If you’re looking for a Manchester cocktail bar that can impress you and your friends with an array of colours, tastes and increasingly novel cups, you’re in the right place. Manchester has a reputation for its bars and pubs – and cocktail bars are well represented.

Dirty Martini Manchester cocktail bar

The classic Manchester cocktail bar: Dirty Martini Manchester

A mainstay on the UK cocktail bar circuit. Manchester’s Dirty Martini cocktail bar takes the winning formula of bespoke cocktails, sleek decor and late-night DJs to Peter Street.

Drink, dance and then (probably) drink some more with the pages upon pages of multicoloured tipples on offer. Ideally, you’ll want to try the classic Martini (or, if you’re a fan of olives and rocket fuel, go straight for the eponymous ‘dirty martini’). Though the seasonal summer cocktails are also worth a shot.

The Manchester Dirty Martini cocktail bar has a good range of private hire options. Exclusive venue hire can give you and 450 friends the glitzy interior, whilst the Basement room caters to 250 guests.

El Capo Manchester cocktail bar

 A Mexican Manchester cocktail bar: El Capo

Saying the word ‘tequila’ can elicit a variety of responses. For some, it corresponds to a shift in the night when things are about to get fun. For others, a Pavlovian response of glazed eyes, followed by nightmarish visions of toilet cisterns and poorly made choices.

El Capo seeks to appease the tequila-averse with its delicious tequila-based cocktails, being served in the heart of Manchester. The Tariff Street cocktail bar wears its sombrero proudly, offering twisted delights like the Mezcal Mule (mezcal, agave and ginger beer) alongside the classic margarita (standard or frozen). It’s worth noting that the tequila-heavy list of cocktails is supplemented with a great selection of Mexican street food.

Lola Lo Manchester cocktail bar

 Manchester’s Tiki-themed cocktail bar: Lola Lo Manchester

What makes a great Tiki cocktail bar? Is it an extensive selection of delicious cocktails? A fresh, Polynesian-inspired interior? Fire-breathers? All of the above?

Whatever amorphous cocktail bar facet determines the moniker ‘Tiki’, Lola Lo’s Manchester venue has it. Perched on the canal that snakes through Manchester, this cocktail bar is a firm favourite with those who like their drinks bespoke and their interiors tropical.

The menu favours bright, bold flavours with standout options being the Cirocolada (pineapple vodka, Melon liqueur and coconut cream). For the wow factor, try a tree of stacked passionfruit martinis.

Whatever Manchester cocktail party you might have in mind, Lola Lo can accommodate it. Their 560-capacity full-venue hire option should ensure this.

One of Manchester’s top hotel cocktail bars: Brasserie, ABode

With ABode’s cocktail bar offering, it’s all about sophistication. Slotted inconspicuously into a Grade-II listed building, the old packing warehouse can feature as the backdrop to you sipping some sublimely prepared cocktails.

This Manchester cocktail bar is all about doing the classics with a flair and patience you won’t find in other bars. Take the excellent Amaretto Sour. A minimal-ingredients cocktail of Lazzaroni Amaretto, lemon juice, egg whites and bitters. It’s not revolutionary, but it is very, very good.

With natural light, a capacity for 200 and a city-wide pedigree, this is a cocktail bar for those wanting to impress.

Manchester’s cosy canalside cocktail bar: Lock 91

Dimly lit with plush upholstery and a sense of homely comfort, Lock 91 offers a soothing space to enjoy its choice of cocktails. The old Lock Keeper’s cottage will have you sitting by a fire, watching the Rochdale Canal lap just beyond the window.

16 cocktails are on offer, each utilising a range of diverse ingredients (lycee martini, anyone?). The aesthetics are matched by the menu at this Manchester cocktail bar. Aside from the base-level cocktails, Lock 91 also offer sharing teapots of delicious drinks – for those who like to consume inconspicuously.

Foundry Project Manchester

A cheap and chic cocktail bar in Manchester: Foundry Project

A Manchester cocktail bar that places emphasis on affordable yet delicious drinks (you can cop 2 for £10 during happy hour). Predictably industrial-chic interiors create the perfect setting in which to drink an almost irresponsible number of carefully crafted cocktails.

The Foundry project has two dedicated private space areas. There is the basement bar, a party-ready space for up to 45 people. Alongside this sits the container space, a designated upstairs private area that can cater to 30 people, and which is still exposed to the buzz of the main cocktail bar.

Manchester’s best-elevated cocktail bar: 20 Stories

Easily claiming the title of Manchester’s highest cocktail bar, 20 Stories brings a jet-set attitude to the great art of drinking joy in a glass.

Located on – you guessed it – the 20th floor of one of Manchester’s tallest buildings, 20 Stories lets you sip and stare. The views are panoramic and offer generous vistas of Manchester’s gorgeous skyline.

Though the view demands your attention, the drinks are worth noting, too. Take our advice and pay attention to the raft of Manchester gin cocktails. The Negroni, Spring Punch and Petit Ananas are standout drinks.

A Manchester cocktail bar for the scientifically curious: The Alchemist Manchester

The Alchemist has maintained a hallowed position on the UK’s cocktail bar scene, and this Manchester venue keeps up the deserved reputation. Dine and drink in the beautiful, well-lit interior or take things alfresco onto the all-season terrace.

The Alchemist’s cocktail menu is famously extensive and varied; each delicious drink comes with its own theatrical trappings. Expect foam, smoke, edible ingredients and an absurd variation of glassware.

For Cuban cocktails in the heart of Manchester: Revolucion De Cuba Manchester

Though Castro is rolling in his grave, there is an undeniably Cuban charm to Manchester’s most rum-fuelled cocktail bar. The cheery, striking space is spread across two floors, creating lots of room for parties.

An impressive 900 guests can fit in the venue comfortably, and the sheer volume of Cuban-inspired cocktails should keep everyone happy.

For smaller venue hire check out the Emerald Room or The Loft, both having enough room for 200 guests each.