It's a hard job but someone has to do it. Trying cocktails can be a messy business but this lot made it a much more enjoyable experience all round.
Christmastein @ Cane & Grain
There's very little in this cocktail that screams 'CHRISTMAS', except perhaps the ginger in the ginger beer. But I don't care - it's delicious. Part of Cane & Grain's Festive Drinks Menu, this big beauty comes loaded with Gosling's Black Seal rum, pimento liqueur, white cacao, apple juice and ginger. There's also lots of fire too - perfect for warming your face on in these cold, cold days.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Gingerbread White Russian @ The Counter House
Favourite drink of 'The Dude' in The Big Lebowski, the humble White Russian has been given a sweet Christmassy twist this December by the bods over at The Counter House in Ancoats. I'm not going to lie - put gingerbread flavouring into anything and I'm going to eat it and/or drink it so this cocktail is a massive winner. A little too easy to drink, you might just find yourself stumbling out of here waay past your bed time.
The Counter House, 35 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
Christmas Irish Coffee @ The Bay Horse Tavern
Simple, yet extremely delicious - The Bay Horse Tavern is the perfect place in which to enjoy a boozy Irish Coffee. Pretty much the perfect pub imaginable, these winter days are made much better with this lethal coffee concoction - and you'll be pleased to know that it comes loaded with proper cream on top. Yes, I know you can see the pictures but I thought it best to mention.
The Bay Horse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Mince Pie Martini @ Sunset by Australasia
The Finest team ended up in Sunset last year after the Christmas do and before everyone blacked out and/or went missing for 9 hours we all had a thoroughly good time sipping some very impressive cocktails. This year they've gone all out with the Christmas theme by creating a Mince Pie Martini. Yep, the most festive thing on Mr Kipling's assembly line has been turned into a cocktail - and it's delicious!
Sunset by Australasia, 1 The Avenue, Manchester M3 3AP
Chocolate Orange Martini @ Bar Barton
Tucked away down a little alleyway next to Barton Arcade, Bar Barton are offering a range of cocktails for 2-4-1 this Christmas - which is very nice of them indeed. What perked my attention though was their 3 Christmas-themed offerings - favourite of which was their Chocolate Orange Martini. There's Absolute Vanilla in there, plus Cointreau, Cacao, Caramel and Hazelnut - pretty much Christmas in a glass.
Bar Barton, 13 Barton Arcade, Barton Square, Manchester M3 2BB
Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee Hot Chocolate @ Harvey Nichols
You probably wouldn't expect to see any Jägermeister on any list of decent cocktails but a visit to Harvey Nichols this week certainly surprised a few of the Finest team. As part of an après ski takeover, Jäger have created a range of Christmas cocktails including this hot chocolate which is made with Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur. Once you get the thoughts of Jägerbombs out of your head you'll actually find that you can make some decent drinks using the stuff.
Harvey Nichols Second Floor Bar and Brasserie, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD
Mulled Wine @ Dakota Hotel
Okay so you can get Mulled Wine anywhere in the city at this time of year, but I was particularly impressed with this one from Dakota Hotel. It may be because I was drinking it alongside a mountain of cheese at the time, but I shouldn't let that detract away from the drink itself. It's everything a mulled wine should be - sweet, fruity, spicy and above all else - ready to get you hammered.
Dakota, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
Let's get Figgie With It @ 20 Stories
There's nothing more Christmassy to me than a lovely bit of Cheese & Biscuits. Alongside a bottle of port, nothing quite beats endless crackers piled high with creamy Brie, strong Stilton and the odd fig perched on top. So, this fig number at 20 Stories is right up my street - especially this time of year. Mae with Belvedere vodka, fig cordial, apple and cardamom all that's missing is a big chunk of Cheddar to dip into it.
20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB
Mulled Old Fashioned @ Blind Tyger
The Blind Tyger might have passed you by. It's a hidden drinking den located in the basement of Sandinista, which itself is pretty difficult to find sometimes, tucked away down a little alleyway off St Ann's Square. Find yourself in there though and you're treated to a wild array of exciting cocktails including this Christmassy number. An Old Fashioned with mulled wine syrup in it. Genius.
Blind Tyger, 5½, Cross Belgrave St, Leeds LS2 8JP