Leeds Loves Cocktails is back for their fifth year of educating us to “Drink Better, Not More”. Nick Fox and his team of industry experts is showcasing Leeds bar talent, by combining quality spirit brands and classy cocktails. What makes this year’s event stand out from previous events is that it’s promising to bring more fun. After attending the press launch (held at Headrow House), I really get the emphasis on having fun as we definitely had just that.
The pre-launch evening let us learn more about the event itself, their signature cocktails and making our own cocktails with the chance of it being sold during the main event. The cocktail making part really emphasised that Leeds Loves Cocktails isn’t about being talked at by professional industry people but for people who attend to get involved and learn by having fun.
One of the brands taking part in the event is Ablesforth who owns Bathtub Gin and Rumbullion. Bathtub Gin seems to be at every event I go to lately and I don’t mind at all. It’s a lovely gin on its own, very easy to drink and full of zesty flavours. Likewise is Rumbullion easy to drink but leave you with a spicy Christmassy taste. Before letting gin take over more or less any drink I drink, I always went for rum based drinks. Not so much anymore but after this evening’s ‘Rum Punch’ and my teams’ concoction of a ‘Short and Dirty’ I might be inclined to have more.
The cocktail making’s aim was to find a third signature cocktail for the main event. We didn’t know this prior to making ours but still, I don’t think our team would have made ours differently knowing it. Spoiler, ours didn’t win.
Despite not winning, we had a great time with the help of Nick to make a Rumbullion based cocktail. We used all our ingredients given and with a team effort in how to incorporate them all, we ended up with a ‘Short and Dirty’ which resembles the fun, the cheekiness and the confidence our team had. Kellie and Gina did a great job at mixing behind the bar (minus breaking a glass) and out came a rum, pineapple and ginger cocktail, garnished with a sweet and spicy rim and topped with raspberries.
The winning cocktail, ‘Berry Long Bath’, is a gin based cocktail. It does look really good but I never had a chance to try it but if you want you can at Jakes Bar and Distill Room during the event. Tina has written a post about it here if you’re intrigued to learn what’s in it.
Top Three Leeds Loves Cocktails Events
I’ve looked through the impressive schedule of the event and some sessions I’d love to go to is impossible as it’s during working hours for me. However, I’m hoping to attend these three for sure.
Gin Pairing Supper at Pintura (7th June, 7-10pm). A three course tasting menu paired with Nordes gin. I love gin and food so can’t see this event not being a success. I’ve still not been to Pintura which is another reason for me to go so I can tick it off my list.
The Absolut Roxy Masters at Roxy Ballroom (8th June, 5-10pm). An Absolute takeover of Roxy’s mini hole golf course, followed by an Absolute Vodka masterclass. This sounds like a fun evening drinking cocktails whilst playing mini golf, rather than sitting down like most times.
Aperol Spritz Party at Livin’ Italy (9th June, 5-10pm). I’ve been to Livin’ Italy once and these guys know their spritz cocktails and food so a party with these two ingredients should be the best start to the weekend.
For full schedule and wristband purchase, check out Leeds Loves Cocktails’ website. The wristband will give you access to all venues and events (unless stated otherwise) and £5 cocktails. Will I see you at any of the events?