This week Leeds put on a cocktail night in Leeds Town Hall. ‘Cocktails in the City‘ organised for Leeds’ best pubs and bars to serve us delicious and special made drinks during 5 hours. I can’t think of anything better and after attending, I’d love to do it over and over again.
Town Hall is a great place to host it in, massive open space for all the bar stands and separate rooms for talks, games and food. A great event I’m so happy I could attend thanks to Victoria’s competition. I won it and got two tickets, one for me an a plus one and no doubt did I bring my lovely Dane.
We were there bang on time and were two of the few to be let in first. As we arrived we got a leaflet informing us of all the bars taking part, where to find them and what drinks the would be serving. We also got two tokens, one to exchange for a drink and one to give to our favourite bar stand before leaving the event.
We had time to go around a lap to scout out which drinks to have before more and more people arrived. A couple of hours later it was difficult to move about without bumping into someone. A popular event which had sold out tickets a while back. It was a proper hipster feast, Leeds has, to my satisfaction, attracted a lot of hipsters lately.
The Brotherhood and Lamb’s Navy Rum
We started off with a visit to The Brotherhood who were serving cocktails containing Lamb’s Navy Rum. With every cocktail served they also handed out home made chicken or beef pie. A very nice incentive. Other stands offered canapés, crème brûlée and other complimentary treats. Anyway, I decided to try The Brotherhood’s signature cocktail for the evening, ‘Captain Old Fashioned’. It had a lot of alcohol in it, in fact, more or less only rum in it so it had a strong taste but I enjoyed it.
The Maven and Whitley Neill Gin
For the second cocktail I decided it was Gin O’clock. I absolutely love gin! I used to think it is an old ladies drink but I’ve grown up and realised it’s a refreshing spirit that you can mix in many ways, not only serve with tonic.
Heading over to The Maven’s stand and I was served a ‘Cape of Good Hope’ with a taste combination of pear, lemon and lavender. The foam on top was a lovely treat and made the drink very smooth to drink. I could have done with a straw to make sure I could have it all, instead I had to scoop it up with my fingers but it was too nice to go to waste.
After two strong cocktails we saw it fit to consume some food. Downstairs in the “Cave” there were three food stands serving gorgeous food but the main attraction was the enchanted forest. The whole room had been decorated with fake trees and stumps to sit on. After looking at all offerings I opted for Patty Smith’s and their hot dogs. Hot dogs may be simple food but oh so yummy when served with the right toppings: mustard, pickled cucumber and chipotle (smoked chili) for some.
341 in Progress and Chambord
The other day I bought tiny bottles of Chambord. They are so cute and the liqueur goes so well in champagne and prosecco. I was very pleased to see that this raspberry and blackberry liqueur would be taking part at ‘Cocktails in the City’. It was a perfect choice as a desert treat after the hot dog. At the end of the night also the drink and stand I gave my voting token to.
341 in Progress did a great job with everything, their stand was amazing. As we were waiting to get served they threw out sweets and glow sticks. We also got a bag of sweets each and a sample of their ice cream topped with Chambord sauce. absolutely excellent. The cocktail, ‘French Connection Punch’ itself was served in a Chambord bottle with fresh mint, a candy cane straw and sparklers. Great design making something so simple feel like ‘Candy Crush’ turned into liquid.
There were opportunities to go up in the Clocktower, something we really wanted to do. Having a drink whilst enjoying the views of Leeds sounds amazing but unfortunately the opportunity was fully booked. Instead we sat down to listen to one of the talks that had been set up on the main stage. This was also a bit of a disappointment as the speakers must have been facing the wrong way. We couldn’t hear what the speaker was saying about the drinks that people in the audience got to help with. Still it gave us a good view of the whole place and how once again popular the event was.
Cielo Blanco and Tequila Herradura
Tequila is also one of my favourite spirits. Unfortunately I can’t drink it simply as a shot any more. I always end up feeling sick and ill the day after so not a great option for me. However, mixed in a cocktail I don’t have any problems drinking tequila so I tried Cielo Blanco’s Margarita. It was very refreshing but nothing that I couldn’t make myself so I can’t say it gave me more satisfaction than that.
Roast + Conch and Chairman’s Reserve
Lastly I wanted to try something different. The cocktail including Tsingtao beer looked very interesting and fascinating but I picked the one I could never make myself, ‘Caramel Soother’. Roast + Conch Hotel Chocolate’s restaurant and bar and their signature cocktail had chocolate and salted caramel as their main ingredients. It tasted and had the smooth consistency of melted chocolate ice cream. I did however love the look of it and the salted caramel aftertaste. Not something I could drink more than once but definitely worth a try.
It was a great event and evening well spent in the company of my lovely friend and fellow cocktail drinkers. I think it’s awesome that Leeds host events like this. I hope to go to many more like it in the future. Did you also attend ‘Cocktails in the City? If so, which cocktail was your favourite?