Edinburgh's Top Cocktail Bars
08 December 2016
- food and drink
Edinburgh's bar scene boasts some of the best and most varied establishments in Scotland, with mixologists serving new, exciting cocktails alongside the classics all year round.
Whether you're looking for a place to unwind after work, somewhere to celebrate the festive season with friends, or just want something new, read on for some of the finest that Edinburgh has to offer the cocktail connoisseur...
Opened in October 2016, Epicurean is one of Edinburgh's newest cocktail bars and offers an upbeat vibe that creates an inviting and vibrant atmosphere for city dwellers and guests alike. Aromatic infusions and colourful cocktails using home grown flowers and herbs from the G&V’s EvoGro hydroponic take Epicurean's guests on a Scotsman’s journey of Botanical Europe.
Located on the ground floor of G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, the bar is at the heart of one of the bustling city's many social hubs. Enjoy cocktails, Scottish and Mediterranean spirits as well as an all-day dining menu - and if you fancy having a go yourself, their Mixology Masterclasses will have you stirring and blending like a pro in no time.
Epicurean (website) is at 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD.
Priding itself on being one of Edinburgh’s most innovative cocktail bars, Juniper has established a reputation in the city as a go-to destination for creative cocktails that don’t disappoint, with stunning views across the city from its prime and central location on Princes Street.
The focal point of Juniper is the striking copper bar where each cocktail is crafted to order. Not sure what ask for? Try Strawberries and Steam (Strawberry infused Brokers Gin, Lillet Blanc, Coquelicot, Crème de Fraise, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Lemon, Vanilla Gomme, Red Berry Tea) or ask for a Russian Roulette (Stolichnaya Orange, Stolichnaya Raspberry, Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Lemon, Gomme, Frozen Raspberries).
Juniper (website) is at 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN.
Badger & Co
Occupying the former of home of Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame, and inspired by the likes of Mole, Badger and Mr Toad, Badger & Co proudly takes a traditional yet uniquely quirky approach that leaves nothing, from food to decor to drinks, untouched.
Cocktails such as the Badger's Burrow (Courvoisier Exclusif VSOP, Dalmore 12-year-old, Grand Marnier, plum and chocolate) and the Bright Eyed And Bushy Tailed (Citrus Vodka, Rhubarb and Orange Marmalade, Citrus, Vanilla, Rhubarb Bitters, Egg White) head up a truly individual and delightfully unconventional list of drinks. One not to miss.
Badger & Co (website) is at 32 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3HT.
One of Edinburgh's edgiest locales, Electric Circus is ideally situated next door to Waverley station, and with private Karaoke rooms, you can sing your heart out while you sip your Pineapple Salsa (Bacardi Carta Blanca, Koko Kanu Coconut Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice, Homemade Chilli Gomme, Fresh Pineapple & a handful of fresh Coriander).
With live gigs throughout the year, club nights to suit a wide variety of tastes, and mixology classes on offer, Electric Circus is a club bar and boutique venue offering an atmosphere all its own that simply must be experienced.
Electric Circus (website) is at 36-39 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1DF.
Foundry 39 combines a cool and industrial vibe with a real sense of fun and a welcoming atmosphere, hosting live funk and soul music every Friday. The establishment sets itself apart with its specialty in smoked cocktails, served theatrically with plumes of smoke.
The rest of the cocktail menu is just as exciting, with enough variation to draw you back in time and time again (try the Smoked Heather Sour - Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Whisky, Benedictine, King’s Ginger, lemon juice, sugar syrup, heather-smoked). Food portions are generous - so come hungry!
Foundry 39 (website) is at 39a Queensferry Street, Edinburgh EH2 4RA.
Heads & Tales Bar
Billing itself as Edinburgh's 'hidden gem' and known for being the home of Edinburgh Gin, Heads & Tales also makes cocktails its business, and takes pride in Scottish hospitality and tradition. A mixture of classics, contemporary blends and fresh innovations comprise an exciting range of cocktails.
If gin-based cocktails are your thing, try out a Purple Emperor (Heads and Tales Gin, Butterfly Syrup, Triple Sec, Vanilla, Citrus), or mix it up with some Islay whisky and order a Morning Haar (Edinburgh Gin, Benedictine, Ardbeg, Almond, Raspberry, Bitters). Heads & Tales is definitely worth a visit - and while you're there make sure you check out their gin stills, Flora and Caledonia.
Heads & Tales (website) is at 1a Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD.
The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen
One for literature lovers, Printing Press celebrates Edinburgh's rich literary heritage, housed in a beautifully restored Georgian townhouse that was once home to acclaimed novelist Susan Ferrier, who counted Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns amongst her admirers.
The cocktail menu is varied with concoctions like The Bloody Mary Shelley (Sipsmith vodka, lemon, tomato juice, celery bitters, Tabasco foam) and the Smoked Almond Sour (Amaretto, lemon, pineapple, bitters, applewood smoke) but if you just can't decide what to go for, a cocktail tasting menu allows you to sample a number of options.
The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen (website) is at 21-25 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PB
Nineteen Hundred Bar & Lounge
Part of the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel, Nineteen Hundred Bar & Lounge is situated in the heart of the city centre on North Bridge - an iconic element of the city centre and a stone's throw from the Royal Mile. A stunning interior and its location between the Old and New Towns make Nineteen Hundred Bar & Lounge a must-visit for residents and visitors of the city looking for an inventive and opulent cocktail menu.
Cocktails include Cannonball Rickey (Edinburgh Cannonball Gin (navy strength), sugar syrup, Lime Juice, Crushed ice, soda, a drizzle of raspberry liqueur) and the seasonal Bees Knees (honey, Edinburgh Christmas Gin, lemon juice, over ice with lemon garnish).
Nineteen hundred Bar & Lounge (website) is at 19 North Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1SD
[Image Credit: Twitter]
Bramble bar has secured itself a spot as one of Edinburgh's go-to cocktail bars, with a relaxed atmosphere that emphasises a focus on finely crafted drinks. The cocktail menu presents all the usual suspects as well as some surprising and original creations, concocted by staff members both past and present - which no doubt helped it earn its place as the first Scottish bar to grace Bartender magazine's list of Top 20 Bars in the World.
Cocktails range from the Spectrum Stadium (Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Whisky, pineapple juice, plum & rosemary syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice & Merlet Apricot Liqueur) to the Bronson (Pancetta-washed Laird’s Applejack, Merlet creme de Peche, house grenadine & IPA). Delicious.
Bramble Bar (website) is at 16a Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JE
Named Best Cocktail Bar at the i-on Magazine Food & Drink Awards, George Street's trendy Tigerlily has a reputation to be proud of, and with a finger held firmly on the pulse of global trends in mixology combined with staffmembers' own personal tastes and experiments, you can always be sure of true individuality and originality in their cocktail menu.
Renewed in August 2016, Tigerlily boasts creations such as Tenessee Table - a tablet-flavoured old fashion with a hint of maple syrup to balance out the taste, and True Romance, a combination of the barstaff’s other halves' favourite drinks. Tigerlily attracts customers from across the world and is definitely worth stopping by.
Tigerlily (website) is at 125 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JN
Cocktails not your thing? For more inspiration, check out our list of some of Edinburgh's Top Gin Bars >