Dakota Deluxe may be best known for its upscale hotel suites, grill restaurant and celebrity clientele, but it’s the premium pours and moody décor found within its gem of a cocktail bar that’s kept me coming back time and time again. The new High Society premium drinks offering has only added to Dakota’s appeal…
I’m a sucker when it comes to extravagant cocktail creations – give me a good theme and some top-shelf ingredients and I’m there. When I heard that Dakota had just launched their new High Society menu, which includes 13 exclusive cocktails that each inspiration from a Hollywood great of days gone by, I needed little persuasion to pay them another visit.
Dakota asked each of their skilled bartenders to research one of the vintage screen legends that adorn the walls of their champagne bar, and come up with a tipple that represents their life and persona. A tall order, however, they rose to the challenge and several of these drinks have already become bestsellers.
First up came the Box Office Poison, which pays homage to the legend of fancy footwork, Fred Astaire. Named after an infamous news article that suggested Astaire’s days on the silver screen were past their best, this creation takes Remy Martin Cognac, Fig Liqueur, Angostura Orange Bitters and Spiced Orange Ginger Ale to create a rich cocktail that’s well worth a second round.
Next came the only drink on the list inspired by a living male legend, The Apples & Pears. Based on Sir Michael Caine, it’s a drink that needs little explanation, and features Pear Infused Hendricks Gin, Madeira Dry Sherry, apple, lemon and sugar syrup, to create a fruity, easy drinking pour. If you like your cocktails refreshing and packed with fruit, then this one’s for you.
Heading over to the Aviation Frequency, I’ll admit that Hedy Lamarr was the only celebrity featured I’d never heard off. Turns out she was an Austrian-born American actress, who also invented the Radio Frequency Hopping System used during WWII. As the technology is still used to this day within both WiFi and Bluetooth, Lamarr has been renamed the ‘Godmother of WiFi.’
Her cocktail blended Aviation Gin with apple brandy, Champagne, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and apple and lemon juice. Topped with an edible flower and garnished with a popping candy rim, this sweet and sour combination was delicious.
Moving onto Marilyn Monroe, it was only right that Hollywood’s most iconic golden girl was blessed with what has gone on to become Dakota’s bestselling cocktail. The Monrose takes Ketel One Vodka, Belsazar Rose Vermouth, Fentimans Rose Lemonade and Rose Champagne syrup to create a sweet yet complex drink, not dissimilar to the lady herself. Served in a flute that’s smeared with honey and dusted with edible petals, it was also by far the most Insta-worthy tipple of the evening.
I ended the evening on a high note with the Chairman’s Choice, which pays respect to my personal favourite, Frank Sinatra. Essentially a boozy reworking of an Old Fashioned (which just so happens to be my go-to cocktail), ingredients included Hickory Smoked Jack Daniels, Vermouth, Dom Benedictine herbal liqueur, orange bitters, honey syrup and Talisker 10 Scotch Mist. Not for the faint of heart, this is the one to go for if you like your cocktails strong and punchy. This is the one for me.
Given that there’s still another eight other drinks on this menu to try, I am already planning my trip. If you’re looking for an expertly mixed cocktail in a laidback and stylish setting, away from the noise and chaos of party-central Greek Street, then you must pay them a visit.
Dakota Deluxe, 8 Russel Street, Leeds, LS1 5RN. Tel: 0113 322 6261.
Words by Jordan Fletcher.