When it comes to the festive season, we want a bit of theatre with our treats.

We’re hardly short of indulgent street foods to stuff our faces with this season, but what about a fancy bev to wash it down with?

There is, after all, a limit to how many Baileys hot chocolates we can handle without feeling a tad sick.

Which is why we’re getting pretty excited about a new addition to the Christmas market bar scene this year – the smoking gin cocktail.

Made with locally-distilled strawberry jam gin, Fentiman’s rose lemonade and a steaming handful of dry ice, the sweet and fruity cocktail is sure to be a hit with Christmas market punters.

It looks impressive, too, bubbling wickedly in the glass.

The must-try drink will set you back £6.50 and can also be enjoyed as part of this year’s Christmas market gin trail.

Alongside the smoking gin cocktail, the trail spans a ranges of drinks from shimmering G&Ts to parma violet and sherbet lemon choices.

There’s even a drumstick cocktail for gin lovers to enjoy (all £6.50). Are you in?

Starting at Albert Square and finishing at Cathedral Gardens, use our handy map to make your way through the German markets and enjoy a gin at these participating bars.

Bar 3 – New Cathedral Street

Bar 3 on New Cathedral Street will be serving up a special smoking gin cocktail that’s sure to impress. This bubbling, must-try concoction is made with dry ice, strawberry jam gin and rose lemonade. For beer lovers, I Love IPA is also available here.

Brooks Mill – Albert Square

The Brooks Mill bar in Albert Square specialises in mulled wine, gin and fizz. Kick off your festive gin tour with a strawberry gin prosecco cocktail, made using a special jam with extra strawberries created by Manchester jam makers Duerrs.

The Grumpy Moose – King Street

Next up on the trail is The Grumpy Moose. A traditional gin bar with over 40 gins, it’s long been a fixture at the King Street markets. Here you’ll be treated to a strawberry jam gin with rose lemonade or connoisseur tonic. Find it next to Tast.

Winterberries – Exchange Street

For a bit of Christmas sparkle, mooch on over to Exchange Street bar Winterberries for a shimmering I Love MCR strawberry jam gin served with either rose lemonade or tonic. Or, if you fancy switching it up, try the hoppy and bitter I Love IPA. Find it opposite the Royal Exchange Theatre.

The Well & Spruce – Cathedral Gardens

For the last stop on your Christmas market gin cruise, The Well & Spruce at Cathedral Gardens have got some very special options. Must-try products include the parma violet and sherbet lemon G&Ts, and the drumstick cocktail for a bit of nostalgia.

If you take part in the gin trail, you can get a bottle of I Love MCR Strawberry Jam Gin for just £24 (usual price £29). All you have to do is collect a token from 3 different gin trail bars and present them at the retail outlet on Market Street to get £5 OFF a bottle of I Love MCR Strawberry Jam Gin. But don’t keep it to yourself. It’s the perfect Christmas present.

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