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 6-16, 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 three distinctively ‘Alchemist’ cocktails, as you mix up a Bubblebath and Lightbulb Moment – the latter is a summery mix of Tanqueray Gin, Pimm’s, ginger beer, raspberry, lemon and mint.
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. Groups of 6 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, fries and wings too.
Almost Famous, 23-25 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
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. If you want food, you can add on nibbles and canapes for £7.50 per person or get 10% off their full menu of traditional Mediterranean small plates.
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 and Jägerbomb. You can choose the masterclass on its own for £20, 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 Vodkaccino (Smirnoff Espresso Martini) 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 from a Havana-themed evening – centred around, you guessed it, rum. It’s a homage to their national drink, so for £24.95 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 or go all out with a tasty two-course meal to experience all your cocktail masterclass has to offer in Leeds. 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. Want to splash out? Add a bottle of prosecco to your night for £25 and book a table in The Decanter next door for after you’re done.
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 masterclass. 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.
Mojo has cocktail masterclasses covered. The famous Leeds rock bar offers three tiers for a minimum of 8 people. You can do The Jagger, their straight-up masterclass for £30. Want more? Upgrade to The Bowie for £38.95 and get canapes, a cocktail guide gift and a discount card that gets you 25% off drinks for the rest of the night. Or go the whole hog with The Elvis for £50, which adds a two-course dinner and champagne on top of all that. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a chance to whip up four of their scrumptious cocktails to a classic indie-rock soundtrack after a welcome drink on arrival.
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, before you enjoy the fruits of your labour. For £20, you’ll get a delicious introduction to the Mojito, learning about its history as you go, but if you want to go all out, go with the £30 option. You’ll get all of the above, but with a lesson on cocktail of your choice with nibbles on the side.
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. Available to groups of six or more, 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 is very much prepared for groups wanting to do cocktail masterclasses. They have three packages on offer each of which are £25 per person for groups of six or more. You can go for the exotic Mangrove Masterclass, which will see you make up a Botanist Pornstar, a Thai Chilli Crunch and a Peach & Kiwi Fizz or the gin-based Arbers Herbarium Masterclass to make a Velvet Green Martini, English Mojito and Strawberry & Elderflower Bellini. The last one is the Mediterranean Masterclasss which gets you a trio of fruity concotions. You can add a Botanist cocktail on arrival for a fiver and nibbles for a tenner.
The Botanist, 67 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
Merrion Street has one more bar that will wow you with its cocktail masterclasses – The Pit. For £35 a person, you’ll learn to make five fabulous cocktails, including Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, Vodka Sunrises, Bellinis and their B52 Shooters. It promises two hours of fun, but if you’re tight on time, you can opt for a shorter version, learning just three cocktails for £25 a person. And if you’re more interested in the cocktails than the mixing, you can always cheat with a Cocktail Party that will see the same five cocktails made for you, for £30 a person. Decisions, decisions.
The Pit, 9 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ.