Switch up your usual antics and try your hand at a cocktail masterclass on your next night out in Leeds…
From rum-fuelled catch-ups to gin-soaked get-togethers, you’ve probably spent many a night out drinking cocktails, but have you ever spent a night making them? With a whole raft of masterclasses for you to choose from, now’s the time to do it. You can do a Gatsby-esque session at Smokestack, a Havana-themed celebration at Revolución de Cuba or a rocker-style class at Mojo – the choice is yours.
The Alchemist’s mixologists have a way of making their cocktails feel almost experimental, and you can find out how to do it too with one of their cocktail masterclasses. They’re available to groups of 6-12, for £30 each or £35 if you want to add some of their tasty eats into the mix. After supping one of their Peaches and Cream cocktails, you’ll get an education in two distinctively ‘Alchemist’ cocktails, as you mix up a Screwball and The Legal One – the latter is a mix of Absolute Raspberry vodka, Briottet Blue Curacao, bubblegum, apple and lime topped with white chocolate cream foam.
The Alchemist, Yorkshire House, Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5SH & Trinity Leeds, Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
A burger joint might not be the first place you look for a lesson in cocktail making, but with a menu to rival most in the city, Almost Famous is up there with the best of them. You can sign up for £25 a person, which gets you a complimentary drink, before you learn to master two classic cocktails, like Mojitos, Cosmopolitans and Margaritas. For £10 extra, you can tuck into a burger and fries too.
Almost Famous, 23-25 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
All Bar One
All Bar One do a customisable cocktail masterclass, so you can whip up three of your favourite tipples for just £20. They’ll add a white peach, mango, strawberry or raspberry Bellini on arrival and canapés of your choice for just £10 extra, so you can really go to town. After discovering what it takes to become an expert mixologist, you’ll choose the cocktails you want to make. Will it be an Espresso Martini? Or maybe a Mojito? Whatever you go for, you’ll discover all the tricks of the trade as you go.
All Bar One, 27 East Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5BN and All Bar One, Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.
The unmarked black door at the top of Leeds’ Call Lane leads to a Prohibition-style drinking den that’s famed for its cocktails. The masterclasses are in-depth and take place in their oh-so-sophisticated Hendrick’s Bar, where their waistcoated mixologists will introduce you to the principles of cocktail making. The best thing about The Maven is that they’ll make absolutely anything you want, with a choice of any four drinks from £30 per person, and you’ll learn about the history of the spirits you’re using and the cocktails you’re making as you go. This is a high-end masterclass with seriously experienced and award-winning mixologists, so you can expect to get a lot out of the experience.
The Maven, 1-3 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
The Liquorist handles monster groups of 6-30 guests, while paying special attention to each and every one of you. Their professional mixologists will have you mixing two drinks from scratch – with a range of classics to choose from, including Mojitos, Pornstar Martinis and Cosmopolitans, all of which will take place after a prosecco reception. You can choose the masterclass on its own for £25, but they also offer a package with a buffet or a meal in the restaurant which will cost a little more.
The Liqourist, 5-7 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW.
Smokestack offers three types of cocktail masterclasses, each of which costs £30 a head, for groups of between 6 and 18 people. You can do their DIY Masterclass, a really hands-on session that will have you whipping up tasty concoctions straight from the start. Or why not go for the rum-themed Caribbean Cruise soiree where you’ll learn how to make the perfect tiki punches and Cuban daiquiris. Love gin? Then their final masterclass is for you. After a quick history of Mother’s Ruin, you’ll work your way through a series of juniper inspired tipples.
Smokestack, 159A Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LY.
With two venues in the city, Revolution is the only bar in Leeds that hands out certificates and mini-shakers to students of its mixology classes. For £25 each, you and your mates get the bartender’s undivided attention for 90 minutes of ‘flavour bingo’, cocktail sampling and shaking. After a Blank Canvas Cocktail (your bartender will choose a flavour specially) on arrival for Dutch courage, you’ll nip behind the bar to whip up your favourite concoctions under your teacher’s watchful gaze. The grand finale? A flavoured vodka train to set you up for the rest of your night. You can pay a little more if you want to add food into the mix too.
Revolution, 41 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AW; 48 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Revolución de Cuba
Call Lane’s slice of Latin America, Revolución de Cuba is the go-to spot for rum-monkeys wanting their fix of a Havana-themed evening – centred around, you guessed it, rum. It’s a homage to their national drink, so for £24.99 per person at the weekend or £30 during the week, their resident Cantineros will train you in the art of Mojitos, Daiquiris, and Cuba Libres. You can also opt in for tapas to keep your stomachs lined, for a few extra bob, of course.
Revolución de Cuba, 64-68 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Thewlis is a favourite with the city’s cocktail lovers, so it’s no wonder they’ve picked up the mantle from sister bar The Decanter by taking over their cocktail masterclasses. For £25 per person, you’ll get nibbles on arrival, before you mix a trio of concoctions in their VIP area. With classics alongside their own unusual creations, there’s sure to be something you want to learn. For £10 extra, you can enjoy a sharing meat and cheese platter and a glass of Prosecco on arrival.
Thewlis, 18 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6JG.
Hardy’s is a cool cocktail bar where they pride themselves on knowing every spirit on their shelves like the back of their hand – and you can tap into their expertise on one of their cocktail masterclasses. You’ll kick things off with a welcome glass of prosecco before one of their mixologists leads you through a brief introduction to the art of making cocktails. That’s followed by a full masterclass where you’ll make three different cocktails, with everything from the Salted Caramel Espresso Martini to the Honey Bramble. It’s just £20 per person and there’s no limit on group size, but you can’t do ‘em on Tuesdays.
Hardy’s Bar, 52 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cocktail masterclasses at Bar Soba. For just £25 per person, you can start your session with a glass of prosecco followed by a session learning how to make three of their bestselling cocktails. If you’re in groups of 4 or more, you can ask for your favourites, and if you’re a competitive bunch, you can split up into teams and compete against each other. Prefer a particular spirit? They run special classes using Grey Goose or Bacardi. And if you get peckish, you can add canapés or a full meal for a few quid extra.
Bar Soba, 6 Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5RW.
You’re in for hours of alcohol-fuelled creativity at Blind Tyger. They have three different masterclasses for you to choose from, you can roll back the years with a 20s Great Gatsby-style session that will take you from the Horse’s Neck Highball to the Bee’s Knees, or work your way through four of your favourites as part of their DIY session which acts as a crash course in to the world of mixology. Love gin? They’ve also got a masterclass dedicated to Mother’s Ruin. Each one is £30 per person.
Blind Tyger, 5a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Famous Leeds rock bar Mojo offers two different masterclasses. Their ‘Classic’ sessions will have you whipping up old-school staples like Cosmopolitans and Mojitos. Want to get a little adventurous? Go for the ‘Mojo’ package, where you’ll discover the secrets behind their quirky in-house concoctions. You can knock back up to five drinks and prices start from £25 per person. They’ll even throw in a buffet for £10 each, so you can line your stomachs as you make your cocktails.
Mojo Bar, 18 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.
The Wardrobe’s mixologists will tempt you in with their cocktail making prowess, which will take you through basic bartending equipment and skills, teaching you to shake up a storm for £30 each. After a Bellini on arrival, you’ll learn the art of making mojitos, before mixing up a classic cocktail of your choice. And whoever makes the best cocktail gets a bottle of prosecco to take home. For £10 more, you’ll get a food and fizz break, followed by another cocktail masterclass, but this time you’ll create one of their house cocktails.
The Wardrobe, 6 St. Peter’s Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8AH.
One of the best places for cocktail masterclasses in Leeds is Harvey Nichols’ Fourth Floor Bar. They start with a welcome drink before you move on to spirit tastings, giving you a better understanding of the flavours going into your drinks. Then the fun starts in earnest, as you set about making three cocktails, under the watchful eye of one of their expert mixologists. You can do all this for just £30 per person.
Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Cafe & Bar, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AZ.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Trinity Leeds, The Botanist offers one of the most action-packed cocktail masterclasses in the city. Each session is filled with a variety of games, so you can get competitive in groups of six or more to see who makes the best concoctions. For £24.95 each, you’ll whip up a trio of their most popular drinks, which include stone-cold classics and adventurous twists. The first will be either an English Mojito or Thai Chilli Crush, followed by a fruity Apricot Mai Thai and a classic Pornstar Martini.
The Botanist, 67 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.