Over the last few years, Leeds has been filled to the brim with chic cocktail bars, so much so that it can be hard to cut the wheat from the chaff.
Let us do the hard work for you – we’ve chosen just ten of the finest mixology hot spots for you to try for size.
— The Alchemist TL (@TheAlchemistTL) April 25, 2015
Since it opened nearly three years ago (can you believe it?), The Alchemist is something of a mecca for cocktail lovers the city over. Based on the top deck of the Trinity Centre, it harbours a sense of quiet exclusivity without ever coming over pretentious, which is a hard balance to strike for a cocktail bar. That said, drinks certainly aren’t bargain booze territory, but it’s a lovely little bar to get stuck into a foaming, exploding, frothing or colour-changing cocktail. Oh, and its open air balcony is perfect for Summer.
Second Floor, Trinity Leeds, LS1 6HW, 0113 246 0540 – more info
— MOJO (@MOJO_BAR) April 23, 2015
Every Loiner worth his or her salt has stepped foot inside Mojo, the painfully cool Northern Quarter bar that thrived before the Northern Quarter was painfully cool. Whilst some of the bars on this list pride cocktails as their stand out selling point, music is king at Mojo, which makes the fact their cocktails stand up against any other in the city even more impressive. As an added bonus, they throw on regular ‘cocktail masterclasses’ for anyone that fancies it.
18 Merrion Street, LS1 6PQ, 07815457814, more info
— The Botanist TL (@TheBotanistTL) April 20, 2015
A fierce rival to The Alchemist for the crown of the Trinity Centre’s best high-end cocktail joint, The Botanist is a quaint and trendy bar on the bottom floor of the shopping centre. If variety be the spice of life, consider this one a phall, because they’ve got it all from your everyday Mojito to £100 punch bowl sharers. Again, they don’t come for change, but if you’re in the mood to spoil yourself, it’s well worth it.
67 Boar Lane, LS1 6HW, 0113 205 3240, more info
Let’s be fair, there’s not many folk that could swing by Sky Lounge longer than a week or so after pay day, but if you’re in the market for a seriously high-end tipple and don’t mind splashing the cash, then step right in. You’ll find yourself a proud cocktail menu starting from £8.95, with such Yorkshire-themed mixes such as the ‘White Rose’, ‘Yorkshire’s Diamond’ and ‘Ruby, Ruby, Ruby’, named of course after the famous Kaiser Chiefs song. It boasts the best views in the city, and whilst your bill might just be enough to make even the flushest Yorkie weep, by ‘eck it’s dead decadent.
Hilton Double Tree, Granary Wharf, 2 Wharf Approach, Leeds, LS1 4BR, 0113 241 1000, more info
— Baa Bar Leeds (@BaaBarLeeds) April 29, 2015
From posh and pricey to £5 cocktails out of a science beaker, you can’t argue that Leeds doesn’t cater for every thirsty so-and-so in the city. Just up from Millenium Square sits Baa Bar, the Leeds branch of the chain that brings science and alcohol together – and who isn’t intrigued by that concept? Seriously though, the ‘Tequila Supernova’ (pictured) is pretty damn decent.
43-51 Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 3AW, 0113 244 4213, more info
— The Maven (@TheMavenBar) April 27, 2015
This sleek, Call Lane prohibition-themed cocktail hang out is chock full of mystery and laden with style. With no exterior signage and only a iconic ‘M’ hung above the door even if you do find your way inside, it’s a word-of-mouth style joint, but should you get the nudge (and consider yourself nudged), it’s well worth seeking out. There are also masterclasses for the aspiring mixologist in you – just give them a shout.
1-3 Call Lane, LS1 7DH, 0113 243 6047, more info
— distrikt bar (@distrikt_leeds) April 2, 2015
Hidden down a cosy side street and retaining it’s status as one of of Leeds’ better kept secrets, Distrikt provides cocktail enthusiasts with one of the widest choices in the city. From daiquiris to sours, they have it all, and they are mixed with a love and affection befitting such a warm, friendly and lively bar. As an added bonus, it’s 2-for-1 on a Thursday, and there’s a whole lot of tapas available all week round.
7 Duncan Street, LS1 6DQ, 0113 243 3674, more info
360 Champagne and Cocktails
— 360 Trinity Kitchen (@360_Trinity) April 23, 2015
Yet another cocktail hang out based in the Trinity Centre, 360 resides in the all-action Trinity Kitchen, and is one of the few permanent residents in the ever-changing food and drink hall. The sleek bar prides itself on, you guessed it, champagne and cocktails, and for good reason, they taste top drawer. Plus, stuff like this is really cool. To complete the Trinity cocktail love-in, see Angelica (is anyone else thinking shopping centre bar crawl?!).
Trinity Kitchen, Trinity, Albion Street, LS1 5AT, more info
Step into Headingley for your cocktail hit and you’re best bet is Trio, based just down from it’s sister bar and student Mecca, The Arc. Blessed with a atmosphere that seems to keep the Otley Running fancy dress lot at bay, it’s a chilled and nicely-mannered spot to kick back and sip a pornstar martini. They’ve just updated their cocktail menu, too, so strike whilst the irons hot.
44-46 North Lane, Headingley, 0113 203 6090, more info
— Smokestack Leeds (@SmokestackLeeds) May 30, 2013
Smart and uncomplicated, Smokestack has become one of Leeds’ favourite hang outs, with a versatility lending itself to live music, solid grub, comedy and, yes, delicious cocktails. Conveniently located on Lower Briggate, the bar gives a little bit of everything Leeds city centre – young, funky and fun, but it’s Motown theme lends itself to the sophisticated, too. Throw in a £6 All Rights Reserva (try it – it’s gorgeous!), and we’re sold.
159 Lower Briggate, LS1 6LY, 0113 245 2222, more info
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