It’s pretty safe to say that cocktails are a big part of my life. Whether it’s a special occasion, holiday, drinks with my friends or testing out new recipes at home, I am never too far from a cocktail.
As my writing takes me around the three largest cities in the UK; Manchester, Birmingham and London. I am continually in search of a great cocktail bar to settle down in after a long day. I am desperate to discover new flavours and jump on the 2016 cocktail trends.
Inspired by my favourite fictional writer Carrie Bradshaw, one of my most loved cocktails to sip on is a Cosmopolitan. Maybe because it is served in a glamorous martini glass, or perhaps just because it is pink. It is my regular go-to cocktail to pose with for Instagram. Not to mention it tastes divine and is usually made rather strong.
However, as I have grown up, I believe you can never go wrong with a gin based cocktail. Ideally mixed with elderflower, they are the perfect balance of something flavoursome and sweet, without being too overly sickly.
Drink, Shop & Do – London
Which leads me on to my first favourite cocktail bar, Drink Shop Do. Tucked away in Kings Cross, it is the most adorable coffee and cake shop by day, and in the evening the cocktail bar opens downstairs. With their fabulous cocktail offer on Tuesday to Friday, their “High Five” offer allows you to purchase cocktails for a mere £5. Which is unheard of in London. I had my favourite gin based cocktail at Drink Shop Do, called Front Garden, which was a blend of gin, elderflower, basil and lime.
Aluna Cocktail Bar – Birmingham
Despite being open a while, I recently discovered Aluna Cocktail Bar at the Mailbox in Birmingham. With a rose gold and copper interior, and quotes engraved into the hanging mirrors, it is an instagrammer’s dream. However, it isn’t just the venue that is worth snapping a picture of, as the cocktails are incredibly innovative. I witnessed cocktails being set on fire, smothered in dry ice and even cocktails that came with a novelty injection to put into your drink. I had the most delicious French Martini, which was interestingly made with a pineapple foam.
The Alchemist – Manchester
The Alchemist has a similar aesthetic to Aluna, with a very decorative copper look. As a very cool and trendy bar in Spinningfields, it has an upper east-side Manhattan feel to it. Aside from the elegant atmosphere, what makes the Alchemist such a flawless cocktail bar, is its extensive menu. With an abundance of cocktails that are based with an extensive variety of alcohols, it would be a mission to taste them all. When I visited earlier this year, I became particularly fond of their Passionfruit Martini.
The Botanist – Birmingham
I reviewed the Botanist earlier this year, and was blown away by their stunning selection of cocktails. As the bar itself has a radiant garden feel, decorated with plants and flowers, their cocktails echo that theme. Made with a blend of plants like rose, mint and basil, the combination with garden fruits works exquisitely. It’s an utterly beautiful and entirely relaxing bar with a multitude of creatively designed cocktails.
Slug and Lettuce
Whilst it isn’t the quirkiest cocktail bar, located in every city in the UK, Slug and Lettuce is a staple cocktail bar. Boasting itself on it’s 241 cocktail offers, which are on offer during the evening at most bars, and all day every day in Manchester. It is the go-to bar for a classy yet affordable night out. Not only is the cocktail list expansive, but don’t even need to order the same cocktails on the 241 offer, which is perfect for tasting a variety of the menu.
I am still unearthing the hidden cocktails bars around the country, and whilst I stretch to stumbling upon new locations, I am trying to step out of my cocktail comfort zone and try something different.