Last week I was invited to The Botanist at Leeds Trinity to judge a cocktail competition, where all the proceeds of the winning drink would go to charity. The competition involved four members of bar staff battling it out for their signature cocktail to be placed on the drinks menu throughout the month of July to raise funds for Mesothelioma (Asbestos) cancer and it was a close competition. Mesothelioma cancer is an aggressive cancer that affects the membrane of the lungs and abdomen and one of the primary causes of this cancer is asbestos, a fibrous rock that can be found in old buildings. In 2015 it was reported that 65,000 people in UK are living with this form of cancer and Leeds has a particular high rate of Mesothelioma cancer due to all the industrial work that once took place in the city. With this good cause in mind and the thought of trialing some new, delicious cocktails, I put my glad-rags on and ventured off to The Botanist and the evening did not disappoint.
Upon arrival we were given a glass of the Botanists self named cocktail to whet our appetite and seated at a reserved table waiting for the other bloggers to arrive. The signature Botanist cocktail is made with Ketel One Vodka, rum and elderflower liqueur and not only does it look spectacular, it also tastes pretty damn amazing. The drink is really refreshing, similar to moijitos but less minty. If you're looking for a cocktail that is not too heavy on the alcohol and tastes more like an adult version of a soft drink, this one is for you.
Once the judging panel of bloggers had assembled, we were brought our first drink and a set of score cards. The first drink brought to us was a new take on a traditional moijito, a ginger moijito. Despite not being the biggest fan of ginger, I found the drink highly enjoyable and would probably order this again if it was to be added to the menu. The ginger added a nice bit of after heat to the drink, which I can imagine is really nice on a hot day, but also during in winter with a darker rum and a log fire burning in the background. I gave this drink 4 points and I knew this would take some beating.
The next drink we were asked to judge was the Vanilla & Raspberry Caprioska. The inspiration behind this drink was a 'drumstick' lolly and the cocktail did well to replicate the taste, however it was a little bit too on the sweet side for my liking. If I was offered this drink at a bar, I wouldn't turn it turn, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I rated this drink a modest 3 points.
Our third drink was called 'Holy Guacamole' and as the name suggests, it was made using muddled up avocado. The teams initial thoughts were that of confusion and many of us were hesitant to try this cocktail at first, but I decided to take one for the table and try it. I did not expect an avocado cocktail to taste so good - the avocado gave it a creamy consistency and along with vanilla and raspberry flavourings, the cocktail tasted like raspberry ripple ice-cream. This cocktail was genius and had all the table in complete surprise. It was a top five marks from me.
After the Holy Guacamole we did sample another drink, but it was clear from everyone's faces which drink had won the most votes. The Holy Guacamole was named our favourite drink of the evening and won a place on the July menu at The Botanist. It was such a unique drink that it really deserved to be showcased and I'm really glad the other judges agreed. The drink is on sale from this week with all proceeds donated to Mesothelioma UK. What better excuse do you need for a cocktail this week?
Have you been to The Botanist Leeds before?