COCK ‘O‛ THE NORTH
Here at beyond we believe that any day is made better by a few cocktails, but the summer is when they really come into their own. So, whether you are looking for the perfect Negroni or a Dirty Martini is your drink of choice, here’s our pick of some of the finest in Leeds.
Hotel bars can often be soulless affairs. Not at the Dakota Deluxe, just off East Parade, which screams luxurious indulgence. If wine is your thing it has an impressive list from around the world, but it’s the cocktails you really want to come here for. The menu features classics like the Cosmopolitan, but this is a place to be adventurous and if you are feeling in need of a pick me up, try the Corpse Reviver. A perfect mix of gin, curacao and Champagne, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
It might not have an Empire State Building or an East Village, but Leeds does have a New York-style rooftop bar. The name comes from another of D&D’s bars – their Manhattan venue Guastavino’s – and while during the day this Victoria Gate joint is all about American dining – think chicken wings and ribs – in the evening it’s all about the drinks. The bar’s eponymous signature cocktail is a blend of gin, Prosecco and elderflower cordial, but we like the sound of Sticky Predicament, perfect for sharing so we are told.
There is something irresistible about this sightly blingy bar at the end of Greek Street. Once inside it’s easy to lose a few hours in the softly lit bar (believe us, we know). As for the signature cocktail, the Manahatta Spritz – a blend of gin, Campari and grapefruit soda – is fresh and vibrant, but if we have one piece of advice, it’s start your night with a Sherbert Sipper II. A mix of Portobello Road Gin, Manahatta cordial, lemon and sherbet, once tried it’s never forgotten.
According to the dictionary, a maven is a ‘trusted expert in a particular field’ and at this Call Lane bar that field is cocktails. Follow the hidden staircase to the doors emblazoned ‘M’ and enter a room where the spirit of Prohibition is being kept alive and well. There is a menu, but if you fancy something else just ask as The Maven’s team of expert mixologists can pretty much whip up anything you want. Oh and there is also a private bar for hire should you want to make a real night of it.
Vice and Virtue
What better name for a former strip club turned cocktail bar and fine dining restaurant at the top end of Briggate. The latter is upstairs and the ground floor is where you want to be for drinks. The decor here isn’t what you’d call subtle. The walls are red, the ceiling is black, but slip yourself into one of the padded booths and relax. Given there are eight cocktail menus, you’ll need time to peruse, but whatever you do, order a Signature Negroni. You can’t go wrong with this base of Death’s Door Gin and Campari.
Part of the Victoria Gate casino, this impressive bar is more than just somewhere to stop off before heading to the Blackjack tables. A destination in its own right, the cocktail and Champagne bar is all about old school glamour. The menu features staples like Kir Royal, Bloody Mary and even Pina Colada, but from the signature menu try the Raspberry Cooler, made from Belvedere Vodka, Chambord, raspberries, orange and cranberry juice. To complete the Rat Pack vibe, every Friday and Saturday night there’s also a live pianist.