Whether you love the thought of wrapping up warm or scorn at the thought of scarves and gloves, I think we can all agree on one thing about this time of year… the drinks... lots of 'em. From hot toddies in fairy-lit teepees to gin infusions at the city’s best rooftops, seasonal sips have never looked so frosty. Here’s our pick of the cosiest places for winter drinks in Manchester.
A fairy-lit teepee at The Oast House
Not only is The Oast House serving up Christmas menus, drinks packages and live music (aka the stuff of party season dreams), but the city centre bar has once again got The Curious Teepee up for grabs. Nestled in the courtyard, this inviting retreat is decked out with fur, fire pits and fairy lights for all your comfy needs.
Christmas cocktails at Dirty Martini
From The Heartwarmer, which combines blood orange gin with peach schnapps and prosecco, through to the vodka, pimento, pomegranate and egg white-infused Santa Baby, Dirty Martini is pulling out all the stops this season. Our top pick? The silky Christmas Fairytale which marries cognac and crème de cacao with gingerbread, cream, egg and chocolate bitters.
A Nordic Lights experience at The Refinery
As if fuzzy blankets and a dedicated Christmas cocktail menu weren’t enough, The Refinery has gone that one step further with their Nordic Lights experience. That’s right, the igloos are back… and this time they’re Icelandic. Spend your evenings sipping through a special Martin Miller’s Gin menu (think spiced G&Ts and hot toddies) as faux fur throws, hot water bottles and twinkling lights provide that toasty touch.
Frozen fun at the Ice Tiki Bar
Thought the Ice Village was just for kids? Think again, because this Cathedral Gardens hotspot has got all sorts going on. As well as an ice cavern, skating rink and grotto, there’s the South Pacific-themed Ice Tiki Bar. Featuring topical sculptures, interactive photo opps and exotic cocktails, this is the ultimate Instagram haven all wrapped up in one.
Winter garden globes at 20 Stories
Joining forces with luxury Champagne titans Moët & Chandon, 20 Stories brings you Into The Woods. An enchanted terrace in the heart of Manchester, this high-rise rooftop has got everything from live music and hot cocktails through to seasonal food and heating to keep the chill at bay. Think you know igloos? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
A boozy bar crawl at the Manchester Gin Trail
One that you probably haven’t heard of? Let us introduce the Manchester Gin Trail. Taking place this December for the first time ever, this bar crawl will take you along some of the Christmas Market's finest bars, with drinks made using strawberry jam gin. Expect shimmering tonics at The Grumpy Moose, beer-led concoctions at Winterberries and smoking sips at Bar 3.
Après karao-ski at Bar Hütte
Back and sparklier than ever, Bar Hütte has set up shop at the famous Christmas market. A great choice for date night drinks and after-work boozing, the après ski-style pop-up offers both casual tables and private huts. Soak up warmed tipples and the eggnog-laced Bombardino before letting loose with a little carol-oke at this wintry favourite.
Not done yet? Keep the party going with our guide to Manchester's best events this winter.