World Cocktail Day: the best drinks to try from Leeds cocktail bars

Celebrate National Cocktail Day with a tipple from the best cocktail bars in town.

We might have just found the best cocktails in Leeds.

Today is loosely known as World Cocktail Day, so we’re using it as an excuse to find the best cocktails in Leeds. Naturally, Leeds’ cocktail bars were our point of call for these drinks, but for good reason. The bartenders at each of these bars specialise in providing a sensory exploration of flavour and are trained tirelessly to do so.

Here are our favourite spots to sip a cocktail- and we’ve even given you our favourite orders to make your choice at the bar even easier.

Curd Your Enthusiasm from Pastel

Image: The Hoot Leeds

Rattan chairs, pineapple tables and decorative features in pink, mint, cream and a teal green: this pastel paradise is going to be an Insta-worthy bar that brings that summer feel-good feeling to the everyday. Located in the beating heart of Leeds metropolis, Kirkgate, Pastel is combining the euphoric feeling of day drinking with the playful romanticism of evening tipple.

The Curd Your Enthusiasm cocktail was also a standout favourite. Portobello Road Gin, fresh lemon juice with lemon Curd and topped with pancetta and a single Haribo Egg. This one combines sweet, sour and salty into a short, crushed-ice cocktail: clashing flavours that definitely shouldn’t be mixed together, but provide a tangy taste that we couldn’t stop talking about all night long. Plus, the pancetta and egg makes a great snack to curb any midnight food cravings.

Find out more here.

Old Fashioned from The Watermark

Image: The Watermark Bar

Located on Cross Belgrave Street, the Watermark is known locally for its late night kitchen, cocktails, endless selection of spirits and all-around laid-back vibes. Inspired by the owner’s home bar in Beeston, the interior is cosily decorated throughout, complete with classic board games and quirky wall features.

The menu here is just as eclectic as the decor, but the quality remains a constant USP of the busy bar. This is where bartenders in Leeds get their cocktails from and given these guys make cocktails every night, they really do know the best places to visit. Try a classic Old Fashioned, set on fire with three types of rum, demerara syrup and Watermark house bitters for a taste of the talent behind the bar.

Read More: The Watermark Bar has been hunting down lost Croc owner in Leeds- and it’s hilarious

Strawberry Cosmopolitan from SALT

Image: The Hoot Leeds

Finally, a bar has spotted this gap in the market and is changing the post-work drinks scene for the better. SALT, with a newly opened site at Granary Wharf, is serving up the fastest cocktails in the city- and we’re genuinely ecstatic about the concept. Bringing draught cocktails to the masses, their canalside bar is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of grafting in the city centre.

Grab a glass of Espresso Martini or Strawberry Cosmopolitans within seconds thanks to the selection of seven ‘on tap’ cocktails- which take the same amount of time as a pint to pull, mind-blowing. If that’s not enough, all cocktails are 2 for £12 all day, every day.

Find out more here.

The Picasso from Tabula Rasa

Image: Tabula Rasa

Inspired by the roaring 20s, this sophisticated cocktail bar focuses on aperitivo and cocktails, as well as speciality coffee with a modern art-deco design and some of the most irresistible cocktails around. Amongst the unique combinations on the menu is an incredible, colour-changing cocktail inspired by legendary artist, Pablo Picasso.

Starting off as a pale crystal-like blue colour, this magical cocktail transforms into shades of lilac, before becoming a violet-coloured drink using The Botanic Request spirits and pink sugars. Now how many cocktails can do that?

Find out more here.

Bloody Mary from Roland’s

Image: Roland’s

The hugely successful Leeds cocktail bar, known for its grown-up atmosphere, killer cocktails and swanky hidden rooftop garden, Roland’s is officially one of the top 50 bars to visit in the UK- and it shows.

Roland’s is perfect for a late Saturday night out on the cocktails, but their hangover menu is severely under-rated. On a Sunday, all of the bar’s Bloody Mary’s, Red Snappers and Micheladas are £6.50 all day, making it the perfect spot to enjoy the hair of the dog without spending the same as you would the evening before.

Read More: Beloved Leeds bar Roland’s is opening a second site

Smack Craic & Pop! from Sandinista

Image: Sandinista

Nestled between The Watermark Bar and Tepanyaki, past Belgrave, you’ll find the brains behind Blind Tyger and Smokestack offering out no less than a Coco Pops inspired cocktail.

Known as the ‘Smack, Craic & POP!’, the very grown up drink was inspired by a White Russian and consists of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey and Nixta Corn Liqueur and then oat milk is mixed with cacao to create that chocolate milk that we all know and love.

Find out more here.

Feature Image- Tabula Rasa

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