Clamouring for a sophisticated Yuletide beverage away from the onslaught of red, gold and green? Here's where to head among Leeds' best independents...
Gingerbread Espresso Martini
Think of a gingerbread house. Then mash it down into a teeny tiny pieces, add coffee, and voila! You’ve got Distrikt's creamy, festive blend of Chairman's reserve spiced, Teichenne butterscotch, Grand Marnier briottet liqueur de pain d'Espices and Espresso.
With acts like Matthew Herbert playing this month, along with a cracking tapas menu, this hidden gem on Duncan Street is worth tracking down.
Distrikt 7 Duncan Street, Leeds LS1 6DQ
A mix of Lavender gin, Earl Grey, Cinnamon, and Steamed Milk (soy available too), Outlaws Yacht Club's seasonal cocktail is a British Christmas morning in a mug – slightly overcast, floral, with a hint of mixed spice - minus the sprinkle of disappointment at receiving Bubble Bath and socks once again, though.
On another note, Outlaws has an array of board games, and beautiful light fixtures for added sophistication.
Outlaws Yacht Club 38 New York St, Leeds LS2 7DY
Mulled wine is great, but we can't help but lament all of that precious alcohol that may or may not be evaporating into the atmosphere if it's being kept at too high a temperature (honestly, we lose sleep over it). Make up for lost booze with Pintura's Christmas Negroni - a combination of gin, campari, and homemade cranberry-spiced vermouth served over a warm satsuma; it's Christmas in a glass.
Pintura 1 Trinity Street, Leeds LS1 6AP
Speaking of mulled wine - if there's one place you can trust to handle wine properly (readL not scorch all the booze out of it), it's Friends of Ham.
Their Yuletide pop-up in Grand Arcade is the perfect way to enjoy a casual raclette, a walk-in cheese room, and a Mulled Wine. Their concoction of the festive favourite includes citrus fruits, a few secret spices, and plenty of the good stuff.
Enjoy a spot of Sunday Afternoon Jazz with it, or pop along and sink a couple at one of their wine-themed cinema nights.
Ham and Friends Grand Arcade, Leeds
Secret Spiced Apple Cider
This may be the epicentre of Office-party territory, but The Botanist's Monin Caribbean Rhum-infused spiced Cider is delicious and comes in an adorable little camping mug - well worth battling the crowds for.
Get here early, find a corner, and sip this beauty before the tide of revellers comes in.
The Botanist 67 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW
Keen for a beer, a sprout Bhaji, Festive Curry, and Chestnut and Orange Peel Ice Cream combination? Then Bundobust on Mill Hill is a must! They've got a selection of wintery cocktails on offer, but if you're looking for a hoppy Christmas look no further than their festive ales. on tap they’ve got Jopen’s festive offering Hops and Myrrh, Danish TO ØL’s Frost Bite, an American Pale Ale brewed with orange peel and pine needles, Thornbridge Brewery’s Cocoa Wonderland, complete with natural mocha malt flavours, and Anchor Brewing’s 42nd annual Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ale.
On tap they’ve got Jopen’s festive offering Hops and Myrrh, Danish TO ØL’s Frost Bite, an American Pale Ale brewed with orange peel and pine needles, Thornbridge Brewery’s Cocoa Wonderland, complete with natural mocha malt flavours, and Anchor Brewing’s 42nd annual Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ale.
2016 apparently smells like fruitcake, molasses, and fresh cut wood, and tastes like roasted caramel malt, with notes of spiced chocolate and nuts - should help to wash away the lingering aftertaste of notable deaths, Brexit, and Donald Trump. Jenny Rae
Bundobust 6 Mill Hill, Leeds LS1 5DQ