If you’re attending this year’s Cocktails in the City event, continue reading if you want to have an idea of what cocktails to expect or leave now if you want to wait and find out on the actual days. Yes, you heard it right, this year the event will be on for two days due to last year’s success. I was lucky enough to attend last year and this year, I was invited to the preview evening.
There will be loads of stands offering different cocktails to suit everyone’s taste, I’ll be impressed if you can handle them all. At the preview event, 16 cocktails were presented and I managed to try half of those. Some people did get quite tipsy but I was good as it was on a school night and I can’t stand being hungover at work.
I really liked the concept for the preview evening; musical chairs meet speed dating. When the music played, we had time to walk around and pick the bar whose cocktail we found intriguing. When the music stopped, the bartenders did a 10-15 minutes long masterclass and we also got to try the drink, of course!
These are the eight cocktails I tried (where know, including the recipe), along with my thoughts on each and one of them.
‘Shandong Shandy’ – Bar Soba
The hosting bar for the preview night is sponsored by Tsingtao (‘Ching-Dow’), a Chinese beer. Beer might not be the most fun cocktail ingredient but this looks really fresh and so it was as well. It’s an easy cocktail to drink as it’s very refreshing with lemon and ginger flavours.
20 ml Coconut Syrup
20 ml Kwai Feh
50 ml Lemonade
3 lime leafs
Small handful ginger
Small handful lemongrass
Shake all ingredients except Tsingtao Beer
Strain and top with Tsingtao
‘Amistat’ – The East Village
OMG, this is such a strong drink! Served on the rocks! Not the best to start off with so I only had a couple of sips before I had to put it away, sorry! I’m not a fan of whiskey but I do like rum and was happy to see these guys making a rum version of Old Fashioned, called Amistat. It’s got a lovely smooth taste at the end which is nice and I believe it’s all down to the coffee and chocolate. Now I don’t like coffee on it’s own, not even as an ingredient but I couldn’t taste much of it in this cocktail. Not my favourite though but if you want something strong to keep your chest warm, order an Amistat.
37.5ml Bacardí Carta Oro
12.5ml Woodford Reserve whiskey
12.5ml Amontillado sherry
10ml Coffee liqueur (blend of Mr Black and Kahlúa)
3 dashes Spiced chocolate bitters
Stir ingredients with ice
Serve on the rocks and garnish with an orange twist
‘Cherry Popper’ – Almost Famous
Wow, this is so sweet and so delicious! I wouldn’t be able to have more than one of these but I definitely recommend you to try one. Served in old Coca Cola bottles tells you this is a fun drink to enjoy. The guys at the stand had fun too and spread the love all around. Simple cocktail, including cola, Wild Turkey whiskey and cherry cordial.
‘Maid in the Shade’ – Revelución de Cuba
This drink was nicely served in a wine glass and garnished with cucumber and it tastes as fresh as it looks. With two alcoholic drinks mixed, it’s dangerous to drink too many of but give it a go if you want something refreshing in the summer sun.
50 ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
30 ml Sauvignon Blanc
20 ml Simple Syrup
10 ml Lemon Juice
2 Cucumber Ribbons
Shake all ingredients with cubed ice
Strain into a wine glass
Garnish with cucumber ribbons wrapped in a mint sprig
‘Curd it be Magic’ – Roxy Lanes
This was my favourite on the night. I LOVE LEMON and this cocktails is bursting with lemon flavour. It’s like lemon cheesecake in liquid form. The creator had this idea in mind and all I can say, he perfected it! So clever to decorate with crushed digestive biscuits on the glass rim. True hit!!!
35ml Absolute Vodka
25ml lemon juice
12.5ml vanilla syrup
1 x spoon lemon curd
1 x spoon marscapone cheese
Serve in a Digestive biscuit rimmed glass
Garnish with a lemon twist
‘Rum Daiquiri’ – Jones Bar Group
Now this is a cocktail I’ve never tasted the likes of before. So smooth and a drink I could drink all night without getting tired or feel sickly from it. I wish I knew what it’s actually called but it doesn’t matter. I do know it includes Pampero rum, fig liqueur, egg white and lime juice. I would definitely attend the Cocktails in the City event sipping this all night.
‘Pretty Little Ginger’ – Chaophraya
This is the perfect triangle of love; gin, Licor 43 and ginger syrup. This cocktail tastes like Thai food and I love it! It might sound wrong but it’s not, it’s so fresh. Gin is probably the best alcohol to make cocktails on (you can never go wrong with a G&T), Licor 43 is amazing on it’s own and ginger gives such a fresh kick to anything it’s in. Well done!
40 ml Whitley Neill Gin
20 ml Licor 43
20 ml Galangal Syrup
25 ml Lemon
Shake all ingredients with cubed ice
Strain into coupettes over cubed ice
Garnish with chilli galangal flowers
‘A Toast to Mr B’ – Chez Mal at Malmaison
I didn’t really listen when this cocktail was made, so sorry, but I believe it’s in memory of Mr Bradsell, the creator of the Bramble drink. I don’t think I’ve ever had Disaranno before so I was intrigued to give it a go. Lovely, simple drink where the crème de cassis makes the whole drink.
10ml Raspberry Syrup
Dash crème de cassis
Garnish with raspberries
If you’re interested in a fun event where you can get all tipsy (or more) whilst learning more about Leeds bars and their cocktails offerings – Cocktails in the City is the place to be on 7-8th April! If you’re going, have fun and do let me know after which drinks you enjoyed and your thoughts on them. If you don’t, take advantage of all the drink recipes in this post.