The best cocktail bars in the UK have been revealed – and two are in Manchester

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 1st February 2022

The UK’s best cocktail bars have been revealed, and two of them are right here in Manchester.

We already knew that we had some great cocktail bars, but now it’s been made official – with two Manchester watering holes appearing on this year’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars list.

Hidden vegan cocktail bar Speak In Code and Schofield’s Bar, which took over historic Manchester boozer The Old Grapes last year, both made it into the top 20 – coming in at numbers 10 and 16 respectively.

Manchester Gin’s Three Little Words also got a special mention, taking home the 2022 Bar Team of the Year award

Image: Speak In Code

It’s a coup for both operators as well as Manchester’s drinks scene as a whole, which didn’t make the list at all last year (a bit of an oversight if you ask us).


In total, ten of the Top 50 Cocktail Bars this year are found in the north of England.

Over in Leeds, four bars made the list with Jake’s Bar & Still Room, Roland’s, Below Stairs and Hedonist all getting a well-dseerved mention.


Further afield, Liverpool’s Present Company, Sheffield’s Public and Newcastle’s Mother Mercy are also featured, with four more – Bramble Bar & Lounge, Panda and Sons, The Absent Ear and Hay Palu – getting a shout out up in Scotland.

Image: Schofield’s Bar

Acknowledging the growing number of northern bars featured in this year’s list, Top 50 Cocktail Bars publisher Christopher Lowe said: “London has always been seen as a global leader for cocktails but as you’ll see from the 2022 list, other major cities across the UK are now catching up.

“Our newly launched website will help cocktail connoisseurs discover the best of the UK bar scene with many of these very much still under the radar.”

Image: Schofield’s Bar

Further proving the move away from a London-centric focus on the cocktail scene, taking the. number one spot this year is Cardiff’s Lab 22.

Tucked away above a well-known bakery, the experimental Lab 22 has jumped up 32 places in two years with its daring drinks menu from award-winning head bartender Max Hayward.

That said, London still dominates half of the list. Number two in this year’s Top 50 is Swift Soho, a much-loved regular on the list and in third place is The Connaught Bar, also voted as the 2021 ‘best bar in the world’ in The World’s 50 Best Bars.

Image: Speak In Code

East London bar Tayēr + Elementary meanwhile is this year’s highest new entry, coming in at number 4.

This year’s winners were announced during the list reveal at One Night Records, in London, hosted by Aidy Smith.


The Top 50 Cocktail Bars 2022 list is as follows:

  1. Lab 22, Cardiff
  2. Swift Soho, London
  3. The Connaught Bar, London
  4. Tayēr + Elementary, London
  5. Satan’s Whiskers, London
  6. Bramble Bar & Lounge, Edinburgh
  7. Three Sheets, London
  8. Oriole, London
  9. Panda and Sons, Edinburgh
  10. Speak in Code, Manchester
  11. Yellow Triangle, Red Square, Blue Circle, London
  12. Disrepute, London
  13. Nightjar, London
  14. Homeboy Bar, London
  15. American Bar, London
  16. SCHOFIELD’S BAR, Manchester
  17. Opium Cocktails & Dim Sum Parlour, London
  18. Coupette, London
  19. Artesian, London
  20. Scarfes Bar, London
  21. Trailer Happiness, London
  22. Lucky Liquor co., Edinburgh
  23. Happiness Forgets, London
  24. Jake’s Bar & Still Room, Leeds
  25. Little Mercies, London
  26. The Absent Ear, Glasgow
  27. The Milk Thistle, Bristol
  28. Berry & Rye, Liverpool
  29. Laki Kane, London
  30. Filthy XIII, Bristol
  31. Lyaness, London
  32. Roland’s Leeds, Leeds
  33. Gungho!, Brighton
  34. Hacha, London
  35. The Hideout, Bath
  36. Pennyroyal, Cardiff
  37. Couch, Birmingham
  38. Bar Termini, London
  39. Below Stairs, Leeds
  40. Hay Palu, Edinburgh
  41. Public, Sheffield
  42. Hedonist, Leeds
  43. Present Company, Liverpool
  44. The Pineapple Club, Birmingham
  45. Publiq., London
  46. Ojo Rojo, Bournemouth
  47. L’ Atelier du Vin, Brighton
  48. Callooh Callay, London
  49. Mother Mercy, Newcastle upon Tyne
  50. The Cocktail Trading Co, London

Feature image – Schofield’s Bar