7 Leeds Loves Cocktails highlights you need to check out
Ever since we opened the worlds first shopping centre back in 2013 (Trinity), Leeds has never looked back – we’re a proper city now with posh shops, restaurants and bars and all that malarkey. We’re also a city that likes to go boozing and love nothing more than getting sozzled on a regular basis, however, being Yorkshire, we’re also tighter than a ducks arse and tend to wince at the thought of paying £8 upwards for a fancy cocktail.
Enter Leeds Loves Cocktails to solve that problem. Purchase a wrist band for just a fiver and you get access to discounted premium cocktails at 40 of the cities most vibrant and diverse bars (well up until Sunday 7th June anyhow). Take a look at my pick of 7 of the best joints and what they have to offer.
Since opening just a few months back, Pintura has shaken up the competitive Leeds tapas industry with rave reviews for its insanely high-quality grub. They also happen to have a devilishly good gin bar tucked in their cellar and so it comes as no surprise they have joined forced with Portobello Road Gin to mix up some magic for the festival. Join them this Saturday between 12:00-13:30 for their Red Snapper Saturday event and discover the history of this iconic tipple.
Distrikt is that rare breed of bar that combines great food and drink with amazing, world class DJ’s and an atmosphere that encourages punters to dance like lunatics. Working closely with Knob Creek, they are providing a selection of moreish bourbon whiskey cocktails that will have you coming back for more.
Saturday 6th June is officially Knob Creek Hye and Rye Day; from 14:00 they will be serving drinks in their lively courtyard and later on, the cocktail action continues inside on the dancefloor with disco beats until late.
Despite being slap, bang in the centre of Call Lane, Neon Cactus is still something of a hidden gem, as few seem to realise just how good their food and indeed, liquor selection, is. They will be getting folk in the Mexican party spirit in association with Herradura Tequila with eight, out of this world cocktails catering to all pallets at just $4.50 a pop. If you happen to be there on Saturday from 20:00, you can soak up the vibes of their Viva Tequila party – get involved.
Pan-Asian inspired Bar Soba has already made its mark on Leeds’ prolific night scene in a very short time. Stoli Vodka provides the liquor for their range of top-notch cocktails all week, so don’t miss out. Thursday 4th June sees them hosting The Stoli Lemondae Lab, which sees Stoli Brand Ambassador Matthew Dakers hosting a mixoligist masterclass between 19:00-20:30.
For jazz, funk, soul and blues, nowhere in Leeds is as authentically cool as the ever-popular Smokestack. Nikka Whisky have supplied them with enough high-grade liquor to satisfy their many regular punters all week and Thursday 4th June sees them hosting their Jekyll and Hyde Cocktail Competition. Now in its third year due to popular demand, it’s a chance to get creative whilst simultaneously getting smashed (all whilst drinking responsibly of course).
Situated within the ever popular Chaophraya, the Palm Sugar Lounge bar is by far one of the cities most decadent cocktail bars and offers a chic and classy setting for you to get trashed in. They have created eight delicious cocktails using Ophir Oriental Spiced Gin, with names such as ‘Phantom of the Ophir’ and ‘The Palm Sugar Daqurry’, using a variety of high-quality ingredients. All cocktails are priced at £4.50 with your wristband, or £7.50 without.
Standing head and shoulders above the competition in the overcrowded gourmet burger market (along with The Joint), Almost Famous instantly became a Leeds staple when they opened up last year. They are creating a range of cocktails using premium French syrup brand, Monin, so expect a variety of tasty cocktails incorporating several different liqours.