I’ve said before I love a cocktail before the theatre. So I was pretty excited to attend the launch of Leeds Loves Cocktails (5-11 June). A week-long festival that encourages you to ‘Drink Better, Not More’ and celebrates the finest cocktails in the coolest bars in Leeds.
More than just drinking
With a fruity Rumbullion Rum Punch in hand, we sat down with founder Nick Fox for a chin wag. He gushed that in its fifth year, this popular festival is about more than just drinking. It’s about indulging in the finest spirits, experiencing the art of mixing and understanding the origin of brands. It’s relaxed and friendly with a mix of parties, debates, masterclasses and competitions.
This years programme is more focused and they adventure further into the world of food gastronomy. Who doesn’t love a bit of fancy food pairing! Nick is refining the festival to showcase the best of the best and is paving the way for Leeds to earn a place in the World’s Top 50 bars list. Hell to the yes. Let’s get Leeds on the alcoholic map.
Becoming the bartender
The launch party really got us in the mood with rum cocktails, a live dj, gin tasting and a competition. That word may run fear in to the hearts of some people, but not this blogger bunch. After breaking into groups, our assigned bartender helped us on our cocktail crafting mission.
Nick presented our mystery bag, which had my favourite spirit, Rum, along with other goodies. Our team was loud, proud and a little saucy so we decided on a short drink that packed a punch. We became the bartenders, mixing and shaking like pros. Well I use the word pro lightly, as I broke a glass…
But after moving away from the shards, we presented Short and Dirty, a rum, ginger and pineapple concoction finished with a sweet and salty rim. Unfortunately we lost to my old rival, Gin! I’ve got to admit it looks pretty tasty.
I’ve had a quick rummage through the programme and picked out my three highlights. Get your game on with The Absolut Roxy Masters, a nine-hole golf course and bonus cocktail masterclass. Join the Live Lounge Spanish Fiesta at Around the World with local acoustic talent. And enjoy a night of culture at Hendrick’s Bar Takeover with curious cocktails and poetical musings. The full programme will online soon.
The fun factor
Nick’s infectious energy, a playful night among friends and a healthy dose of classy cocktails, really gave me a flavour of what is to come. It’s fun, passionate and intriguing. A tasty trio I can’t wait to sample.
You must have a wristband to take part in any of the week’s events and to take advantage of discounted cocktails. They’re available to buy online right now! Collect your wrist band at The Festival Hub, which will be at Jakes Bar & Still Room.