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30th October 2023

Review: Halloween cocktails at Motley

The Mancunion headed to Deansgate to try out Motley’s spooky-themed cocktails
Review: Halloween cocktails at Motley
Photo: Hannah Summers @ The Mancunion

During the spooky season, I had the opportunity to visit Motley – a lively hangout spot full of character – and try their Halloween specials. Some may have noticed this bar, with its striking decor, on the corner of Deansgate.

The interior stands out with its bold colours and neon signs, but it is muted enough to create a pleasant and warm atmosphere. Plus, the music isn’t too loud, allowing guests to actually hear the people they’re sat with. The friendly staff, and selection of sofas and booths, make Motley a perfect place to spend a relaxing evening (whilst also being an excellent photo op for the Instagram story)!

If you want to avoid all of the mess and pressure of a Halloween night out, this is a great alternative. You can dress up, spend time with friends, and also enjoy some Halloween treats, in the form of cleverly curated Halloween-themed cocktails.

Photo: Hannah Summers @ The Mancunion

All of their Halloween cocktails have appropriately alarming names, and each claims to contain a spooky ingredient such as teardrops or hexes. However, we tried them all and luckily seem to remain unhexed.

First, we tried ‘Toxic Waste’ and ‘Dead Man’s Walkin’. ‘Toxic Waste’ was a simple cocktail with Midori (melon liqueur), lychee, and lime. Bursting with lychee flavour from the first sip, the hint of lime was needed to cut through the sweetness. In the true fashion of any hard-boiled sweet, this drink tasted sweeter with each sip but was perhaps missing the famous sourness of the childhood classic from which it got its name. Whilst all of the Halloween cocktails reproduced the comforting taste of leftover candy, this would definitely be my top pick for any nostalgic sweet-tooths out there.

Next was ‘Dead Man’s Walkin’: made up of spiced rum, pineapple, lime, and cherry. This cocktail tasted like the fruit explosion of eating an entire pack of sweets in one go. A perfect balance of sweet and sour, it is probably the most unproblematic choice on the menu. An added bonus was its fun presentation, which involved a skull-shaped glass with a gold-covered passionfruit slice to top it off.

‘The Depresso Martini’ (left) and ‘Trick or Treat’ (right). Photo: Hannah Summers @ The Mancunion

Next, we were presented with the ‘Depresso Martini’. A twist on the classic espresso martini, this drink is for lovers of the iconic pumpkin spice latte. The pumpkin spice worked well with the espresso to create a sweet and warming cocktail. Unlike its melancholy name, this comforting drink had me wishing I was sat by a fireplace.

Finishing with a bang, our cocktail consisted of tequila, pomegranate, chilli, and lime. Luckily, the ‘Trick or Treat’ cocktail came with a very appreciated warning. The first sip hits right in the back of the throat and definitely has you questioning your tolerance for heat. However, the combination of flavours, and the calming sweetness of the pomegranate, make for a wonderful drink.

Fully committed to the season, the drink was even dressed up with its own devil horns (constructed by fresh chillis) and an eery pool of blood (pomegranate). What started as a trick grew on me and became a real treat, maybe even my favourite of them all. It’s a cocktail so good that it leaves you in tears (literally.)

The Toxic Waste (left) and Dead Man’s Walkin (right). Photo: Hannah Summers @ The Mancunion

Although the Halloween cocktails are definitely not something to miss, Motley offers a great selection of drinks all year round, including alcohol-free versions of the whole menu.

While they are rather pricey (£12-13 for a cocktail), it would be an excellent place for a date, a catch-up, or a birthday celebration. We were even treated to some small plates on the side which were flavourful and filling. In particular, we would recommend the salt & pepper shrimp, or goat’s cheese and honey bonbons, which worked perfectly alongside the cocktails.

All in all, Motley is a great environment to enjoy enticing cocktails, tasty food, and a special night out.


  • Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm (last food orders 9pm)
  • Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am (last food orders 10pm)
  • Sun 11:30am-11:30pm (last food orders 9:30pm)

Check out Motley’s website to find out more.

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