Bar Review: Dirty Martini, Manchester

I hoped, on arriving at Dirty Martini, it was going to be love. It was certainly lust – bright colours, glitz, 1960s hints. 

It was like coming home. This is what I should be surrounded by – colour, geometric shapes, futuristic images. It’s like the 1960s idea of space travel, was poured into a cocktail shaker, wiht a bit of art deco elegance and a touch of 1980s excess.  



And that’s before you get to the drinks. As you’d expect, from a bar that specialises in Martinis, there are a lot of Martinis on the menu. Classics like the dirty or espresso Martini, alongside a slew of their own creations, and other classics, such as the Bellini, Bramble and the Negroni.

So if you’re not a Martini fan, don’t worry, it’s not mandatory.



I, however, am very much a fan of the Martini – in almost all of it’s forms. And myself and my date began with the bar’s namesake. The Dirty Martini. 

Being asked how wet or dry I wanted it and whether I wanted gin or vodka was blissful. A good bar should always ask as it’s all down to personal preference. The same with how dirty you want it. Hint of a tint, or tie me up, but don’t blindfold me. 

In my case, dry and dirty, in the case of my date a little wetter (or softer). Both gin. Both were well balanced, both were tasty, both hit the spot.

What we didn’t expect was the food menu.



The bar snack selection is small but very well formed. Arancini balls, sliders, and oh my the buttermilk chicken is so tender it’s melt in the mouth. 

It’s a bit good.

Back to the cocktails, we decided on just one more before we go, and I think this is where Dirty Martini falls down a little bit for me. Away from the classics, their own creations are rather on the sweet side. If you have a sweet tooth, you have plenty to choose from, but for someone who likes something distinctly drier, it means you can’t really play around so much.



Selecting what we hoped would be one of the less sugary options, we picked the Oranje Sherbert – which is intensely sweet, rich and really does taste like a boiled sweet. Fail. 

I guess we’re just going to have to work our way through the rest of the menu to see if we can find anything else that’s lighter and drier. Good job their happy hour means half price Martinis. Happy Hour! With half price Martinis, eh?


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All drinks and food were purchased by us. 

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