Talented brothers and self-confessed cocktail obsessives Manachain and Jamie Monaghan do a lot of things incredibly well. From creating completely immersive experiences in their cosy and characterful cocktail bars located in Derbyshire and Yorkshire to pouring some of the most tempting and titillating cocktails you’ll ever have tasted, a visit to either Monk Cocktail Bar in Buxton or the recently opened Below Stairs in Leeds is an event you won’t soon forget.

Passionate about crafting cocktails with an old fashioned attention to detail, balancing the finest flavours to conjure alluring drinks that are best described as works of art, Manachain and Jamie are certainly no amateurs. Sourcing the finest spirits and liqueurs from across the globe, the pair bring a sophistication and an understated elegance to their craft that has, in recent years, somewhat lost its seductive spark due to the number of bars, restaurants and chains that overcomplicate and cheapen the fine art of mixology with flashy and unnecessary novelties such as glow sticks and sparklers. At Monk Cocktail Bar and Below Stairs, Manachain and Jamie let the flavours speak for themselves.

Monk Cocktail Bar in Buxton

Visit Monk Cocktail Bar in Buxton, the first of the brothers’ cocktail bar ventures, and you’ll understand what makes this pair so special. Boasting a cosy environment reminiscent of your favourite local haunt with shabby-chic touches that give a tasteful nod to the building’s industrial history, much like the extensive selection of cocktails on offer, Monk Cocktail Bar blends a number of comforting and exciting elements to create a single product that is difficult to pass up. Featuring charming details such as exposed brick walls, a metal mezzanine deck, and even a table that has been made from a repurposed sewing machine, Monk Cocktail Bar creates the perfect environment in which to enjoy a classic dry Martini, a Long Island Ice Tea, or one of their many unconventional and unique cocktail choices on the regularly changing cocktail menu.

Whether you select a cocktail from the Quintessence Collection, which offers new interpretations of classics, or the collaborative seasonal menu, which gives the entire bar staff the opportunity to bring their creativity to the mix and come up with something truly special and unique, you can’t choose wrong.

Below Stairs in Leeds

The recently opened Below Stairs, the second of the brothers’ ventures, is Monk Cocktail Bar’s equal in every way, offering the same kind of welcoming and cosy environment but this time within the basement of an atmospheric Grade II listed building in Leeds. With its white-tiled bar, contemporary artwork adorning the dramatic midnight blue walls, and comfy armchairs, relax in this unique, speakeasy-like setting and choose from one of the many innovative and exciting cocktails on offer, each designed to tell emotive or sensory stories.

Below Stairs in Leeds

Our favourites include the Hanami, a cocktail inspired by the annual Japanese National Cherry Blossom Festival that combines Ketel One Vodka, plum and cherry Umeshu cordial, burnt cherry tisane, sour plum and pickled ginger, and the Bazar Daquiri, a cocktail inspired by Moroccan bazaars that combines Plantation 3 Star Rum, pink grapefruit, sumac pecan bitters, Thai basil and rose.

Monk Cocktail Bar: Cocktail Sample Menu/ Below Stairs: Cocktail Sample Menu

Monk Cocktail Bar: 8 Cavendish Circus, Buxton, SK17 6AT

Below Stairs: The Basement, 12 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QS

Head over to Monk Cocktail Bar and Below Stairs’ websites or follow them on their social media pages (Monk Cocktail Bar and Below Stairs) to keep up to date on all the goings on at these wonderful venues. Also, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of our Derbyshire and Yorkshire Food & Drink Guides to read our reviews of these cocktails bars.

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