked six bars to serve us their bestselling cocktail this party season
IS it really a Christmas night out if it doesn't start with something sparkling and sweet in a cocktail glass? When you want to go straight to 'go', there's no faster route than via the cocktail list. But which one to choose when it's three deep at the bar and the pressure's on to decide?
We toured six of our favourite Manchester bars and asked for their bestselling cocktails – the ones people order over and over, so much so, the bartenders are still making them in their sleep, long after their shift has finished.
These are the tried-and-tested favourites. Order one on your next night out or go on a mini cocktail-crawl and take in two or three. Starting on Deansgate, this is your Christmas hit-list for divine drinks in the city centre.
When you want to go straight to 'go', there's no faster route than via the cocktail list.
1) The Manahatta Spritz at Manahatta
When your budget doesn't stretch to Christmas in New York, head here for Manhattan-style eats and drinks on Deansgate. Its Instagrammable backdrop makes it the perfect place to start the night when everyone's still photo-ready and fresh-faced. Their bestselling cocktail is the Manahatta Spritz: a refreshing, vibrant spritzer, served in a wine glass with Tanqueray gin, Campari, lemon, Manahatta cordial, and grapefruit soda. £8.25.
2) The Verde Royal at Wood & Co
We're heading up Deansgate and down an unlikely-looking side street in search of hidden bar, Wood & Co on South King Street. Descend the steps to find a small but sophisticated drinking den which serves seriously good cocktails, including their bestseller, the sparkling Verde Royal. It's a lively mix of pineapple, sage, green chilli, Plantation 3* Rum and sparkling wine. £9.50.
3) The Bakewell Bramble at Banyan Spinningfields
Next stop, Spinningfields newcomer Banyan, opposite The Ivy. It's a luxurious space with mirrors, marble, and rose gold fittings, and is a prime spot for people-watching, cocktail in hand. Their bestseller is the Bakewell Bramble – a quintessentially English cocktail with a depth and warmth that make it perfect for December drinking. It features Bombay Sapphire gin, Disaronno liqueur, almond, lemon and Crème de Mure. £8.50.
4) Ode to the Clover at Dusk Til Pawn
Up to Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter now for a US-style speakeasy hidden behind a pawn shop exterior. The drinks here are inventive and intriguing, much like the selections on their free-play jukebox. Their bestseller is Ode to the Clover, a carefully blended mix of Bulldog London Dry Gin, homemade raspberry cordial, Dolin Dry vermouth, and citrus.
5) The Noho at Noho
Just a skip away from Dusk Til Pawn is Noho (it's next door, so even after four cocktails you can't get lost). Inside you'll find a boho take on NYC loft style with leather sofas, street art and an upbeat soundtrack that gets everyone dancing. Their bestselling cocktail is The Noho – a blend of vodka, passion fruit, grape, and apple. £8.
6) The Palma Tommy at Cooper Hall
Finally to Dale Street where there's a huge underground beer hall that also does a great line in cocktails. The vibe here is come-as-you-are with big communal tables and live music at the weekends. Their bestseller is the Palma Tommy – a shake-cocktail with palma violet tequila, agave, cherry and lime, and palma dust sprinkled on top. And if that doesn't end your night on a high, we don't know what will.