Christmas – a time for gathering with loving friends and extended family, spreading joy, and warmly reflecting on life’s blessings. And for having a drink or two. Maybe more.

There’s no shortage of places in town to get cosy and spread some festive cheer. And no shortage of wonderful winter cocktails. Here’s some of our favourites, in no particular order.

The Winter Cocktails at Mr Cooper’s

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

Snuggle up with a Mr Cooper’s Pomme Noel – Applejack Brandy, Havana 7 Rum, apple juice, a winter spice mix and deliciously moreish caramel gomme. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and serve with a cinnamon stick and a shortbread biscuit on the side. Constructed around a distinct flavour of apple this tipple is a boozier, more complex version of a classic mulled cider. It’s a real winter warmer. Also recommended is the Mistletoe and Wine made with Tanqueray, pinot noir, cherry heering and vanilla. If a mince pie was to dress up as an alcoholic beverage, this would be it. A Gabriel’s Halo is Benedictine Liqueur, Crème de Cassis, Orange Oleo Saccharum topped with prosecco and a silver halo around the top of the compete glass. Just as we top the tree with an angel, this drink should be at the top of your list of seasonal sips. All three of these Christmas cocktails are 25% off Sunday- Thursday between from 3-5pm. Click here for more.

Sundowner Chai at The Refinery

Head down to the Christmas igloos at The Refinery for festive canapes, cocktails and all sorts of winter warmers. You can book a whole igloo for 8-10 friends or just come with a friend and join in with others. The choice is yours. The Sundowner Chai is one to watch – and drink. It’s made with Copper Dog, sweet chai, apple juice, mint leaves, cardamom and more mint to garnish. We thoroughly recommend it. Or try The Bramble Forest made from Beckett’s gin, lime, sugar syrup, raspberries, blackberries and coriander. It’s a winter cocktail made in heaven. Click here for more.

Caribbean Spice at The Laundrette

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

Head down to The Laundrette after work and spend the evening sipping on classic cocktails and a couple of festive favourites. If you need warming up, this mix of Red Leg Spiced run, King Ginger’s Liqueur and hot chocolate is the one to order. Click here for more.

Pie Hard at Junkyard Golf

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

This is the home of crazy golf, weird booze and bad puns. Get excited on three mashed up 9-hole crazy golf courses created from pre-loved and reclaimed random shizzle. And the cocktails are off the charts good. We love Pie Hard. Honestly. Get a load of Wyborowa Vodka, Ameretto and gingerbread syrup – all in a festive red cup and garnished with mini mince pies.

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Espresso Martini at King Street Townhouse

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

This frothy drink is a classic. Made with Wyborowa, Kahlua and a shot of espresso, it’s a magical mix of a drink (rumoured to have been first created for Kate Moss who wanted something to ‘wake her up and f*ck her up’). Treat yourself to this classic concoction and head up to the south rooftop terrace to watch the sunset. Click here for more.

Abbracci at Don Giovanni

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

This little beauty is just the tipple we need on a cold winter night. It’s made with Grand Marnier, Cherry Heering and Mozart dark chocolate liqueur. And it comes with jaffa cakes. Or what about a Berry Merry Christmas, a twist on the classic bramble. Don Gio’s version of this blackberry-laced classic combines Stoli vodka, Cassis liqueur, fresh lemon and prosecco with cinnamon sugar to give it that moreish, festive sweetness. This drink is an all-rounder that works just as well as an aperitivo as it does at the end of your meal with the signature panna cotta and berry compote. Click here for more info.

Santa’s Delight at Dive Bar

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

Christmas in a cup at this hidden joint. Think Baileys, Absolut Vodka and Kahula topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate powder? Yes please.

Copper Head at Grafene

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

A wonderful Belgian expression offering aromas of cardamon, orange allelic and coriander. It’s a gin with a difference and is paired with fever tree Indian tonic, orange and juniper berries. Click here for more.

After Eight Hot Chocolate at Roc and Rye

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester
Photo by Jack Kirwin -JK Photography

Roc & Rye are hosting a Czech Christmas experience that’s sure to make your toes tingle and warm your cockles from the belly up. Think Roc and Rye peppermint infused hot choc syrup, Branca Menta, full fat cows milk, and sprinkled with mint dust. Two please. Three. Maybe four. Click here for more.

Chilli Hot Chocolate Martini at All Star Lanes

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

All Star Lanes don’t do things by halves. The Chilli Hot Chocolate Martini is an indulgent blend of Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, Ancho Reyes chilli liqueur and cognac shaken with red wine, chocolate and orange bitters and an egg yolk. Finished with a dusting of nutmeg. Click here to read more.

Mince Chai at Dirty Martini

Christmas in a cup. This festive treat is a bold London Spirit is shaken with Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, gingerbread syrup, chai tea syrup, pressed apple juice, egg white, citric acid and Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters. Order a couple of these and you’ll be merry in a minute. Click here for more.

Hot Toddy at Malmaison

Nothing warms you up quite like a Hot Toddy. Think Courvoisier VSOP, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon, honey syrup, and Earl Grey tea in the hotel’s gorgeous bar. Click here for more info.

Italian Gingerbread at The Milton Club

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

If you like your cocktails sweet with a hint of warmth, this tipple will tick all your boxes. Created with Montenegro Liqueur for a zesty flavour, Chambord raspberry for fruitiness and gingerbread syrup for a dash of spice, it’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy. These bad boys are topped with soda water for a little bit of fizz.  Click here for more.

Cocktail Christmas Tree at The Living Room

You’ve probably seen that renowned Christmas cocktail tree all over Snapchat and littering your Instagram feed. It’s taking the city by storm and for good reason. Order a Christmas Cocktail Tree to your table and snuggle up for the evening. Day made. Click here for more.

Polski Pear at Arcane Bar

Tucked away just off Deansgate you’ll find Arcane Cocktail Bar, a cosy basement space hosted by Arcane’s skilled bartenders mean business. Choose from quirky flavours like the Sage and Onion Daiquiri or the tantalisingly tasty Winter Parsnip Margarita. It’s a fiery drink with a base of Calle 23 Blanco Tequila, Cointreau Noir, Winter Parsnip Ketchup, Salted Caramel Sugar, and lemon. If you want to find this covert watering hole, look for the sign and the books in the window. It operates under the alias of a bookmakers. Blink and you might just miss it. Click here for more.

Merry Martini at Gaucho

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

Merry Martini. Simple but delicious. Courvoisier and Fair Coffee Liqueur shaken with cooled espresso and sugar. Just one of the carefully crafted Christmas cocktails at Gaucho. Another game changer is The Maple and Peacan Old Fashioned – Jim Beam Double Oak bourbon stirred over ice with maple syrup and chocolate bitters. Click here for more info.

Hot Gin and Tonic at Mr Thomas’s Chophouse

Unlike its crisp cousin, the hot G&T is infused with red berries, garnished with an orange wheel, and served in its own bespoke enamel mug. This tipple is a rich and warming, citrus mouthful and really does warm you from the inside out. You’ll be glowing for quite a while afterwards. Click here for more.

Swinging around the Christmas Tree at Be at One

Wonderful winter cocktails to try in Manchester bars this season I Love Manchester

December just wouldn’t be the same without a daily advent calendar to surprise and delight, but as sweet a chocolate may be, it doesn’t do it for everyone. Christmas lovers can thank Be At One for making the festive countdown a little more fun with the newly introduced Cocktail ‘Appvent’ Calendar. Every day in December users can send Santa into a fizz by shaking a virtual cocktail shaker within the brand-new app until it’s lid pops. Once well and truly shaken up, Santa will reward users with instant gifts and entry into an exciting daily prize draw, like a snazzy Swinging around the Christmas Tree cocktail.

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