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Food & Drink Secret Guides

16 Of The Best Bars Serving Up Delicious Bank Holiday Cocktails This Weekend

By Laura Rogan

Say cheers to our first bank holiday of freedom!

It’s finally here: the first bank holiday of 2021 where we can experience our first taste of freedom. The bars have flung open their doors at long last, providing shelter from the shitty weather that has thus far plagued the entirety of May, and we can finally reunite with our friends indoors for the first time since 2020. It’s been a long time coming, but the prohibition era of the new 20’s is finally over, and we’re planning to celebrate with a cocktail (or two). Here’s our guide to some of the best places to sink some bank holiday cocktails this weekend in Manchester.

1. Great Northern Beach Club

Credit: Great Northern Beach Club

New in town for the summer, the Great Northern Beach Club is bringing summer vibes all round – with Ibiza tunes, cosy beach huts, morning yoga sessions, and best of all, frozen cocktails. The menu is packed with fruity, frozen and tropical flavours – perfect for the bank holiday – including fros√©, frozen limoncello, frozen tropical fruits, frozen margs, and a number of delicious whiskey-based cocktails for those who don’t fancy brain freeze. Great Northern Beach Club, Great Northern Square, 235, Deansgate, M3 4EN.

2. Three Little Words

Credit: Three Little Words

The stunning gin bar that lives under the arches of the Great Northern, next to their very own Manchester Gin distillery, Three Little Words is officially back – with an array of cocktails to sup on this weekend (and beyond). Offering up a summery range especially for the warmer months, guests can enjoy fruity flavours such as raspberry, banana, blackberry and passionfruit, with more savoury cocktail flavours including cucumber, ginger, cardamom and hibiscus for those who prefer a more Earthy tone with their gin. Three Little Words is also renowned for their weekly Sunday roast, so be sure to give it a try next time you’re visiting. Three Little Words, 12-13 Watson St, M3 4LP.

3. The Anthologist

Credit: The Anthologist

Located on beautiful St. Peter’s Square, The Anthologist offers up the perfect atmosphere for all-day drinking, with bright and airy interiors, tasty ‘bar bites’ and an extensive list of cocktails. Think all the classics, including Espresso Martinis, Pornstar Martinis and more, as well as more unique creations celebrating all the things that we’ve missed out on over the past year – including beers on the beach, the cinema, and nights out in general. The Anthologist, One St Peter’s Square, M2 3DE.

4. Lost Cat NQ

Credit: Lost Cat

Launching just this May, the Lost Cat is the Northern Quarter’s newest neighbourhood cocktail bar, serving up some delicious concoctions mixed up with gin, vodka, spiced rums, tequila and Irish whiskey. There’s pretty much a flavour for everyone – with a number of fruity creations, the more warming and deep-flavoured of the bunch (hello whiskey, honey and cider!), and even a carrot cake-inspired cocktail, which, if you ask us, sounds absolutely delicious. Lost Cat, 64 Oldham Street, M4 1LE.

5. Albert’s Schloss

Credit: Albert’s Schloss

Launching a new menu of summer-themed cocktails back in April, Albert’s Schloss is back to its usual antics – and we are so ready to sup on cocktails with a side of Schloss Showtime. From highballs and schnapps, to fruity and Alpine-inspired cocktails, there’s plenty to enjoy this bank holiday at Manchester’s liveliest bier house. Live music and entertainment is back, too, so it’s the perfect pick if you’re planning a late one. Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, M2 5QR.

6. The Oast House

Credit: The Oast House

Manchester’s sun-trap of a beer garden is serving up hanging kebabs and cocktails all summer (and year) long – with Aperol Spritz’s, mojitos, coladas, martinis, tasty gin mixes and more providing a little tipple for everyone to enjoy. It’s long been known as the city’s summer destination, thanks to its ample outdoor seating, cosy little pub, and bloomin’ brilliant menu packed with classic dishes. The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, M3 3AY.

 7. The Botanist

Credit: The Botanist

Deansgate’s beautifully botanical bar and restaurant, The Botanist, is finally back – and with their reopening comes the return of their seriously delicious cocktails. We’re talking everything from the fruity and floral to the fresh and herbaceous, with gins, wines and beers for those who aren’t feeling so fruity. Similarly to their sister site, The Oast House, The Botanist is serving up their ‘famous’ Hanging Kebabs, too, with plenty of classic dishes on the menu to try out all summer long. The Botanist, 78 Deansgate, M3 2FW.

8. Evelyn’s Cafe Bar

Credit: Evelyn’s Cafe Bar

A classic fave in the Northern Quarter, Evelyn’s has finally reopened, serving up Asian-meets-British brunch, lunch and dinner with a side of delectable cocktails. The Asian-fusion vibes continue throughout their drinks menu, too, resulting in concoctions such as the lychee and rose pornstar martini, bourbon with white miso broth and matcha, pineapple mimosas and so much more. The cafe offers a bustling, neighbourhood-style atmosphere – which is absolutely spot on for catching up with mates over a drink. Evelyn’s Cafe Bar, 44 Tib St, M4 1NB.

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9. Firefly

Credit: Foodwell/Firefly

The transformative venue that offers casual Cali vibes by day and cosmopolitan city vibes by night, Firefly boasts live DJs on the weekends, bringing the party vibes alongside a menu of Japanese-inspired food and cocktails. Think sushi with a side of matcha-infused gin cocktails, wasabi margaritas, botanical and blossom-themed gins and so much more. If it’s proper cocktail bar vibes you’re after this bank holiday, Firefly is the place. Firefly, Suite 2, Ground Floor, One New Bailey, Stanley St, Salford, M3 5JL.

10. Miami Ice

Credit: Hatch

New to Hatch, Miami Vice brings retro Miami vibes to Manchester – serving up a seriously good cocktail menu under the Mancunian Way. The 80s beach bar meets disco night club serves up an array of disco-themed cocktails, with unique twists on classics such as the Old Fashioned and the Pornstar Martini, as well as a variety of local and popular beers to enjoy. Miami Vice is just one of many new traders at popular shipping container village Hatch, and has some exciting developments up its sleeve for this summer (including a roof terrace!). Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, M1 7ED.

11. The Lawn Club

Credit: The Lawn Club

A pub-style bar sitting on the lawn in Hardman Square, Spinningfields, The Lawn Club not only offers a fantastic sun-soaked al fresco space (on the lawn, obviously), but inside, it’s also home to a quintessentially British-inspired pub with a cosy finish – perfect for rainy days indoors with the comfort of a good old burger. Accompanying all of that, guests can enjoy watering cans filled with Aperol Spritz, classic cocktails such as Pornstar Martinis, Espresso Martinis and the Long Island Iced Tea – as well as a fun Pimms Welly boot sharer and a Pornstar Martini tree for groups to enjoy. The Lawn Club, Hardman Square, Spinningfields, M3 3HG.

12. Mecanica

Credit: Mecanica

A hotel cocktail bar without the hotel, Mecanica is a new spot on Swan Street, serving up ‘gimmick-free’ cocktails in a decadent space, in equally as decadent glassware. The team here are absolute pros when it comes to whipping up a delicious cocktail, with around 250 cocktails in their repertoire. If you don’t see your favourite tipple on the menu, guests are invited to request it from their talented bartenders, who can pretty much whip up whatever you’d like. Mecanica, 1-3 Swan St, M4 5JJ.

13. Sunset by Australasia

Credit: Sunset by Australasia

A Manc favourite for Asian-inspired cocktails, Sunset by Australasia is by far one of Manchester’s most beautiful venues – with everything in sight finished with a soft pink hue. The lengthy menu uses typical Australasian flavours such a lychee, yuku sake, kiwi, miso and thai ginger – combining them with both classic cocktails and their own mouthwatering creations that’ll have you ticking off drinks one by one all night long. Sunset by Australasia, 1 The Avenue, M3 3AP.

14. Dive Bar

Credit: Dive Bar & Grill

Newly renovated with an incredible outdoor, covered and heated terrace, Dive Bar & Grill is back with a new concept – offering up American-style small plates alongside a diverse menu of classic cocktails, mocktails, tons of beers and even more wines. The outdoor terrace offers the best of both worlds – allowing the sun to shine down when it does rear its head, and providing shelter from the outside storms when the grey and gloomy weather sets in. Basically, it’s the ideal place to catch up with mates over the bank holiday weekend – whatever the weather. Dive Bar & Grill, Tib St, M4 1SH.

15. One Eight Six

Credit: One Eight Six

One of Manchester’s very best hidden bars, One Eight Six can be found behind a mirror of a functioning barber shop, offering secret speakeasy vibes with live jazz, low lighting and a more-than-decent list of cocktails. We’re talking an entire list of gin serves, dark serves and delicious cocktails, with both classic options and their own mixes on the menu. It’s the perfect place to sneak off to on a date night if you feel like escaping the city, with a transportive line-up of music that’ll almost make you forget you’re in Manchester. One Eight Six, 186 Deansgate, M3 3WB.

16. The Fitzgerald

Credit: The Fitzgerald/Nathan Larkin

Another of Manchester’s gorgeous speakeasys, The Fitzgerald offers prohibition-inspired vibes, with live music, cocktails and more tucked away down a Northern Quarter alley. The decor gives a gorgeous nod to the 1920s, with even the small touches – such as the glassware – fitting within the era. Expect gin cocktails, the fruitier of the bunch, along with the deeper and darker flavours, too, as well as an array of spirits on offer to enjoy. The Fitzgerald, 11 Stevenson Square, M1 1DB.

Read more: 21 Of The Very Best Things To Do This June In Manchester

Tags: Cocktails