Leeds bars serve up a packed programme for cocktail festival

Ketel One Bloody Mary cocktail

Bars across Leeds will be celebrating this week with special drinks and events for the annual Leeds Loves Cocktails festival.

Around 40 venues across the city are collaborating on the third outing for the festival which promotes fine mixed drinks over a week of events, tastings and master classes from June 1 to 7.

Aimed at the public as well as the trade, people buy £5 wristbands that entitle them to priority entry to events, discounts on priced seminars and offers on selected drinks throughout the week.

For the first time, the festival has its own hub, The Ketel One Hub, which is on Cross Belgrave Street between Sandinista and the Belgrave, open from midday to 9pm every day.

This will host Bloody Mary master classes throughout the week showing how to use a wide variety of ingredients to make a classic Bloody Mary and personalised twists, led by Ketel One drinks experts. Running from today until Saturday (June 6), they are mostly aimed at consumers but with some designed exclusively for bartenders. Click here for details. http://www.leedslovescocktails.co.uk/#!the-hub/c20df

Participating bars and restaurants include Oracle, Livin’Italy, Skylounge, Buca Di Pizza, Epernay, Almost Famous, Blind Tyger, Sandinista, Mojo, Verve, The Reform, Soba, The Pit, Manahatta, The Brotherhood of Pursuits & Pastimes, Wax, Sela, Roxy Ballroom, 360, Cielo Blanco, Meatliquor, Pintura, Bird & Beats, Fibre, Rare, Smokestack, Distrikt, The Maven, Milo, Jake’s, Oporto, Neon Cactus, The Black Swan, Call Lane Social, 51% Bourbon, Rock Bar, Palm Sugar and Shears Yard.

Many leading drinks brands are taking part including The King’s Ginger which has a pop-up bar at Trinity Bridge throughout the week. Events led by drinks brands include a cocktail competition for Konik’s Tail vodka, a dinner for Woodford Reserve bourbon,

There will also be talks and master classes for AquaRiva tequilas, Plantation rums, Opihr gin, Cocchi aperitif, Barsol Peruvian pisco, Nikka whiskies, Chivas Regal whisky, Bulleit whiskeys, Herradura tequilas, Johnnie Walker whiskies, Tanqueray Gin, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, Appleton Estate rums, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Jim Beam whiskey and Disaronno.

Other events include the Wars of the Roses competition between bartenders from Manchester and Leeds, the regional heat for the Underground Punch Pong League with Monin and Plantation, a terrace party with Ciroc vodka, Mojito Evolution at Sandinista, a Jekyll and Hyde cocktail competition with Nikka whisky, a bartenders’ brunch with Jack Daniel’s, and a takeover of Manahatta’s upstairs bar by The Savoy’s American Bar team from London, led by bar manager Declan Mcgurk.

For full details of the programme, click here.

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