With all its funky gardening paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling, shabby chic chandeliers and mismatched furniture, I’d say The Botanist is probably one of Leeds’ coolest bars / pubs.
It’s always been one of my top go-to places in Leeds for a sophisticated cocktail or two. So when I heard they were revamping their menu to include more cocktails containing real fruit instead of puree, I was more than just a little interested to sample what was on offer.
— The Botanist TL (@TheBotanistTL) April 14, 2016
Head bar tender Elliot was our tutor for the evening – he showed us how to make no less than six new cocktails on the menu. Here are my tasting notes:
- Blackberry Mint Julep: This unusual blend contains bourbon, blackberry liqueur and fresh blackberries giving it an addictive sweet and sour hit. Absolutely divine
- Kiwi and Sage Martini: Elliot told us the addition of the sage in this green dream was an “accident”. It adds an unusual herbal aftertaste to a cocktail that could potentially be a little too sweet without its addition
- Basil and Plum Caipirinha: This delicious cocktail had large chunks of chilli chopped into it as well as generous amounts of basil and plum. Not too far off the flavour of what I’d imagine a plum mojito to taste like
- Thai basil crush: This is one of my favourite herbs and I use it all the time in my Asian cooking. I liked this cocktail but to me, it lacked the “wow” of some of the others
- The Botanist: This cocktail has been on the menu since the very beginning and I can see why. A blend of incredible flavours which literally throws you into summer… vodka, rum, elerflower liquer, red amaranth, mint, jasmine syrup and lime topped with lemonade
And the winner is? The Botanist cocktail… Probably the best cocktail I’ve ever tasted in Leeds. Closely followed by the Blackberry and Mint Julep.