14 October 2016
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As party season rolls around, it’s time to turn our attention to the mighty cocktail. And, as the chilly evenings draw in, nothing warms the cockles like a delicious single malt, rum, or brandy – or even a combination of all three! We’re not short of a decent cocktail boozer in Leeds, and you can find everything from solid, well-made classics, to menus which are innovative, boundary pushing, and even a bit bonkers. Here at LITTLE, we pick the best cocktails in Leeds…
A welcome addition to Leeds’ Northern Quarter, this sophisticated little joint offers up an elegant cocktail selection which highlights their comprehensive range of carefully chosen spirits. From the regularly changing list, you can always look forward to a luxurious twist on a classic – a Caviar Martini made with Glorious Gin and black caviar, or a barrel-aged Gin Martini for that little bit of extra complexity. With a stunning restaurant upstairs providing a seasonal tasting menu, Vice & Virtue has everything you need for an evening of unique taste sensations.
An oldie but a goodie, it seems that everybody you know has a fond memory of tumbling out of Smokestack, the longstanding Leeds-favourite after one too many Corpse Revivers. The New Orleans driven theme of funk, soul, blues and jazz permeates not only the soundtrack, but the spirit of the cocktail menu in the likes of Southern Hospitality made with Bourbon and peach liqueur. And if all that isn’t enough to entice you, regular club nights including the legendary Harlem Shuffle and Chico Malo’s Rootdown will have through the door and on the floor in no time.
If you prefer your cocktails a little more leftfield, then look no further than Mr Nobody – a modern fine dining restaurant serving innovative five and eight course tasting menus with unusual delights from beef heart tartare to sweet frozen beetroot. However, the cocktails are a reason to visit in their own right, with ingredients like oak-roasted espresso, smoked cucumber juice and homemade cordials. In keeping with their strong ethical approach to produce, they even have a raw honey-based cocktail which sees a portion of the proceeds go to Help Save The Bees. And, if you haven’t seen their recent refurb, the impressive indoor living wall is definitely something you don’t see every day…
Not visited Milo for a while? Don’t worry, it’s still your friendly neighbourhood dive bar, but now under new management with a new lease of life to boot. It’s a welcome revival for one of Leeds’ longest established bars, and although some of the retro decor has bitten the dust, the original heart of the place lives on. The care and attention definitely shines through in the innovative new cocktail menu, which now changes regularly to incorporate seasonal ingredients. Autumnal specials include The Smashing Pumpkin, (made with pumpkin puree, Kahlua and North Star cold brew coffee), a pear and vanilla Julep, and the awesomely boozy Ginger Hardshake.