With World Cocktail Day fast approaching on Friday 13th May, what better way to mark the occasion than by trying some of the most unique beverages the city has to offer. Leeds itself has a vast amount of different bars to try and what better excuse than this worldwide day of cocktails. You could of course celebrate the day with a classic margarita, mojito, old fashioned or daiquiri.
But what better way to earmark the occasion than trying the more quirkier concoctions from bars in Leeds.
What better way to start a bar crawl than with one of Cuckoo’s unique creations. The quirky bar, situated on Call Lane, has five different rooms to choose from with vibrant decor throughout. One drink that would make the perfect photo, as well as taste is the ‘Quackiri’, a fruity cocktail accompanied with a rubber duck for garnish! This one of a kind cocktail is a blend of pink gin, foaming bitters, strawberry puree, sugar and lemon juice- perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Another Cuckoo creation is the ‘Terry’s Orange’, this rum based drink is a creamy mix of orange juice, milk, chocolate bitters and coconut and spiced rums. Also, it is important to note there is free six inch pizza with every drink before 9pm, when you order at the bar to add some substance to your day drinks.
Cocktail day would not be complete without a trip to the Tiki Hideaway, an atmospheric tropical bar with a distinctive presentation of their drinks, located on Call Lane. It is especially worth trying the Tiki bar ‘Tiki Tiki Bang Bang’ special. This drink which is served flaming includes two rums with fruity flavourings of mango, lime, orange and pineapple to provide a tasteful beverage to quench your thirst. If sweet cocktails are to your liking, the ‘Message in a Bottle’ is a must try, its blend of milk, syrup and salted caramel kahlua, topped with cream and a flake. Moreover, bartender choice ‘Amputated Zombie’ is a strong cocktail contender, it is a mixture of rum, pomegranate, apricot, lime and orange. If rums are to your liking, consider the ‘Frozen Lava Flow’, featuring both Koko Kanu and Havana, this cocktail includes Tiki’s secret sauce to create a cocktail with a kick.
If MarioKart was a gaming favourite of yours, then the ‘Rainbow Road’ cocktail is a must try, this rum, lemonade, velvet falernum and supasawa mix is a quirky option to sip. For all the minecraft gamers out there, try the ‘Creeper’. This cocktail is inspired by the villainous creepers and features, black and gold rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and apricot syrup. The bar offers 2 for £9 cocktails everyday until 9pm, so be sure to get yourself down to Great George street for a retro themed beverage bargain.
Mean Eyed Cat Bar
Country themed bar ‘Mean Eyed Cat’ is inspired by Rock ‘n’ Roll star Johnny Cash, home of country inspired cocktails and the dice game- roll a six and your drinks are free! Open from 5pm till 4am, this bar at Merrion Street is a must visit for good country vibes and flavours. Be certain to try ‘Sweet Home Applebama’, a beautiful fruity vodka blend of apples, passionfruit and orange liqueur.
Bar ‘Neon Cactus’ offers a wide variety of original cocktail blends as well as the classics, making it a well suited location for World Cocktail day. On visiting this location, make sure you check out ‘The Brosnan’ a tequila special, made up of Patron Reposado, lime, orange bitters and ginger cordial. Another for your contemplation is the ‘Latino Lady’, Ocho Blanco tequila, thyme oil, raspberry and hibiscus syrup and Ancho Reyes, providing a more tasteful experience.
Outlaws Yacht Club
A staple Leeds night out venue is the Outlaws Yacht Club, they offer an alternative space to hangout, with local and international Djs in the evenings. They offer snacks and a good selection of drinks to choose from. If tequila is your go to spirit then the ‘Kirkgate Market-Rita’ is made for you. This tequila based cocktail is made of lime, passionfruit and green tea, making it a staple fruity flavoured cocktail. Or, if you’re feeling risky, try the ‘Wild Card’ this concoction is a mixture of bourbon, raspberry, red wine, spice and lemon, for an acquired tasting beverage.
Nation of Shopkeepers
Situated on Cookridge Street lies the pub Nation of Shopkeepers, an eight year old establishment which has become a hub for music, pub quizzes and drinks within the city. Be sure to check out their new cocktail menu, featuring exciting new flavourings. Hit the target with the ‘Golden Rum Highball’ cocktail with Bacardi rum, Cointreau and ginger ale, a perfectly spiced drink. Alternatively, if you’re on the lookout for a slight break away from all the cocktail consumption, they offer a selection of seasonal and countrywide craft beer and ale.
New on the drinking scene in Leeds is the Canary Bar, located at the Dockside, offering a Mediterranean menu, which pairs well with their cocktail selection. Title drink ‘Canary Bird’ is a cocktail to ruffle your feathers, featuring limoncello, citron vodka, apricot, lemon, pineapple, garnished with activated charcoal. Alternatively, ‘Fatal Attraction’ is a gin infused, lemon and pineapple
Images: Neon Cactus, Pixel Bar, Mean Eyed Cat, Cuckoo