Who says beer drinkers have all the fun? With these cocktail crawls of Leeds, you can go bar hopping without the hops…
Just because cocktails are your drink of choice, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the pub crawl action. In fact, we’ve created three routes around Leeds that will give you a taste of some of the best cocktails in Leeds. So whether you love the classics or fancy trying something downright experimental, you won’t be disappointed.
The Classic Crawl
When it comes to classic cocktails, you’ve got to go to the city’s original nightspot – Call Lane. Start in Jake’s, where they put their still room to good use. You’ll find a host of stone-cold classics on the menu, taking you from their signature Strawberry Daiquiri to the Peach Cobbler, there’s plenty of choice – but look out for their unique twists too.
From here, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to Roland’s, a pint-sized bar with a small but perfectly formed cocktail menu. Try their Old Fashioned or go for an Espresso Martini. Across the road above Call Lane Social, you’ll find something a little more tropical, in the form of the Tiki Hideaway – nip in for a Mai Tai or their ever-so-potent Zombie.
A detour to Lower Briggate is in order next, and you never know quite what it will bring. The Hedonist now takes you around the world with their character Olivia, whose first stop is a menu inspired by Spain, but next, it could be anywhere else in the world. We have, of course, saved the best for last – The Maven is one of the city’s most prestigious cocktail bars, serving all the classics, just the way you like them – and if it’s not on the menu, well, just ask.
The Unusual Crawl
Want to try something a little different? There are plenty of bars that will be happy to indulge your adventurous side with cocktails that are just a little bit experimental. Start in The Alchemist, where they serve up smoking concoctions made with dried ice and colour-changing cocktails that transform before your eyes.
From here, move on to its sister venue, The Botanist, where you’ll find a host of herbs and veggies mixed up with your favourite tipples to create something completely new, like the Rum, Cherry & Thyme sharer, which comes in a watering can. Then it’s off to Merrion Street, where Manahatta will mix you up all manner of weird concoctions, from their tropical California Dreaming to the exotic Eastern Promise.
Or why not stop at Vice & Virtue to try their dynamic cocktail menu, which features their Signature Corps Reviver No. 2? Finally, finish up at Blind Tyger, where every cocktail is an original, including the likes of the Popcorn Julep and the New England Cobbler.
The Alfresco Crawl
When the sun comes out to play, you’ll surely want to enjoy your cocktails outside, and there are plenty of bars in Leeds that will be only too happy to oblige. Start at SkyLounge, where you’ll get stunning views of the city as you sup creations like The Sky Tai, their signature cocktail which brings together Havana 3, Havana Especial, blue curacao, lime juice and almond syrup.
From here, it’s on to Restaurant Bar & Grill – its City Square terrace is the perfect place to sup a Porn Star Martini or two. It’s great for people watching too – and so is Angelica, the next stop on the list. From their perch at the pinnacle of Trinity Leeds, you can look down on the shoppers below while supping one of their classics, like the Elderflower Vivant, a blend of elderflower liqueur and syrup topped with prosecco and soda.
East 59th is next. Their New York-style loft has its own outdoor terrace which looks out over the city’s rooftops. Try one of their potent concoctions while you get a new angle on the city. Then make a beeline for Headrow House and treat yourself to something from Redondo Beach, their dedicated cocktail bar, before heading out onto the roof terrace.
Cover image copyright Nick Porter.