atlas bar gin and tonic

Gin. It’s the spirit of the nation.

No arguing now. Over the years, plenty of great Britons from Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming to Dickens, PG Wodehouse, Anthony Burgess and even The Rolling Stones – have waxed lyrical on the stuff

Admittedly, its popularity has fluctuated over time. But for the last five years or so it’s been back with a vengeance.

If we ever needed an excuse to drink it – we don’t – then World Gin Day would certainly be it. Fortunately, it just happens to be on Saturday.

As ever, there are lots of events going on in Manchester to celebrate. But to help you out, we’ve selected our top 5 below.

Discover the history of gin cocktails at this speakeasy tasting

Hot for hidden bars? Then this intimate gin cocktail tasting at Manchester’s latest speakeasy should be right up your street.

Menus here aren’t released until the day, but we can tell you that each concoction will represent a different era of gin going all the way back to the 1700s.

For just £20, you get 5 gin cocktails each to enjoy, plus in-depth recipes and a goody bag to take home with you.

Accessed via a hidden door in Sandinista, when you arrive just tell the bartender you’re there to see the Blind Tyger and they’ll point you in the right direction.

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Visit the home of gin in Manchester for a festival with over 500 gins

Atlas Bar has the biggest gin collection in the city and they’re making the most of it this weekend with a huge gin festival in the bar between 12 and 6pm.

You’ll get the first taste of two brand-new-to-Manchester gins and meet craft distillers from Tarquin’s, The Green Mann Distillery, Cuckoo, Divine, Defiance, Nelsons and Barekstens.

VIP wristbands are £15 and include two G&Ts in your very own festival goblet, plus a bespoke Atlas bag to take home. Additional G&Ts are a steal at just £4 each.

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Book yourself onto a chauffeur-driven, gin-fuelled tour of Manchester

The Gin Journey is legendary amongst gin lovers for a reason.

This curated chauffeur-driven tour comes with its very own gin guardian and includes trips to five amazing venues (with gin cocktails and samples along the way), plus a visit to the City of Manchester Distillery – the first of its kind to launch in Manchester for over 100 years.

On this trip, you’ll get to sample a gin made in Chorlton by a gin-loving couple and visit some iconic Mancunian buildings before finishing up in the Northern Quarter.

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Take part in the World Gin Day trail with deals at 23 city centre venues

Manchester sunshine

The World Gin Day trail brings together a hand-picked selection of gin specialists across the city and gives wristband holders access to special deals and tastings at 23 different venues such as 2-4-1 G&Ts at Malmaison’s Chez Mal brasserie.

Wristbands cost just £5 and get you free access to numerous premium and craft gin tasting events at this year’s event hub The Corn Exchange, including an exclusive tasting of I Love MCR’s new limited edition Strawberry Jam gin.

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Tour the Forest Gin distillery

It’s the only gin to have been awarded two separate double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards, and it’s made by a couple from Macclesfield.

They first started distilling from their kitchen table back in 2014, but nowadays the distillery is housed in a beautiful stone barn in the Peak District National Park.

Tickets are priced at £20 each and include two drinks, neat samples and a guided tour of the distillery.

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