Cocktails in Leeds

Cocktails in Leeds blog post title picture


Leeds is ever-changing, and there are new bars popping up all over. The other week I went out with a friend to try one of the newer addition in the city called Dirty Martini.

Dirty Martini started in London, which 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 Leeds Decor

The night I visited was the ‘Payday Party – Get down and Dirty’ where 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 so that we had somewhere to sit for a catch up as well as enjoy the night.

So, we sampled a few of the cocktails on offer, starting off with an espresso martini to give us a bit of a pick me 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, and at the time the bar didn’t actually feel that busy, but I guess it can take a bit longer when most orders are of cocktails.

Espresso Martini cocktail

The next one I tried was called ‘Kiwi and Coconut Martini’ which was made up of; gin and coconut liqueur. These were then 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

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 as I was too busy gabbing away and drinking  🙈. This one was called ‘Blood Orange and Vanilla Martini’ and contained; vanilla vodka, Crème de Cassis and Crème de Violette shaken with fresh orange juice and lemon juice, with a splash of blood orange syrup to finish. It was delicious and a little too easy to drink.

Drinking in Dirty Martini Leeds

So, as the ‘party’ had advertised a live saxophone player we were really looking forward to it, but as it got closer to 10.30 – 11 p.m. there was no sign of him or her. We were a bit disappointed, but I am not too sure on what time they were due to start, as the bar is open until 3 a.m. I don’t know if they did begin playing, as we decided to leave and try another new (ish) bar located at The Victoria Gate at 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 and decided to go to Issho for our last drink. Luckily their balcony area is heated and was a perfect choice for us.

Drinking in Issho

We had a look at the cocktail menu, and I decided to go for an ‘Issho Twinkle’ which has vodka, elderflower liqueur and cordial with sugar syrup, topped with prosecco. It is also decorated with cucumber and mint leaves served in a champagne style flute, so not quite a long drink, but refreshing and tasty.

Issho Twinkle Cocktail

The balcony area is beautiful, with really nice lighting that 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 and 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

Issho balcony area

So that is what I got up to on one night out. 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!