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Cocktails in the City: Shaking up Leeds

22 March 2016
Cocktails in the City: Shaking up Leeds
One thing that Leeds isn’t short of is amazing cocktail bars. All over the City you can find talented bartenders using their flavour skills and mixologist wizardry to create some of the most tantalizing tasting tipples in the country. So it comes as no surprise that Leeds is one of the locations for the nationwide Cocktails in the City event, which will see the Town Hall taken over for a two-day bonanza of tasting, master classes, foodie feasts and general fun filled slurping.

'A drinking haven of dreams'

After being launched in Manchester in 2012 by Andrew Scutts, Cocktails in The City’s founder, the popularity of the event has seen it spread to more cocktail mad cities such as London, Edinburgh and Leeds. The Leeds event, held on the 7th and 8th April, will see the Town Hall transformed into a drinking haven of dreams with many of the best bars in the City, as well as top drinks brands, gathering under one roof to showcase their tastiest cocktail concoctions and pass on top tips in master classes.

You can expect to see many of your favourite Leeds bars at the event with Tabara N’Diaye, events manager for Cocktails in the City, expressing her excitement for this year’s line up:

"We’ve a great mix of bars at this year’s event with newcomers such as Bar Soba, Revolucion De Cuba and The East Village joining ‘old favourites’ Jake’s Bar, Skylounge and Cielo Blanco. We’re very proud to be showcasing the diversity of Leeds’ cocktail culture, from restaurant bars and party bars to speakeasies and hotel bars."

Other bars and bar groups involved include Roxy Leisure, Chaophraya, Manahatta, The Hedonist Project, Almost Famous, Pintura, The Alchemist and Jones Bar Group – plus many more. Each of the bars involved has been putting their best cocktail creating hats on to create new signature cocktails which will be entered into a competition to win the craved ‘Best Cocktail’ award.

When Leeds was chosen to play host to the event, the event organisers were looking for a city with a buzzing cocktail scene, and every year the Town Hall is filled with fanatics and those with cocktail curiosity alike. Following the success of the event in Leeds in 2014 and 2015, Tabara confessed the ‘epic space’ of the Town Hall plays a big part in making the Leeds leg of the Cocktails in City tour their ‘most enjoyable event of the year’ with the ‘grandiose’ of the iconic building adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the event.

Ticket holders will also get the unique opportunity to explore the building with special access events taking place in the Victorian prison cells, the clock tower overlooking the City, the historical courtroom and the crypt, as well as many other spaces. Plus, there’ll be a street food market in the undercover Crypt with Wolf, Cow Burgers and Manjit’s Kitchen being just some of the street food connoisseurs on the line up – and DJs will be spinning classic records all weekend to complete the party.

The organisers promise there will be lots of surprises in store over the weekend, with hidden bars, a beauty parlour, a ‘very special multi-sensory experience as you enter the venue’ and a live escape room in collaboration with Tick Tock Unlock Room, but the main event will be the celebration of the many fabulous cocktails created by Leeds’ best bartenders:

"You can of course sample some delicious cocktails created exclusively for the event by the best bars in the City, but also learn a thing or two in one of our cocktail masterclasses on The Main Stage or in The Tasting Room, with topics ranging from a Bloody Mary workshop, a rum and chocolate pairing with Hotel Chocolat or tea and cocktails perfect for the mixologist in all of us."

The Cocktails in The City two-day event offers an opportunity to celebrate Leeds’ cocktail culture in an iconic and atmospheric building – a party built around mixology, masterclasses and a magnificent setting.

The event is held over the 7th & 8th April in Leeds Town Hall. Tickets for the event are £7 which includes entry to the event, access to main stage demonstrations and a cocktail booklet - with all cocktails at the event being priced at £6.

Win a CITC 'Golden Ticket'

We're teaming up with CITC to give you the chance to win two cocktails at ALL of the participating bars after the event...that's over 40 free cocktails!

To enter, send a tweet including ‘#CITCLDS’ and @LeedsLiving and @cocktailsinthec before the 29th March. Or, you can retweet a qualifying tweet from us @leedsliving. You also have to be following @leedsliving and @cocktailsinthec to enter!


The winner is entitled to two drinks at each bar once in total. The winner must give participating bars 24hrs notice by contacting Cocktails in The City in advance before redeeming their drinks (phone number will be supplied to the winner). The winner and their guest must adhere to the regulations of each venue and booking will be subject to availability. Prize must be redeemed by 7 October 2016. No more than 4 bars can be booked on one evening.

The two cocktails will be individual serves and the bar reserves the right to refuse service of cocktails outside of the normal price range (some exclusions will apply). www.drinkaware.co.uk

The winner will be the first entry selected at random after the closing date. The winners will be contacted via Twitter on (date TBC). The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. Subject to availability. Only one entry per person.

Becky Peartree is our resident food writer and is in her final year at Leeds University where she studies English Literature.
Photography provided by Carl Sukonik