Jigger, Beaker, Glass & man with a flask in Leeds

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Photography by: Simon Difford

Memories of Call Lane, Skippy's and Jake Burger actually wielding a shaker behind the stick at The Townhouse came flooding back as I walked through Leeds station to meet Dave West. At 6’10”, he’s reassuringly easy to spot in a crowd. Dave is Bacardi Brown-Forman’s man in these parts and our guide around the following bars in my quest to find cocktails for our Jigger, Beaker & Glass book.


Banyan Bar & Kitchen

The Old Post Office, City Square, Leeds, LS1 2ES

An all-day eatery with a truly international food offering and an equally mainstream cocktail selection. However, don't be deceived, beyond the corporate veneer lies a very creative bar team operating a very polished bar program. Banyan will please most and upset few. Full review of Banyan with hours etc.

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Cuban Postcard
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Half desiccated coconut rim
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
40 ml Bacardi Ocho Anos
30 ml Camomile & coconut water (housemade)*
10 ml Overproof rum
20 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
35 ml Manahatta ginger cordial (housemade)*
5 ml Smoked honey water (1:1)
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Bartender: Recipe created and made for us by Mark Austin
We say: A spirituous after-dinner style cocktail with a great balance between alcohol, citrus and sweet notes.
*Made by infusing camomile tea bags in coconut water using an aeropress.
*Like so many of the cordials used in the cocktails in Banyan, this ginger cordial is based on the bar's Manahatta cordial which is made by making an oleo-saccharum with the zest of 3 limes and 1 lemon in 450g caster sugar. Mixed with 300ml cold water and 2 bar spoons citric acid.



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River Boat Sour
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Caramel sheet (housemade) with maraschino cherry
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain back into shaker. Dry shake (without ice) and fine strain into ice-filled glass.
50 ml Coffee infused Gentleman Jack
20 ml Lemon juice
25 ml Manahatta orange cordial (housemade)
25 ml Egg white
2 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Bartender: Recipe created and made for us by Mark Austin
We say: It was the housemade caramel sheet used to garnish this sour that set it apart. Made by melting caramel in an oven at 180°C to make a wafer-thin sheet, this has a flavour reminiscent of a Caramac Bar. Coffee notes in the cocktail are very subtle with the large amount of egg white used given the drink an almost creamy consistency.



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North Star
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Raspberries on stick
Method: Blend, throw and pour into chilled glass.
25 ml Grey Goose vodka
10 ml Aperol
5 ml Lemon juice
15 ml Monin vanilla syrup
20 ml Pineapple juice
20 ml Camomile & coconut water (housemade)*
20 ml Egg white
50 ml Prosecco
Bartender: Recipe created and made for us by Mark Austin
We say: It's the vanilla element and mouthfeel that makes this riff of a Porn Star Martini recognisably a Porn Star - achieved with the fizz in the drink rather than served on the side.


The Hedonist Project

156 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LY

The Hedonist Project is best described as a permanent pop-up bar with its name, theme and décor changing every three months with the seasons. While the look and feel is set to continually change, the quality of the offering is well-grounded as the Project is owned and operated by a trio of bartenders. Full review of The Hedonist Project with hours etc.

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Golden Elixir
Glass: Nick & Nora
Garnish: Flamed orange zest twist (discarded)
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
50 ml Butter fat washed and vanilla essence infused Aberfeldy single malt whisky
15 ml Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato Vermouth
7.5 ml Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino
2 drop Walnut bitters
Bartender: Created and made for us by Josh Davies.
We say: The vanilla flavour in the Aberfeldy is carried through this enjoyable aperitif style cocktail.



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Order by Gambi
Glass: Nick & Nora
Garnish: Roasted coconut, orange & pineapple atomised and pineapple leaf tied to stem
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
35 ml Bombay Sapphire gin fat washed with coconut flesh, coconut oil and coconut water
15 ml Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter
25 ml Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino
1 pinch Salt
Bartender: Created and made for us by Jon Lee.
We say: Hedonist's relationship with gin meets Tiki is this tasty Negroni riff.


Jake's Bar

27 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BT

Originally opened by Jake Burger in 2004, this large basement venue was created by knocking three cellars into one. It's far from plush and this real drinker's bar is regularly crammed to the rafters, yet the very proficient bar team still manage to knock out tasty cocktails. Full review of Jake's Bar with hours etc.

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Irish Rose
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: No garnish
Method: Shake first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass. Top with splash of soda.
50 ml Slane Irish Whiskey infused with rose buds and fat washed with olive oil
5 drops Salt & pistachio olive oil (housemade)
12.5 ml Lemon oleo-saccharum
50 ml Semi-skimmed milk
Top with Soda
Bartender: Created and made for us by Matt Fenwick.
We say: There's a pleasing lemon sherbet note to this most unusual olive oil influenced cocktail.



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A Gentleman's Garnish
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Raspberries & mint
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
50 ml Gentleman Jack
25 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
25 ml Olive oil syrup (150g olive oil, 200g sugar, xanthan gum and arabic gum)
5 fresh Raspberries
6 fresh Mint leaves
Bartender: Created and made for us by Alex Klas.
We say: Before making us this drink, Alex said "I love smashes!" He then made us the most unusual smash I've yet encountered thanks to a whopping 25ml of housemade olive oil syrup. The flavour of this combined surprisingly well with the whiskey and the lemon's acidity.



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Pírchy Pig Martini
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Percy Pig candy pegged to rim
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain back into shaker. Dry shake (without ice) and fine strain into chilled glass.
40 ml Percy Pig infused Grey Goose vodka
15 ml Chambord
20 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
12.5 ml Sugar syrup (2:1)
25 ml Apple juice
Bartender: Created and made for us by Adam Smith.
We say: Candy infused vodka may hark back to the 1980s but judging by this crowd-pleaser of a cocktail, it's a type of infusion that should be rediscovered more often. Best described as Percy Pig meets French Martini.


The Domino Club

7 Grand Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6PG

A small barber shop in a covered shopping arcade is the unlikely and well disguised entrance to this speakeasy come live music venue. A hidden staircase at the back of the shop leads down to the surprisingly spacious basement lounge with live bands from 9ish every night.Full review of The Domino Club with hours etc.

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Oleum
Glass: Small wine
Garnish: Drops of extra virgin olive oil infused with sea salt
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.
40 ml Star of Bombay Gin
20 ml Martini Riserva Speciale Ambrato vermouth
15 ml Pink grapefruit oleo-saccharum
Bartender: Created and made for us by Jo Last and Clare Morrow.
We say: A delightful riff on a Gimlet. Absolutely delicious.


Distrikt Bar

7 Duncan Street, Leeds, LS1 6DQ

Opened in 2009, this lively basement space combines live DJs, well-crafted cocktails and a tasty tapas-led food offering. As Distrikt approaches it's eight birthday the folk behind the venue cannot be accused of resting on their laurels with a completely fresh cocktail menu launched to complement the recently updated food menu, while a new interior art installation joins the newly installed Martin Audio sound system. The quality of the food is well beyond that which you may associate with your average music-led basement venue and few basement venues also boast an outside terrace.

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Real Gentleman
Glass: Old-fashioned
Garnish: Smoked sea salt & pink grapefruit zest twist
Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into glass over an ice ball.
60 ml Gentleman Jack
10 ml Coco Real
2 drop Walnut bitters
Bartender: Created and made for us by Dominic Trotter

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