Manchester’s Finest Venues Come Together To Launch City’s First Ever Cocktail Festival

Manchester’s first ever cocktail festival launches this summer, bringing together 30 of the city’s finest venues with a unique menu of drinks and a week-long programme of events for cocktail lovers!

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 16 August 2016

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Manchester’s first ever cocktail festival launches this summer, bringing together 30 of the city’s finest venues with a unique menu of drinks and a week-long programme of events for cocktail lovers!


Taking place between 8th & 14th August, the festival is seven days of mixing, shaking, creating, drinking, tasting, clinking, debating and sipping across some of the city’s coolest bars, restaurants and venues, including: Hawksmoor, The Pen and Pencil; El Gato Negro; Cane & Grain; Mojo; Gorilla; Trof; Crazy Pedros; Cottonopolis; and The Alchemist.

A must-do for any cocktail lover, the festival plays centre stage to a host of one-off events, tasting dinners, masterclass sessions, competitions and parties to celebrate the art of mixing drinks and the city wonderful cocktail scene.

In addition to the unmissable event programme, each of the venues will collaborate with one of world’s best spirit brands on a one-off exclusive cocktail menu. Available for the week of the festival, each cocktail is just £4.50 and available exclusively for festival wristband holders only.

Participating spirit brands include: Portobello Road Gin; El Jimador; Bacardi; Ketel One; Tanqueray; Hudson Whiskey; Montelobos Mezcal; and Licor 43.

Over 40 individual events will take place during the festival, exclusively for wristband holders. Top events include:

  • The famous London hotel The Savoy’s world-renowned ‘American Bar’ taking over at El Gato for The Evolution of the Gin Cocktail in association with Portobello Road Gin
  • A ‘Gin Journey’ tour around the city’s finest cocktail bars, hosted by The Gin Boss, Leon Dalloway
  • A whiskey cocktail pairing dinner at Tariff and Dale in association with Woodford
  • A tequila fuelled ‘Gringo Bingo’ at Blackdog in association with El Jimador
  • A night of American Gin & Swing dancing at Cane and Grane in association with Death’s Door Gin
  • A Bourbon Masterclass & Blues Party at Fitzgerald in association with Hudson

There is also a series of events, tastings and masterclasses designed for bartenders and those that work in the drinks industry, including a ‘War of Roses’ cocktail competition, which will see them pitted against their trans-Pennine counterparts to crown either Manchester or Leeds the cocktail capital of North!

Manchester Loves Cocktails was founded by talented Leeds drinks creator and cocktail enthusiast, Nick Fox. The festival has taken place in Leeds under the name ‘Leeds Loves Cocktails’ for the past 4 years attracting thousands of cocktail fans in the process.

Founder of Manchester Loves Cocktails Nick Fox says: “Manchester is one of the UK’’s greatest destinations for cocktail lovers. The standard of cocktails in the city are on par with top bars of London and New York and it’s about time that the city has a festival to celebrate Manchester’s incredible talent and diverse cocktail scene. The north definitely has a lot to offer, and i want us to celebrate that fact with a week long cocktail festival’.

“Manchester Loves Cocktail is the ultimate festival for cocktail lovers with a week long programme of unmissable events and bespoke discount drinks.

“Over the 7 days we’ll be encouraging guests to ‘drink better, not more’ by exploring the story behind people’s favourite spirits, as well as some spirits they may have not come across before with tasting masterclasses and events throughout the whole week”.

To gain access to the incredible events running throughout the festival and to purchase cocktails at the discounted price of £4.50, attendees must purchase Manchester Loves Cocktails wristbands for £10. Trade wristbands are available for those that work in the bar industry at a discounted price of £5 – proof of employment must be shown upon collection. Wristbands can be bought from

For a full list of bars and restaurants that are taking part in this year’s event or for more information about Manchester Loves Cocktails visit or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MCRCocktails or using #MLC16