You can’t beat a summer’s day here in Manchester, when the sunshine glints off the skyscrapers and people pour out of pubs and bars.
There’s nothing like a heatwave to get your in the mood for an ice-cold drink – and we honestly can’t think of anything more cooling than a frozen bev, which is why we’ve put together this go-to-guide to help you find the best that Manchester has to offer.
Yes, in previous years, some of us cocktail enthusiasts may have been a bit snobby about frozen drinks – but after a few years locked in our houses, we’ve all deserved a little bit of silliness and fun, and these drinks absolutely deliver.
From boozy smoothies, to alcoholic slushies, frozen martinis, Irish coffees and even Snakebite, keep reading to discover where to go to sip on some of the best icy bevs the city has to offer.
Smithfield Social – Frozen Aperol Spritz
The ultimate summer cocktail, but make it frozen. Smithfield Social has taken the classic Italian aperitivo favourite to a new level for 2022, turning it into an ice-cold slushie that’s perfect for the summer. Low ABV and full of flavour, it might just be the best frozen cocktail we’ve seen (so far) this summer.
Sicilian NQ – Frozen watermelon margaritas
Hidden down a little backstreet in the Northern Quarter, Sicilian NQ is easy enough to miss – but don’t you dare. The tiny bar and kitchen has just launched a new range of frozen margaritas, all priced at just £5 during happy hour, which runs Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 5pm. Enjoy them in three flavours: classic, Sicilian and watermelon.
If you’re after something a little bit wilder, head to converted MOT garage Ramona for your frozen cocktail fix and a big fat Detroit slice. Yes, they do frozen margarltas, and, yes, you can opt to get them bottomless, but be adventurous – the banana + pandan is a certified house favourite, and pineapple + ginger is well worth a look-in too.
Ah Vimto, you’ll always have a special place in Manchester’s heart. Drunk hot, cold, and now frozen with a couple of shots of rum thrown in for good measure, there’s never a bad time to enjoy this fruity cordial. First manufactured here as a health tonic in 1908, it’s still giving us life all these years later.
Crazy Pedro’s – Frozen boozy Twistas
Crazy Pedro’s takes its frozen cocktails seriously, serving them up in five different flavours. From a frozen Twista ice lolly-flavoured cocktail to frozen Pornstar Martinis, Woo Woos, and both classic and strawberry margaritas, there’s plenty of choice to keep you going. Oh, and they’re all available on the bottomless brunch too.
Pico’s, Mackie Mayor – Frozen margaritas
Pico’s are not fair weather frozen cocktail fans – far from it. You can find them slinging out frozen margaritas with a chilli salt rim all year round both at Manchester’s Mackie Mayor and at Altrincham’s Market House, alongside the best nachos and tacos you will find in the city centre.
Font – Vimto daiquiri slushies
We all know that Font has the best-value cocktails in all of Manchester (yes that really is a £3 Blue Hawaiian), and they really step it up in the summer.
They have a section of the menu dedicated to boozy slushies – you can grab a frozen margarita or a frozen daiquiri, in either strawberry or Vimto flavour.
Smooch – Frozen strawberry daiquiris
Altrincham bubble tea shop Smooch hasn’t been open that long, but it’s already become quite the favourite with local kids. Following requests from the Trafford town’s parents for an ‘adult’ version, they’ve recently launched a new boozy menu featuring frozen strawberry daiquiris and pina colada bubble teas.
Tucked under the Mancunian Way at the Hatch street food village, you’ll find Kong’s latest export slinging out half-pint cups filled with frozen margaritas, alongside their cracking new sandwich menu. We think a crisp butty and a frozen marg in the Hatch garden sound just the thing.
Junior Jackson’s – Frozen snakebite and Irish coffees
The little brother to popular Manchester dive bar Bunny’s, Junior’s can be found in a basement on the Northern Quarter’s Oldham Street slinging out a plethora of frozen bevvies.
Frozen snakebite and frozen Irish coffees both sound incredible to us, but if you just want something fruity you can also get frozen daiquiris here in three different flavours – strawberry, pina colada and passion fruit. Oh, and you can get them all down at Bunny’s too.
7Sins – Frozen cocktail sharers
Think frozen cocktails, but supersized for the whole group. Stevenson Square bar 7Sins has gone the whole hog this summer with some new frozen sharers, including the Passionbowl (essentially a giant jug of Pornstar martini) and Super Bramble (gin, lemon and blackcurrant).
The Garratt – Frozen pornstar martinis and daiquiris
At just £5 each or two for £8, these are some of the cheapest frozen cocktails to be found in the city centre. Head down to popular Princess Street boozer The Garratt, a long-time favourite of Manchester’s skaters and students alike, for a rotating selection of ice-cold drinks, game of pool and an easy-to-land spot in the sun.
Lock 91 – Frozen daiquiris
With a gorgeous little beer garden hidden away from view, Lock 91 is another place to put on your frozen cocktail list on a sunny day. The house frozen strawberry daiquiri here is made from scratch, fresh to order.
Herd NQ – Frozen pornstar martinis
This little Northern Quarter steakhouse is delivering the goods on the frozen cocktail front, with frozen Pornstar martinis and three different boozy slushies on offer. Think a ‘pineapple express’ boozy smoothie with mango and spiced rum, a ‘watermelon sugar’ version, or a ‘frozen berry blast’ with added gin and apple.
Have we missed one? Let us know over on Instagram by dropping a message to @themanceats.
Feature image – Ramona
Food & Drink
Award-winning Northern Quarter restaurant announces shock closure with most heartbreaking statement yet
One of the Northern Quarter’s best restaurants and bars has announced its shock closure, adding to a tidal wave of hospitality casualties.
Cocktail Beer Ramen and Bun – better known to most of us as CBRB – announced the news this evening with a frank and heartbreaking statement.
In it, the late-night Oldham Street business outlined the ‘massive financial strain’ it’s been facing, describing the obstacles that are ‘affecting everyone in the hospitality industry right now’.
CBRB stressed the staggering costs of goods and the doubling of energy bills as the ‘massive factors’ that have forced their hand.
They wrote: “It breaks our heart to have to make this decision and please know, it has not come lightly or without months of deliberation, meetings and rescue plans.
“Countless discussions about a way out of the sh*t that wouldn’t end up coming to this.”
CBRB, which specialises in huge steaming bowls of ramen, delicious small plates and award-winning cocktails, took the time to thank all the customers who have supported the hugely popular independent restaurant over the years.
They also urged people to get out and support their local favourites before it’s too late, writing: “We can guarantee they’ll need it. So many amazing ideas and talented businesses in our industry are struggling and closing almost every day now and they need your help.”
CBRB’s final day will be this Sunday, with bookings and walk-ins operating as normal.
CBRB’s statement in full
This is probably the hardest thing we’ve ever had to write. The worst news we’ve ever had to deliver.
This Sunday will be our last.
The last noodle pull. The last blue drink. The last dinner service.
We want to be as honest with you as possible. After all, it’s you lot that make this place what it is and it’s you who have kept us going as long as we have.
CBRB wouldn’t be where it is today without your amazing love + support over the last 4 years…
The business has been under massive financial strain, that we have unfortunately been unable to pull ourselves out of. The obstacles that have been affecting everyone in the hospitality industry right now. The cost of goods sky rocketing. Energy bills more than doubling. They’re all massive factors and they’ve all made it extremely difficult to continue doing what we love, without compromising on quality.
It breaks our heart to have to make this decision and please know, it has not come lightly or without months of deliberation, meetings and rescue plans. Countless discussions about a way out of the sh*t that wouldn’t end up coming to this.
So for now we just want to thank you. For making this tiny little kitchen and bar become something way bigger than we ever imagined. For making coming to work the last 4 years so much fun. For all the lovely messages, the constant support, for bringing your friends and sharing the love for the food we create.
Thank you for supporting your local Girl Gang. But for now, it’s over.
If we can leave anything behind it’s this. Go and support your local independent bar!
Eat out at your favourite family owned restaurants. Order that takeaway from your local small business. Because we can guarantee they’ll need it. So many amazing ideas and talented businesses in our industry are struggling and closing almost every day now and they need your help.
Bookings and walk ins will operate as normal this week and we’ll keep on slinging the noods and pouring the drinks until the second we have to leave.
2018 – 2023
This week will be a bittersweet one. Come see us for a drink.
Big love, Team CBRB x
Featured image: The Manc Group
Food & Drink
Selfridges to open Louboutin bar with cocktails inspired by its iconic £700 shoes
A new bar inspired by Christian Louboutin’s infamous red-soled shoes is set to open in Selfridges, Manchester Trafford, this year.
Offering a spin on classic cocktails such as the Cosmopolitan alongside some bespoke creations, it will be located in the accessories hall on the lower level of the department store opposite the new Christian Louboutin boutique.
Running for a limited time only, Loubibar celebrates the arrival of the swanky boutique where the designer’s latest Spring collection of signature shoes and accessories are now on display.
At the cocktail bar, shoppers can enjoy bespoke cocktail creations including the Rouge Follies (a spin on the classic Cosmopolitan), the Loubifunk (mixing gin with aromatic notes of cherry and zesty limes) and the amusingly named Loubidoo (a ‘transportive’ cocktail laced with coconuts and lime).
The 360 bar itself is resplendent in Christian Louboutin’s signature red, with plush red stools and menus, and will serve bespoke red cocktails inspired by the French fashion house, which was first established in Paris over 30 years ago.
First launching in 1992 with a collection for women, swiftly followed by a men’s collection a few years later, its signature red lacquered sole makes the shoes instantly recognisable wherever they go.
2014 welcomed Christian Louboutin Beauté, while in, 2022 the House launched a new category dedicated to Kids and Pets: The LoubiFamily.
Favoured by the likes of the Kardashians and Cardi B, as well as Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, they’ve long been considered an iconic symbol of style and quality craftsmanship.