The Hedonist Project turns to gin for new Leeds bar concept


The Hedonist Project whisky bar Leeds Photo: www.facebook.com/justingardnerphotography

The whisky will soon be whisked away and a new bar emerge in the ever-changing Leeds venue operated by the team from consultancy Hedonist Drinks.

They are set to close The Liquor Store & Whisky Parlour in Lower Briggate after three months and transform it into a second new concept for The Hedonist Project, Old Tom’s Gin Kitchen, from March 30.

The warm, cosy Scottish vibe will be replaced by a much lighter, fresher décor with all new lighting, music, uniforms and atmosphere

The drinks list will celebrate a range of unusual and premium gins, forming the basis for classic and original cocktails and unique G&Ts alongside a food menu that intertwines the botanical nature of gin with fresh salmon, soups and salads.

It is being run in partnership with a number of gin brands including Tanqueray No Ten, Bombay Dry Gin and Bathtub Gin.

Using some Cockney rhyming slang, the Vera Lynn Cocktail is a Gin Sour with a pineapple and matcha tea influence. The bartenders will also present a jasmine-inspired Negroni and a “mysteriously dapper” drink garnished with a bow tie.

With a wry nod to the fact that Leeds was home to Joseph Priestley, the man who created carbonated water, The Hedonist Project will also be crafting their own house sodas.

The Hedonist Project’s chefs are working on light lunch dishes such as juniper-cured salmon with rocket and crab mayo as well as bolder dinner dishes including lamb cutlets with sautéed greens, sweet potato puree and red wine jus. Wholesome breakfasts will include smashed avocado on wholemeal toast with a poached egg.

It is a return to the juniper spirit for The Hedonist Project team who created Hogarth’s Gin Joint as their first concept in Cross Belgrave Street in Leeds in April and May last year.

Drinks director Tom Finnon said: “We’ve learnt a lot in the past 12 months. Last year we did Hogarth’s on Cross Belgrave Street in conjunction with Mr Si Ord of Smokestack but by having our own site now and with a year under our belts we’ve got that extra bit of stability to really push the boundaries on food and drinks – and we’re really excited about the possibilities the versatility of gin opens up. Hogarth’s was great in its own way, but this is a different beast all together.”

Tom heads Hedonist Drinks, a leading bar and drinks consultancy, with Dan Crowther and Bruce Lerman, who have all worked at and run some of the best bars and restaurants in Leeds.

They created The Hedonist Project as a canvas for creating a totally new bar concept every three months, changing every aspect from the name and the design through to the food and the drinks.

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