Inside The Lowkey Bar That’s Shaking Up Some Of The Best Cocktails In Manchester

Published . By Anisah Audu.

Located on the intersection of Oldham Street and the Ring Road, Mecanica is something of an outlier on the bar scene. It isn’t quite Ancoats and isn’t quite a Northern Quarter name, straddling the edge of each. It’s not one that I’ve heard much about either, despite winning multiple awards over the past year. Could this be the lowkey gem I’ve been looking for?

Mecanica Manchester Review | DesignMyNight

The bar team at Mecanica have won awards for their flair.

Visiting on a balmy Sunday last month, the Swan Street bar was last up on our whistle-stop tour of Manchester. With a soundtrack that was right up my street, soulful house blended into modern jazz from Masego. The décor wasn’t quite as contemporary, with fake plants, gold tassels and crushed velvet curtains making up the interior. The mood lamps, however, were an intriguing feature. Our host explained that the white cylinders could be tapped to different colours according to what we needed. Ordering? Paying? Questions about the menu? All we had to do was choose our colour. Like Black Mirror, but boozy.

Following on from the previous menu which centred on great hotel bars, this iteration of the drinks list now features cocktails themed after famous hotel rooms. From the opulent La Mamounia in Marrakech to Loch Lomond’s oldest hotel and Marilyn Monroe’s Pretty in Pink Suite in Palm Springs, drinks have been crafted with decadence in mind. First up for me – ironically enough – was the Needs No Introduction (£10). Described as ‘savoury, tart’ short’ the tangy, pink pisco mix was exactly that; fruity, full and not too sweet thanks to a hint of rhubarb.

Mecanica Manchester Cocktail Bar | DesignMyNight

Nab a seat and soak up this fruity Jade Mountain.

For the other half, Nothing Succeeds Like Success (£11); a heady combination of cognac, sweet vermouth, strawberry, herbs, anise and Champagne. Inspired by L’Hotel, which was the final resting place of Oscar Wilde, it was served short and strong with a herbaceous kick. His whisky-focused Loch (£10.50) was also a hit, offsetting Loch Lomond’s finest with Tio Pepe fino sherry, Cocchi dry vermouth, milk thistle and cucumber oil. Last, but certainly not least,  I ended on a Jade Mountain (£10.50). As a lover of all things tiki, seeing ‘tropical, rich, strong’ was a green flag. Garnished with a sliver of banana leaf, this creation delicately balanced the sweetness from rum, banana, pineapple and toasted coconut with the savoury undertones from Amaro Montenegro offsets – all swimming around a huge chink of freshly cut translucent ice. Perfection.

The DesignMyNight Digest 

Mecanica might not be the most Instagrammable bar in Manchester, but it’s one for those of you who want a quality cocktail without the faff. Hell, they've even gone to the trouble of making the process of ordering drinks that bit easier. Only minutes away from the city centre bustle, this should be your next port of call for date night or after-work drinks.

  💰 The damage: around £45 for four cocktails.

  📍  The location: 1-3 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JJ.

  👌 Perfect for: those of you who love classic cocktails or want to try something new.

 ⭐ Need to know: the classics look great too, if you want something more traditional.


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