Cloud 23

Cloud 23 manchesterFor some of the best views Manchester has to offer, make your way up to Cloud 23. This slick and stylish cocktail spot has floor-to-ceiling windows (and boy are they high), so grab a spot next to one and sit back to enjoy the skyline. Come rain or shine, you’ll be happy sipping away in the clouds.

Prices may be as steep as the height of this bar, but with supremely friendly and attentive service you’ll feel alright about shelling out those extra shekels. For a fun and festive cocktail, try The Industrialist with a pre-batched frozen mix of Bulleit Bourbon, vermouth, mezcal bitters and maple syrup with is then poured over a big tuft of candy floss. Give a nod to ol’ Becks with the 7’s Club – a tasty mix of Haig Club whisky, Dubbonet, rosemary & demerara syrup, walnut and it’s served on a football pitch (of course).

Expect to see a mix of glitterati and polished out of towners all chirpily chatting away. You won’t spot too many sufferers of vertigo here though …

Best Bars tip: If you’re looking to impress, whether it’s a client or a date, this is the spot for you.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

Cloud 23 manchester

The UK’s 15 Best Bars for Debauchery

It’s not always about sitting down for a sophisticated cocktail. Sometimes you just want to cut loose, drink shots and party down until the sun comes up. Here are the UK’s BEST bars for debauchery. Now whatever mischief you get yourselves into, it ain’t our fault … enjoy!

LONDON

Aces and Eights Tufnell Park1. Aces and Eights, Tufnell Park

You can chuck out some proper shapes here. And the pizza is pretty damned good.

casita shoreditch tequila con verdita2. Casita, Shoreditch

It might be one of London’s teeniest charms, but what Casita lacks in square footage it makes up for in personality. This is the kind of bar you pop into for a quick one and then end up cancelling all of your plans (happily so).

Covent Garden cocktail club3. Covent Garden Cocktail Club, Covent Garden

Live piano music, sing-a-long throwback tunes, crazy-looking cocktails and some of the happiest party people in town. If you’re not feeling up to it, nip down here and they’ll turn that frown upside down — guaranteed.

El Camion Soho4. El Camion, Soho

An industry mecca, El Camion is where the drinks trade comes to party late into the night and sink back tequilas.

Modern love old street5. Modern Love, Shoreditch

With blackboard walls, plenty of chalk, and an easygoing crowd bopping about to garage rock — don’t be surprised at the more adult content drawn up on the walls. You can even have a go at one-upping them yourself. And remember, downstairs is for dancing. End of.

Slim Jim's Liquor Store Angel6. Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, Angel

You know you’re in for some good ol’ fashioned trouble when you step into a bar and immediately need to peel your shoes off the floor. This is party-time Americana at its best and grungiest. It’s open seven days, always late, with a (sometimes) free jukebox cranking out classic tunes – from BRUUUUUUCE to Joy Division. So let’s get turbo-sh*tfaced on the bountiful bourbons. And we should probably tell you, if you give them your bra, they’ll give you a free drink. Now the decision is yours.

The Dolphin Hackney7. The Dolphin, Hackney

East London hipsters are a given, but those fond of a tipple – or twelve – come in by the bus-load after 3pm. Music-lovers are also in luck, as it often holds free events showcasing upcoming talent – from acoustic guitarists to spinning DJs.

trailer happiness notting hill8. Trailer Happiness, Notting Hill

The 70s basement décor is cheeky and cheerful, much like their staff and drinks. So when you’re looking to cut loose, there’s little better than this ode to Polynesia/Tiki-Americana, kitted out with (un)ironic shag carpets and Tretchikoff prints.

EDINBURGH

Garibaldi's Edinburgh
Kinga Sosnowska

9. Garibaldi’s

This cheeky spot is where Edinburgh comes to play. Garibaldi’s is a colourful Mexican-themed institution, beloved by all, boozed in by all, pole danced in by all. It’s late-night partying seven days a week, and it’s impossible not to shed your inhibitions here … the tequila shooters will make sure of that.

LEEDS

Neon Cactus Leeds fire10. Neon Cactus

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila … and then it all gets a bit hazy, but we’re told Neon Cactus is home to well over 70 types of this beautiful spirit. The vibrant-themed joint not only specialises in Mexico’s infamous liquor but also brings the nation’s love for traditional street food, upbeat vibes and late-night partying to Leeds’ Call Lane.

Oporto Leeds hot dog eating contest11. Oporto

Oporto is a must-visit for music lovers and late night revellers. This Leeds rock bar certainly lives up to its slogan/hazard warning of “Go Hard or Go Home”. Prepare yourself: you’re in for a night of heavy music, all night partying and shots, lots and lots of shots.

LIVERPOOL

Rum Aloha Liverpool12. Aloha

So Tiki it hurts, Aloha’s Polynesian carvings, colourful flowery wallpaper and bars set in wooden shacks transport guests to tropical climes where rum is king and Piña Coladas are served in fresh pineapples. This large basement bar attracts a fun crowd who are keen to dance in the packed room to classic songs and cheesy numbers.

El Bandito Liverpool Millionaire cocktail13. El Bandito

Open every night until 5am with all the tequila you could ever want. Viva Mexico!

MANCHESTER

Liars Club Manchester bartenders and fire14. The Liars Club

A bright and flaming Tiki den, The Liars Club is all about having a real good raucous time. From cheeky flaring tricks from the bartenders to bangin’ reggae tunes to bamboo huts – you’d struggle not to cut loose down here.

MOJO manchester bartender15. MOJO

Rock ‘n roll tunes, shots galore and dancing on the bar. The party doesn’t get any better (or more debaucherous) than this.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

The Whim Wham Cafe

Whim Wham Cafe bar ManchesterA gin lover’s paradise with artisanal produce, local ales and cocktails till late, The Whim Wham Cafe recreates the 1940s to stunning effect, with décor to match.

Get your hands on the Gin Wham after work, a sweetly spiced spritz with splashes of Hayman’s Gin and ginger wine then topped with ginger ale. If you’re waiting for a date it’s Buffalo Courage you’ll need – Bols Genever Gin, with a kick of Buffalo Trace Bourbon then infused with apricot.

Grab a table next to the laced windows and watch the world go by to the sounds of a gramophone.

Best Bars tip: If you want real bang for your buck, then come for the pre-theatre menu – two courses for £14 or three for £17.50 – which runs from 5-6:30pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays. Luckily it coincides perfectly with the wallet-friendly happy hour: two cocktails for £9 or £3 spirit-mixers … you’ll be fed and watered, even when the bank balance is running dry.

— Dave Marsland

Whim Wham Cafe Manchester

Rosylee

Rosylee Tea Rooms ManchesterAre you after a quaint and airy sort of venue? Rosylee, nestled on Stevenson Square, offers an array of modern British cuisine, entwined with classic cocktails and punches.

For a boozy signature, order the Rosylee Iced Tea — a fruity twist on the classic. If you’re hungry, then order off the Inka charcoal ovens for smoky sensations. Try the tender and juicy marinated spatchcock or a beautifully marbled rib-eye steak. And be sure to nip in for their splendid afternoon tea, we’re always partial to the champagne variety.

Spot on for a Sunday roast too, and they love it when you tweet a good photo of their creations. Expect RTs aplenty.

Best Bars tip: If it’s sunny, get there early. Alfresco spots fill up quickly.

— Dave Marsland

Rosylee Manchester lunch

Cuckoo Bar

Cuckoo Bar Manchester Tiramisu cocktailA relative newcomer to Prestwich, Cuckoo Bar offers a café environment with a small yet excellent array of boozy shenanigans. Exposed brickwork and light fixtures give the place a rustic, traditional and easygoing feel.

For a cuckoo cocktail delight, try the Chasing Truffles complete with Chase smoked vodka and stirred down with white truffle bitters. To kick up the pungency a notch, you get a side of creamy blue cheese. If that’s too stinky for you, maybe an adult milkshake will do. Try the Grown Yop with Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, strawberry liqueur, Mozart white chocolate and double cream – if you’re on a diet, this ain’t for you. And for something on the spicy end of the spectrum, try the Smokey José with chipotle, El Jimador Blanco tequila and a whack of La Penca mezcal. Prestwich-based Five-Oh Brew Co even make a Cuckoo beer selection, which includes the Chipotle Black IPA — a strong mother trucker in both heat and strength.

Homemade bites are served daily, including sliders and cake – perfect combo for that dirty city getaway on a Sunday. Busy weekends, but they have a quiet library downstairs for date nights.

Best Bars tip: Try all the doors. One leads to a secret garden.

— Dave Marsland

Cuckoo Bar Manchester alfresco

The Liars Club

Liars Club Manchester bartenders and fireA bright and flaming Tiki den, The Liars Club is all about having a real good raucous time. From cheeky flaring tricks from the bartenders to bangin’ reggae tunes to bamboo huts – you’d struggle not to cut loose down here.

Tiki is the name, and rum is the game … and they’re playing for keeps with over 100 different rums on the backbar. If you’re really going for it, order a Zombie – and while the fiery passionfruit husk flames on be careful not to set yourself alight. And to be honest, if your cocktail isn’t on fire here … you’re probably not doing it right. For one of the house signatures that’s only slightly less boozy, try the Sarsaparilla Soother – aka “the (self-proclaimed) best drink ever made” – made with Jamaican sarsaparilla root cordial, condensed milk, vanilla, Bacardi and Appleton Rums as well as a slew of other secret ingredients. This is rummy sweetness that’s bound to please.

The happy dancing drinkers here are a wonderful mishmash of young professionals, bar industry types, uni students and the like. And everyone is here to have fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously or you won’t get lei’d.

Best Bars tip: Prepare yourself for a wild and crazy night, and don’t be surprised when you walk outside and the sun is coming up.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

The Liars Club Manchester

The Whiskey Jar

The Whiskey Jar bar Manchester Lucas Smith
© Lucas Smith

This hip spot in the Northern Quarter is a casual whisky-loving haunt, well it is The Whiskey Jar. The big sexy backbar boasts a wide array of whiskies and bourbons, and the hanging lanterns are made from old booze bottles. The main room is filled with sumptuous cherry-brown sofas begging for you to slink into them.

To drink, you can’t go wrong by ordering yourself one of the various amber spirits. Just chat to your bartender to help you find the one you’re looking for (from smoky peaty numbers to easy nuttier ones). If straight up is too much for you, then go for something sweeter like Manhattan From The Jar with raisin and cinnamon-infused bourbon. For rumbling tummies, expect hearty pub grub like Scotch eggs, pies, sausage rolls as well as sharing meat and cheese boards.

This spot will keep you entertained nearly every day of the week with open mic nights on Tuesdays and downstairs you’ve got The Still for proper party times on Fridays and Saturdays.

Best Bars tip: Every night before 7pm, you can enjoy two cocktails for £9 …. happy hour indeed.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

The Whiskey Jar Manchester music Lucas Smith
© Lucas Smith