Cocktails in Leeds- A Night Around the Town

Faded image of 2 cocktails with the text overlay "Cocktails in Leeds"

Leeds is ever-changing, and there are new bars popping up all over. The other week I went out with a friend to try out a few cocktails in Leeds.

Cocktails in Leeds:

Dirty Martini:

We decided to try out one of the newer additions to the city called Dirty Martini.
Dirty Martini started in London. It was super busy when I went to one of the bars the last time I visited the capital. I believe there are quite a few around the London area, with Manchester and Leeds being the only ones in the north of the country.  It is essentially a cocktail bar, specialising in various types of a Martinis, and great happy hour deals.
The decor is lovely, and a bit art deco, which is a style that I love. The colours are gold and teal, with geometric style lights hanging from the ceiling. These definitely give the bar a bit more of an old-school glam feel to it.

Dirty Martini in Leeds inside decor

The night I visited was the ‘Payday Party – Get down and Dirty’. It was advertised that martini cocktails would be £6 all night with a DJ and live saxophone.  My friend was super organised and booked us a table. It was great to have somewhere to sit for a catch up as well as enjoy the night.

The cocktails:

So, we sampled a few of the cocktails on offer. Starting off with an espresso martini to give us a bit of a pick-up after a long day at work. The cocktail was lovely, and you can’t beat one that gives you a bit of energy. The only downside was the longish wait at the bar to order. At the time the bar didn’t actually feel that busy, but I guess making cocktails can take longer.

Espresso Martini cocktail - cocktails in Leeds at Dirty Martini

The next one I tried ‘Kiwi and Coconut Martini’ was made up of; gin and coconut liqueur. Mixed with Midori (melon liqueur), guanabana juice, fresh kiwi, fresh lemon juice and gomme syrup. I am not sure what gomme syrup or guanabana juice is, but the cocktail was delicious and refreshing.

Kiwi and Coconut Martini, decorated with coconut coated melon balls

The following two cocktails I had were the same, as I enjoyed it so much. 
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this cocktail. I was too busy gabbing away and drinking.🙈 Named ‘Blood Orange and Vanilla Martini’ containing; vanilla vodka, Creme de Cassis and Creme de Violette shaken with fresh orange juice and lemon juice. A splash of blood orange syrup to finish. It was delicious and a little too easy to drink.

Woman holding up a cocktail in Dirty Martini Leeds

So, as the ‘party’ had advertised a live saxophone player we were really looking forward to it. It got closer to 10.30 – 11 p.m. but there was no sign of him or her. We were a bit disappointed, to be honest. I’m not too sure on what time they were due to start, as the bar opens until 3 a.m. We decided to leave and have a few more cocktails in Leeds.


We decided to try another new (ish) bar located at The Victoria Gate on the other side of town.
Even though the weather had been terrible (how long did winter feel with all that snow?) we wanted to try out a bar with a bit of a rooftop/balcony. Issho was our choice for our last drink. Luckily their balcony area is heated and was a perfect choice for us for more cocktails in Leeds.

Woman drinking in Issho on the rooftop terrace

We had a look at the cocktail menu, and I decided to go for an ‘Issho Twinkle’. This has vodka, elderflower liqueur and cordial with sugar syrup, topped with prosecco. Decorated with cucumber and mint leaves served in a champagne style flute, so not quite a long drink. Refreshing and tasty though!

Issho Twinkle Cocktail

The balcony area is beautiful, with really nice lighting. It looked a bit like an Instagram filter when you took a photo. Lots of pink and purple lighting was captured by my phone’s camera. Japanese style lanterns adorned the outside parasols, and green leaved plants dotted around the edges. The music playing reminded me of what you would hear at a beach bar. It really gave the place a nice feel. I definitely felt like I was in another city to Leeds sat up there. It was totally a blogger or Instagrammers paradise with how it was decorated.

Issho balcony area with red and yellow paper lanterns decorating the parasol.
Issho balcony area with red and yellow paper lanterns decorating a parasol, and the seating area in the background

So that is what I got up to on one night out drinking cocktails in Leeds.
Do you have a favourite bar to visit for a nice cocktail or two?
Have you ever visited either of the places I’ve mentioned in this post?
Let me know in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading!

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