Fellow Leeds cocktail bar and listee Blind Tyger (11th place) has the same owners as Smokestack, but this bar is a little more speakeasy in the way it is dressed.
Expect live bands, playing jazz and blues, in the intimate space, which has a fantastic vibe that’s not arrogant or intimidating but natural and friendly.
Many of the bar’s drinks play on the speakeasy aesthetic and are served in jars of one sort or another, which is fun and shows that while the bartenders take their craft seriously, cocktails don’t always have to be.
Drinks prices range from £7 to £9, so a few bevvies here shouldn’t break the bank.
We were interested in the Ikigai, which uses Chase Marmalade Vodka, Akashi-Tai, plum sake, lime husk cordial and radish (£8). The drink plays sweet, tart, bitter, heat and tangy against each other, creating a fascinating experience.
For a Caribbean twist on an Old Fashioned, try the Golden Fashioned (£9), made using El Dorado 8yr Rum, Briottett Fig Liqueur, Regan’s Orange Bitters, sugar cane syrup and banana dust.
Or how about a French Marinilla (twist on the classic French Martini) made using Cariel Vanilla Vodka, Giffard Black Raspberry Liqueur, Champagne acid, pineapple juice and toasted marshmallow (£7).