City Buzz: Shaking things up at Cocktails in the City

Cocktails in the City.

Cocktails in the City.

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WE ALL know the dangers of drinking on a school night – most of us having learned the hard way.

Sore heads, hangovers, snappiness and general moping will be the order of the day should you be so bold as to enjoy a night out knowing full well you have work the next day.

So we were ever so slightly torn when City Buzz was invited to try a grand total of 14 cocktails for an upcoming event in Leeds.

OK, it didn’t take us THAT long to say yes, but this was all in the name of work, after all...

The Cocktails in the City launch was held at the Sky Lounge this week, and saw most of the city’s media descend on the DoubleTree Hotel to sample some of the best concoctions on offer before the big event in March.

Around a dozen Leeds venues were on hand to showcase their specially-made cocktails, which they will be putting forward for the main competition next month.

Sitting down in front of an espresso martini with an Oreo perched on the side, we tried to contain ourselves despite being desperate to try it out.

The rich coffee and biscuity tastes of Epernay’s offering got the night off to a great start, and after 10 minutes discussing the drink the group was ushered to the next stand.

Now, I imagine even if you fall asleep and have some kind of strange, alcohol-induced dream, you still wouldn’t come up with some of the weird and wacky recipes.

Ranging from rum-inspired pies to sparklers set alight in an absinthe-based offering, these were certainly not your run-of-the-mill drinks.

But it was Roast and Conch that stole the show for us.

Their talented barmen used melted, salted caramel chocolate in their drink (I can’t remember much past the chocolate, but there may have been some rum in there too).

Jake’s was another highlight – with a fruity but light drink complete with rhubarb and custard-inspired foam.

However this was all just a taste of what’s to come.

The full Cocktails in the City event will be held at Leeds Town Hall on Thursday, March 26.

Offering the chance to sip cocktails in the clock tower, prohibition drinks in the courtroom, secret bars in the Victorian cells and a street food market in the crypt, there will be plenty going on even if you’re not a big drinker.

Leeds Indie Food Festival will also be on hand, showcasing some of the tastiest treats from the city’s top independent eateries.

The main attraction though will be the 20 handpicked venues that will have mini pop-up bars in the Great Hall.

They will each showcase a cocktail in the hopes of winning visitors’ votes and being crowned the champions.

A full list of bars is yet to be released, but you can bet your bottom dollar that all the big ’uns will be there.

It’s great that the city has an event like this and we should be proud that Leeds has so much to sing and dance about.

Tickets to the event cost £10 and include a cocktail, cocktail booklet and drinks demonstrations on the main stage. You can buy additional cocktails for £6 should you want to sample more.

Be quick though, because over half of the tickets have already been snapped up.

For details, visit www.cocktailsinthecity.co.uk.