Hedonist Drinks to open Leeds bar for seasonal pop-ups

Blood and Strand The Hedonism Project Leeds

Bar and drinks consultancy Hedonist Drinks is to open a pop-up in Leeds championing whiskies and cocktails in what is their new permanent site for “seasonal” bar concepts.

Under the banner of The Hedonist Project, the venue in Lower Briggate, in the former site of Wok On, will switch themes every three months.

It has been created by three leading bartenders, Dan Crowther, Tom Finnon and Bruce Lerman, who have worked at and run some of the best bars and restaurants in Leeds.

Their first concept, The Liquor Store & Whisky Parlour, is to open on November 27 in conjunction with spirits group Diageo, featuring a selection of over 60 fine whiskies. Each whisky will be offered by the dram, and some bottles can be bought at retail price to take home.

Cocktails will include a Salted Caramel Rusty Nail with a side serving of Lagavulin whisky fudge, and a Boulevardier served with a side of Campari candy floss. There will be a classic twist on an eggnog, the Tom & Jerry, and a seasonal spin on a Godfather with whisky, amaretto and spiced plum syrup.

Other twisted classics will include the Blood and Strand (pictured), which pays tribute to Islay, famous for its peaty malts. It combines Caol Ila 12-year-old whisky with Cherry Heering liqueur and sweet vermouth plus an orange foam.

The interior of The Liquor Store & Whisky Parlour will pay tribute to its Scottish heritage, with a warm and cosy ambience and rustic décor.

It will run until the end of February and open from 8am to 11pm, offering brunch from morning to mid-afternoon and a menu of small plates in the evening, inspired by the Scottish provenance of its drinks.

It will host whisky tasting sessions on Fridays and Saturdays as well as whisky and food pairing evenings, which will feature some of the world’s leading whisky ambassadors.

Dan said: ‘’We’ve all witnessed some phenomenal bartenders leave Leeds for London, and they’ve all gone on to do really well for themselves. We’ve all lived in this city for the best part of a decade now and it’s safe to say we all love it.

“We’re settled here, have great friends and genuinely believe the hospitality scene to be one of the best in the country, so when the opportunity came up to open our own place, it was a no-brainer really.

“We’re working on plans to have some internationally renowned bars to pop-ups, bringing awesome concepts and talent to Leeds, which hopefully will help make our city even better.”

The new permanent site follows the success of The Hedonist Project’s pop-up Rum Shack which served up drinks with Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew Overproof rums in Cross Belgrave Street over the summer.

Dan has managed Jake’s Bar, Smokestack and Sandinista in Leeds along with stints behind the stick at Meatliquor and The Angel’s Share. Bruce managed Bar Epernay in Leeds, bringing extensive knowledge of champagne and sparkling wines to the team. Tom was general manager of Smokestack for four years and has toured many whisky distilleries on both sides of the Atlantic.

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