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Manchester to launch first cocktail festival

Published:  19 July, 2016

Manchester's first ever cocktail festival launches this summer, with 30 of the city's on-trade venues taking part in a week-long programme of events.

Running from August 8 to 14, Manchester Loves Cocktails will bring one-off events, tasting dinners, masterclass sessions, competitions and parties to the city's restaurants, bars and venues, including: Hawksmoor, The Pen and Pencil, El Gato Negro, Cane & Grain, Mojo, Gorilla, Trof, Crazy Pedros, Cottonopolis, and The Alchemist.

The festival will also feature a series of events, tastings and masterclasses designed for bartenders and those that work in the drinks industry, including a War of Roses cocktail competition, which will pit Manchester or Leeds against each other to crown one the cocktail capital of north.

Manchester Loves Cocktails was created by Leeds drinks creator and cocktail enthusiast, Nick Fox, who founded Leeds Loves Cocktails four years ago.

Fox said that his objective with both festivals was to promote the cocktail scene in the north and to encourage drinkers to "drink better".

"Manchester is one of the UK''s greatest destinations for cocktail lovers. The standard of cocktails in the city are on par with top bars of London and New York and it's about time that the city has a festival to celebrate Manchester's incredible talent and diverse cocktail scene," Fox said.

"Over the 7 days we'll be encouraging guests to 'drink better, not more' by exploring the story behind people's favourite spirits, as well as some spirits they may have not come across before with tasting masterclasses and events throughout the whole week."

Portobello Road Gin, El Jimador, Bacardi, Ketel One, Tanqueray, Hudson Whiskey, Montelobos Mezcal, and Licor 43 will all participate.

The festival will be supporting Hospitality Action, the trade charity offering a lifeline to people of all ages, working and retired, from the hospitality industry, with 25p of each wristband sold being donated to the charity.

Emma Cottam from Hospitality Action said: "We are hugely grateful to Leeds Loves Cocktails for supporting the work that we do. The long hours and demanding work schedule associated with the hospitality industry add extra stress when trying to cope with life's daily pressures - sometimes, all it takes is a very small change to turn a manageable situation into an unmanageable one. With the help of the industry and events such as these, Hospitality Action always ensures that there is always somewhere for people to turn to in their hour of need".