LEEDS CITY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST KRISTIAN PURDY DROPS BY DAKOTA TO TRY OUT THE NEW ‘HIGH SOCIETY’ COCKTAILS
I was so lucky to have been asked to visit the Dakota Leeds new evening “High Society” It took no persuading at all to get me there.
Dakota Leeds are well known now in the Industry for sublime hotel suites and exquisite bar setups coinciding with state-of- the-art kitchen and grills.
I have always had such wonderful experiences when visiting Dakota, whether this be for an afterwork drink or a wine and dine evening, its always been a very satisfying and memorable experience.
Brunches are seemingly the in thing right now, with a small
dish accompanied by endless amounts of prosecco. However, Dakota have chosen not to follow suite and offer something much more elegant.
Their new concept offers luxury but surprisingly without the price tag which you would normally expect to see for something so high end.
If there’s one thing I love in this world, it’s a cocktail, but not your shop bought mojito out of a bag, I mean a real authentic handmade cocktail with added soul to go with it. Too many bars these days try to offer well known cocktails but at speed. Granted nobody wants to hang around waiting or a drink to be made, but when you have the privilege as I did, to see exactly how these cocktails are made, its jaw droppingly mouth-watering and seriously impressive. Its and art form in itself.
They have launched a new extravagant cocktail menu inspired by iconic celebrities. From Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren to Steve McQueen, Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, the cocktails have been designed to fit the celebrity’s personalities and stories, incorporating ingredients, garnishes and glassware.
High Society Cocktail take you through a journey through time and showcase the 13 cocktails that all draw inspiration from the celebrity portraits displayed throughout the hotel.
I was met by Mircea, a man I met at the Dakota’s initial opening. This guy, well this guy… If you want to see passion in someone and what they do, ask for him to make you a drink from the 13 cocktails on offer. His knowledge and excitement for what he does is really quite admirable, he is not your well known pint puller. Mircea made for me the Aviation frequency.
Picture being sat in an orchard on blistering summers day and this drink handed to you. The blend of Apple Brandy with the Aviation Gin combined with a twist of elderflower and champagne, really tickles the taste bud and on taste, an absolute thirst quencher. The added popping candy rim really set this off.It is a drink I will most certain reorder.
Next up was the Marilyn Monroe. Already you can see where this is going. Imagine pearls and diamonds in liquid form. This is how I feel the very best way to describe it. Kettle one Vodka sees Belsazar Rose Vermouth, Fentimans Rose Lemonade topped off with a Champagne type syrup. The glass was a work of art, with the flute encrusted in edible petals.
As there were so many options (13 to be exact) I felt I had to keep my intake to a low so that
I could remember in detail each individual cocktail and how it was presented. As I’m usually like a kid in a sweetshop, this would prove a challenge. Everyone knows I like a bloody good tipple. But on this occasion, one had chosen to be quite civil and sophisticated.
So to end my evening on an absolute high. I left my absolute favourite until last. The Chairmans choice stood out for me as I’m a massive fan of the Old Fashioned, as if it it made correctly. Its one-time bomb of a drink. The Chairmans choice would have made Frank Sinatra proud, with its complex blends of Hickory smoked Jack Daniels, orange bitters and Talisker Scoth Mist. It gives one hell of a punch, but in the most positive of ways.
Their attention to detail and professionalism really shows and is very impressive.