Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Seven of Edinburgh's best gin bars

03 June 2015

Edinburgh may be well known for whisky, but there is a second drink speeding up the ranks - gin.

The spirit is fast becoming one of our city's favourite tipples, and over the past couple of years gin bars have been popping up all over Edinburgh. Here are some of our favourites: 

56 North

56 North

[Image Source: 56 North Facebook]

No matter what level of “gin connoisseur” you are, 56 North will have something for you. Complete gin novice? Even though the range of over 200 gins might seem intimidating at first, the friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to talk you through their selection and recommend something based on your tastes.

See yourself as a bit more of an expert? Then try one of their gin tasting masterclasses, where you’ll be taken through a journey of gins made from various botanicals, so you are bound to discover something new.

56 North (website) is at 2–8 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh, EH8 9JP.

Panda and Sons

Panda Sons 600X250

[Image source: Panda & Sons Facebook]

Panda & Sons fuses the feel of a vintage barbershop with the atmosphere of a classic prohibition-era speakeasy. A well-stocked range of gins means you'll have plenty of reasons to come back and find a new favourite each time, but you'll need to hunt to find it, hidden beneath street level.

Opened in 2013, Panda & Sons revels in being ever so slightly under the radar, located on the corner of Queen Street and neatly tucked between an estate agent and newsagent with the frontage disguised as an old fashioned barbershop. The search is worth it for the atmosphere alone - though the gin is ample reward too.

You can find Pand & Sons (Website) at 79 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4NF

The Royal Dick

Royal Dick

[Image source: Summerhall]

The pub nestled away in the belly of Summerhall may not have the largest selection of gins from the bars in this list, but it is probably the only one that has gin on tap.

Being right next door to the Pickering’s Distillery, The Royal Dick is in the fortunate position which allows the gin to be piped in directly from the source.

If you fancy having a look around the distillery for yourself, you can book yourself in for a guided tour which are available by appointment between 12 and 4 Monday to Friday.

The Royal Dick (website) is at Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL.

Heads and Tales

Heads And Tales Gin Bar

[Image source: Heads and Tales]

If the Royal Dick puts you in the mood for nosing around more gin distilleries, then be sure to pay Heads and Tales a visit. This bar is also located where the famous Edinburgh Gin is made and takes advantage of that with a clever interior design, meaning patrons can watch the spirit being distilled as they drink it!

You can either choose to relax in one of the many cosy cubbyholes in the bar, or if you prefer to be a little more hands-on, you can have a bash at making your very own gin creation either with Head and Tales special “Gin it yourself” four step cocktail system or by distilling some of your very own Edinburgh gin next door.

Heads and Tales (website) is at 1a Rutland Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2AD.

One Square

Sheraton One Square Gin

With a gorgeous terrace on Festival Square, One Square at the Sheraton is the perfect place to enjoy a gin and tonic. The bar and restaurant bolstered their collection of 60+ gins with their very own branded spirit.

The distinctive One Square Gin launched in March last year and is made at the Summerhall distillery in partnership with Pickering's Gin. You can either try it as part of the usual gin and tonic or in one of their special cocktails created to compliment the flavours of the gin perfectly. Try the One Square Gin Fizz with fresh lime juice, elderflower syrup, mint leaves and soda water, or Genie in a Bottle with lemon juice, gomme syrup, fresh muddled ginger, almond cordial and cranberry juice. Perfect for sipping on a lazy summer afternoon.

One Square (website) can be found at 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR.

Juniper

Juniper

[Image source: Juniper Edinburgh]

With a name like “Juniper” you know that gin lovers will not be disappointed with this place! This stylish bar has a fantastic gin cocktail offering and a view to die for.

Their cocktails are blended by expert mixologists and include both new daring creations and old favourites. If you want to be a bit adventurous, try their cocktail tasting menu, which offers a flight of four cocktails to enjoy while to admire the stunning panoramic views of Princes Street and the Gardens. You’ve got to be quick though; those coveted window seats get snapped up fast!

Juniper (website) is at 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AN.

The Jolly Botanist

Jolly Botanist V2

[Image source: Jolly Botanist Facebook]

One of the newest gin bars on the block, the Jolly Botanist opened just last year in the West End near Haymarket and has already become a solid go-to for gin fans. With a an inventive old Victorian style interior, the bar has a very distinctive look with oddities such as old taps, top hats and pressure gauges hidden around every corner.

While you are working through all the gins on offer, why not try their food menu which has a range of dishes from sea bass to macaroni cheese.

The Jolly Botanist (Facebook) is located at 256–260 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8DT.

Have we whet your appetite for Edinburgh’s bar and restaurant scene? Have a look at our favourite places for a relaxing Sunday lunch.