A guide to Yorkshire's best cocktail bars

1st May 2019

A group of people with cocktails

If there is such a thing as the perfect cocktail, it will surely be found in Yorkshire. The county is not all just beautiful views and sandy beaches, it’s also home to many must-visit cocktail bars. Whether you like a sweet strawberry daiquiri or an old fashioned, your favourite concoctions will never be too far away in Yorkshire.

Bibis Italianissimo

Art deco Italian themed table in a bar

Italian flare, an art deco interior and delicious cocktails, the Bibis Italianissimo is the best place to go for an evening of sophistication. Be prepared to be in complete admiration of the lavish interior of Bibis, which was all designed by Tessa Kennedy, a famous interior designer who has also designed The Ritz Rivoli Bar and had clients such as George Harrison.

The expert team at Bibis takes the art of cocktail making seriously, and each glass is created from scratch with most ingredients being authentically Italian. The newly appointed Bar Manager, Leo Zoccali, revealed what he believes makes the perfect cocktail: “There are many rules for making a perfect cocktail, in fact, it’s important to remember that what tastes perfect to one person may not to another. For example, a Negroni may be the perfect cocktail for one customer but won’t be for another with a sweeter palate”

“I believe that a drink is drunk three times: when it is observed, when it approaches the nose and when it is sipped. One of the most important rules is to ensure the ingredients are mixed and balanced perfectly and doing so without necessarily having to create a drink with seven or more ingredients. In my opinion, the greatest cocktails in history are composed with a maximum of four ingredients.”

“We use the freshest fruit, pressing juices daily, the highest ice quality, the best glassware, the perfect glass decoration; each aspect must have a connection to the drink. Further to that the storyteller, your barman must fascinate his guest. The atmosphere around the bar, the smile of the barman and the elegance of making cocktails is vastly important and something that I have acquired working in luxury hospitality.”

“At Bibis we have developed a menu with signature cocktails, home-made preparations such as syrups, flavoured sugars, alcoholic and non-alcohol foam, vegetable airs, barrel ageing – all used intelligently and without falling into excess. Twisting a drink and putting a personal stamp on a classic cocktail can be very intriguing as long as you respect the basic mixing rules.”

Bar Seven

Bartender pouring a pink cocktail

In the beautiful seaside town of Whitby, you will find Bar Seven, a bar and brasserie where you can go and enjoy a delicious cocktail. Renowned for their friendly staff who can create any cocktail including a citrus martini and cranberry cooler. Bar Seven is a great place to visit in the evening when you want to enjoy a stay in Robin Hood’s Bay. It was Whitby’s first cocktail bar, which has made it the go-to place for people to relax and enjoy a drink and enjoy a panoramic view of the harbour. The bar can become lively, with regular guest DJs and great music.

Evil Eye

If you love a lively atmosphere, specialist cocktails and the more bizarre things in life, then you’ll love Evil Eye in York. In the night, Evil Eye becomes a cosy bar with a weird but wonderful theme.

We spoke to Rachel, from Rachel Nicole, who is a travel and lifestyle blogger living in Yorkshire. We asked Rachel where her favourite place is to have a cocktail: “Evil Eye Lounge on Stonegate in York. Evil Eye is an independent cocktail bar and one of the most popular places to visit in York for a great cocktail. They have an extensive cocktail menu whilst serving Thai snacks and there’s even a Gin shop which operates during the day. You should expect queues during the weekends when they have live music and the atmosphere is just electric.”

Angelica

Circle rooftop bar

You can find the Angelica on the sixth floor of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre. When the sun is shining, this is the must-go place because of their beautiful wrap around balcony that has a wonderful view of the city of Leeds. The interior of the cocktail bar is bright and area, with an abundance of modern sophistication. Angelica offers a selection of unique cocktails including their ‘Meanwood Valley Trail’ which consists of pear, botanical gin blend and lavender, and their ‘Victoria’s Secret Gate’ which is a mix of chocolate-strawberry infused vodka, apple and citrus.

We asked the team at Angelica for their definition of the perfect cocktail: “It is defined by balance. It is about putting together separate ingredients to create something that is greater than the sum of all its parts!” The cocktails at Angelica are created by their skilled mixologists, make sure the and try them for yourself on your next trip to Yorkshire!

Tom Foolery

Up close blue cocktail with sugar and lime

Located in Boston Spa, Tom Foolery is an independent bar with an exquisite cocktail selection.

Bee from Queen Beady writes a travel, style and lifestyle blog that’s based in Boston Spa. She says: “I’d thoroughly recommend Tom Foolery, my local, out in the countryside but not too far from York, Leeds and Harrogate. The spot is quirky and has their own signature cocktails that stray from the norm and they’re pretty reasonably priced too.”

If are a lover of a classic cocktail, then you’ll be happy to know they serve the usual concoctions, however, we recommend trying one of their innovative house cocktails. This includes the ‘Sorry Ms Jackson’ which consists of spiced rum, lemon, sugar and a drizzle of Chambord. Or if you’re after something a little fruitier enjoy the ‘Bahama-mama’ which includes Koko Kanu rum, orange, pineapple, lime and sugar.

The Alchemist

The Alchemist is in two locations in Leeds, Trinity and Greek Street. The chain of bars is famous for its theatrical way of serving. The Alchemist tag line is that they are ‘a celebration of the unconventional, dark and controversial.’ The cocktails are made like potions, with smoke, bubbles and test tubes included. There is an extensive array of cocktails to choose from fruity flavours such as the ‘Battenberg’ made with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, Wray & Nephew, lime, pineapple, passionfruit and almond air. Or lighter cocktails such as the ‘White Cosmo’ consisting of Ketel One vodka, St. Germain, Cointreau, lime and flowers.

Charlotte from Crunch Corner, a blog for food, lifestyle and travel, says The Alchemist is one of her favourite places to enjoy a cocktail: “If you’re serious about cocktails, then you’ll have to visit the specialists in molecular mixology. Be prepared for show and marvel, with cocktail experiments that will make your jaw drop.”

Rachel Nicole continues to comment: “I do love how some bars are experimenting with smoke, fire and dry ice in places such as The Alchemist. They make the whole experience more fun and exciting and they aren’t half delicious too!”

We also asked Charlotte from Crunch Corner to reveal what she thinks makes the perfect cocktail: “For me, what makes the ultimate cocktail are fresh ingredients that are well balanced and combined. Understanding and knowing how to craft the perfect popular tipple the way your customer likes it is key. When it comes to unusual flavours and concoctions, go full force ahead and innovate, pushing cocktail limits.”

What do you think the secret to a great cocktail is?

Image Credit: The Angelica, Bibis Italianissimo.