Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Iain McPherson

Iain McPherson is no stranger to the Edinburgh bar and cocktail scene, nor to an award or two. Having worked in the industry for over ten years, previously managing the award-winning cocktail bar and venue The Voodoo Rooms, Iain has now opened his own bar, Panda & Sons.

Iain is the only person in Scotland to have won Diageo World Class and Bacardi Legacy Scottish finals in the same year and also won UK Gin Connoissuer in 2012 with the highest blind tasting global score.  

When I hear the words ‘This Is Edinburgh’, the first thing that springs to mind is…
It is very near impossible for one thing to spring to mind when I hear the words 'This is Edinburgh'. So many things spring to mind, such as Heritage, Beauty, Architecture, Restaurants, bars, Hogmanay and of course Edinburgh's Festivals.

Edinburgh still surprises me when…
The sun comes out and the city shows itself off with such a unique and positive glow. On a clear blue sky, I honestly can't think of a more picturesque city than Edinburgh and the scenery never ceases to amaze me!

The one that sets Edinburgh’s bar scene apart from other capital cities is…
To be honest I can name a lot of fantastic things about our vibrant bar scene but if I have to choose one it would be the exceptional standard set amongst the top bars in the city, per capita it has to be the best in the world.

A perfect day in Edinburgh ends with ….
I would go for dinner at the fabulous Timberyard followed by a marvellous cocktail tour along Queen Street/Thistle Street. You will be able to enjoy the best service and forward thinking drinks available in the city in bars such as Panda & Sons, Bon Vivant, Lucky Liquor or Bramble on this enjoyable and easy to navigate tour. I would recommend starting at the West end of Queen Street and ending up on the East side. These places are all a short step away from each other and without a doubt cementing Edinburgh as one of the best cocktail cities.

If Edinburgh was epitomised in a cocktail what would it be and why?
If Edinburgh was epitomised in a cocktail it would be the 'San Martin' cocktail made with Gin, Sweet Vermouth and Yellow Chartreuse. This is because with Edinburgh there is so much more then meets the eye just like the complexity of this drink. The mix of ingredients used in this tasty drink and both can be enjoyed anytime of the year and I thought this is quite fitting as you can come to Edinburgh anytime of the year and enjoy its many forms. Lastly this is quite a hidden gem of the classic cocktails and I assure you Edinburgh has its fair share of hidden gems dotted all over the city too!

As a local, my hidden gem that most visitors to Edinburgh may miss is…
My hidden gem has to be the Canny Man's pub up in the Morningside area. Great whisky selection, tasty beers and the food is scrumptious. Once inside you will see the quirkiest vintage decor in town.