With a name that translates as ‘understood by few, mysterious and secret’, Arcane has been cited as Manchester’s hidden gem for cocktails. Taking space in the basement of an old Victorian building on King Street, the atmosphere is cosy, exclusive and ambient while the menu boasts a mixture of less well known spirits, flavours and garnishes which will leave you feeling as though you’ve stumbled across the epicentre of luxury.
Vesper offers an eclectic mix of soothing elixirs, each calling on nature’s most flavoursome botanicals. With extracts of lemongrass, pink grapefruit and lychee, the menu reaches for a an earthy, sweet tone with a down-to-earth vibe, which is mirrored only by the atmosphere of the comfortable but understated bar area.
No cocktail list would be complete without a nod to Manchester’s iconic speakeasy, The Fitzgerald. Tucked into the heart of the Northern Quarter above Rosylee, The Fitzgerald stands proud as Manchester’s gateway to the prohibition period. Low lighting, slouchy decor and melodic jazz contribute to a refreshing break from Manchester’s ever increasingly marble fronted nightlife scene. Just remember that this particular bar isn’t all about buckets of ice with orange juice and grenadine. Whatever you choose, it’s a sipper.
Here you can experience a different type of cocktail night. Mugs full of rum based elixirs will leave you dancing slowly around their basement venue to a raggae and afrobeat soundtrack. In stepping out of spinningfields and under the radar, you’ll find yourself in a flurry of flaming passionfruit and giant tins of rum.
It’s difficult not to channel Carrie Bradshaw vibes as you slink under their neon GUILTY sign on a corner of the Northern Quarter. The venue ventures to emulate the booming underground hip hop scene of New York during the 80s and 90s, with a DJ until late on Friday and Saturday. Their cocktail menu is inspired by a plethora of underground themes, cultural icons and criminals, rather than flavours, so make sure you take a thorough look at the menu.
The refinery takes a more civilised look at cocktail sampling, with a polished aesthetic which is perfectly in keeping with it’s Spinningfields home. The back bar is an organiser’s dream, and stylish muted hues give visitors the impression that they are truly in the presence of luxury. Reach for a tulip cocktail and enjoy the airy fairy feel of nature that ensues.