Mixing with the very best: Leeds hotel muscles in on cocktail scene with unique offering

The promise of a thick meaty gravy and fluffy Yorkshire puddings calls to the heart of any Leeds local. Pair that with a blindfolded cocktail masterclass and you're onto a winner.

The new mixology events are being held at LS1 Bar & Kitchen at the Crowne Plaza in Leeds.
The new mixology events are being held at LS1 Bar & Kitchen at the Crowne Plaza in Leeds.

The masterclass is a new experience offered by the recently refurbished Bar and Kitchen @ LS1, which is in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

An interactive experience brings guests behind the bar where, under the expert supervision of the hotel’s bartenders, cocktail lovers will learn how to craft their favourite tipples.

The new mixology events are being held at LS1 Bar & Kitchen at the Crowne Plaza in Leeds.

With the help of Glen Whitaker, the Operation Manager and self-titled “cocktail captain”, the guests and I created the perfect Cosmopolitan and Passion fruit Caprioska.

For the Cosmopolitan we were on our own, but for the Caprioska we worked in pairs, with one person blindfolded and the other person guiding their hands through the task.

It wasn’t easy but provided comedy gold, as we watched the blindfolded party miss the glass entirely and cover the floor in passion fruit puree.

Yet we made it through, and ended up with a great cocktail, which I discovered to be exactly like an alcoholic Solero ice cream.

After drinks we sampled the new food menu, developed by head chef Lee Miller. This included an exciting and very Yorkshire twist on the fondue – a rip and share Yorkshire pudding and marrowbone dipping gravy. Need I say more?

This Yorkshire theme is no coincidence, as the team at the Crown Plaza Hotel have worked tirelessly to make sure everything is as local as can be.

Food and Beverage Manager, Adreanna Greenwood, said: “We’re focusing on Yorkshire. Our cheese has only come from around 15 miles away whereas you find with a lot of your restaurants their meat and veg is sourced from far and wide.

"We want to be different. We are the bar and restaurant that can give the customer that locally sourced food.”

Nodding in agreement, Glen added: “The rhubarb in our cocktails is locally sourced. We’ve been working with Yorkshire gins and Yorkshire vodkas, such as Whitaker’s over in Harrogate.

“The restaurant is contemporary English but with a Yorkshire twist. We focus on little things like making sure our Yorkshire puddings right and our gravy is days in the making.

“It’s not about just selling it cheap and stacking them high, it’s about giving a great quality with a friendly service and that is literally everything that encompasses Yorkshire.”

The Bar & Kitchen @LS1 Cocktail Master Class costs £24.95 per person and takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wellington Street.