Cocktails in the City is in its third year and this year spans across 2 days at Leeds Town Hall (7th and 8th April) and will host the city’s best bartenders and amazing cocktails created for the event. Some of Leeds best bars will be represented and it’s a great way to discover new drinks and bars in Leeds. As part of the preview at Bar Soba we got to try out some of the specially made cocktails in advance of the event and my, were they amazing!
My date for the evening was Kellie, I took her for food first (well we went Trinity) where we bumped into Laura and  Ellenor and then when we got there we joined the queue with Lucinda, Jennie,Dei, and India Basically #SquadGoals were achieved for the evening!

cocktails in the city leeds   cocktails in the city leeds

The premise of the night was a bit like musical chairs, we got to visit a table every time the music played and then listen to a ten min masterclass about the cocktail, and of course, try it.  Before it all started though we were invited to have a walk around and we got to try a few full size cocktails at that point too. Almost Famous weren’t lying with their board above!

So here is my thoughts of the cocktails I tried, plus a bit more info for those of you still considering going to Cocktails in the City or already going and want to make sure you try the best cocktails!

Rum Punch- Mojo 

  • Celebrating 20 years of the bar being open they went with an oldie but a goodie with a twist. Hibiscous and ginger gave the punch a little bit of heat pored wig of course good old Appelton Rum

rum punch

Pretty Little Ginger- Chaopayra 

  • This was my FAVOURITE. It reminded me of a refresher sweet with a kick and it was just so drinkable. It contained a sweet ginger syrup made in the restaurants kitchens (which tasted foul on its own I won’t lie) combined with lemon and vanilla plus a new gin on the block – Whitley Neil – which was quite florally it was lush. Plus it was decorated with a flower (and chilli to signify it’s kick)

cocktail with a flower

Cherry Popping – Almost Famous

  • The prize for the most enigmatic stall had to go to Almost Famous, the guys were a good laugh, knew how to charm (to distract from their non cocktail making!) and fed us sweets. That plus a drink that was pre bottled with cola, Wild Turkey Whiskey and Mr Fitzpatrick sour cherry and hibiscus cordial meant the table was a joy to visit and the drink albeit pre made ‘so they didn’t have to faff’ was actually really delicious

cherry coke cocktail

Toast to Mr B – Malmaison

  • This was a tradition bramble drink made in the memory of Dick Bradsell who recently passed and was the creator of the Bramble drink. Made with Disaronno, raspberry syrup, lemon juice and a top of creme de cassis it was truly lovely, and an old favourite made really well

Woodford Reserve Whiskey

  • For the first time a brand and a company has been showcased (rather than a brand and a bar) and they took us through the history of the old fashioned. Not being much of a straight whiskey drinker it wasn’t for me, I much prefer my cocktails to be new fashioned! But worth a go if that’s your kind of thing. Plus check out the copper utensils #BloggerGoals

cocktails in the city leeds

Amistat- East Village

  • Bacardi and Sherry were the key to this one plus coffee liqueur , bourbon and chocolate bitters. There was no mixer in this drink! It made it pretty strong tasting but there was a smooth taste to the end of the drink thanks to the chocolate and coffee mix. Best menu goes to them with an ‘off of the 80’s’ viewfinder! I loved these as a kid- beware of eye makeup disasters though!

cocktails in the city leeds
cocktail menu viewfinder
Blurry but necessary shot and that was before the drinks!

Passion Punch – Manahatta 

  • This was lovely. A nice long drink with lots of flavour and just so fresh! Made with Santa Teresa rum and their orange rum which was gorgeous, plus pineapple and passion fruit syrup, lemon juice and peach liqueur it would be something I would see on a cocktail menu and order. I’d say it was my third favourite of the night

passion punch cocktail
Curd It Be Magic- Roxy

  • So when you think about Roxy you don’t think cocktails, however after chatting to the man that writes all their cocktail menus it will be something I’d try when I next visit. This lemon cheesecake cocktail extravaganza was born out of his non love of desserts, and it really did hit the spot! Think lots of lemon including lemon curd, vanilla, mascarpone cheese and digestive crumbs along the rim, it jumped into second place for cocktail of the evening.

lemon cheesecake cocktail

There were so many others that I wish I could have tried but I think I did pretty well! I’m out in Leeds on the 8th already so I’m hoping to get my friends to go. It’s £7 a ticket here which gets you admission to see the live demo’s and tastings and cocktails are £6 each on the night, which is very reasonable for some of these beauties! I’m drooling over my faves all again just writing this as they were just so delicious. If you went last year shout up as I need stories so I persuade my friends to go!

Ps. Thanks to PGLeeds for the invite to this event, as always words and thoughts (although some may be alcohol influenced -drink responsibly kids) are my own