Our lovely home of Edinburgh is filled with bars, the city literally bursts at the seams with them, so finding a drink on an evening is easy, but finding a really good drink, well that is something a little bit harder! We have stomped the streets of Edinburgh in a quest to find the best cocktails in the city over the years so the following is our current favourite list of must visit bars!
Updated November 2016
Ranked as one of the top bars in all of Scotland, Brambles has carved out a niche market for drinkers who want to sip on creative concoctions that still use only the absolute best ingredients possible. Hidden away on Queen street tucked underneath a shop, (if you are not in the know you will probably miss it). I love this bar because you can hide away from the world for a couple of hours and drink cocktails out of china cups.
The cocktail menu is substantial with a blend of classics and new cocktails, one of the best options is to stick with the aptly named Bramble, a cocktail that consists of dry gin, fresh lemon juice, Creme de Mures and a dash of sugar syrup.
Address: 16A Queen St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 1JE
Phone: 0131 226 6343
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Becoming somewhat of an institution of a gin bar in the city now, as they have over 60 gins to choose from and what the barmen or ‘gin concierge’ don’t know about the stuff probably isn’t worth knowing means that the One Square bar makes it onto our list of Edinburgh must visit cocktail bars.
With their very recent launch of their own One Square gin distilled by the clever folk at Pickering’s Gin, their signature cocktail the ‘One Square Gin Cocktail’ which stimulates both the sweet and sour taste buds and is finished with a gold-coated lime leaf is well worth ordering.
Address: 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR
Phone: 0131 229 9131
The West Room
The West Room is located in Edinburgh’s west end on Queensferry road, it’s not a huge bar but it is cosy and perfectly formed. Best times to go are after work on a Friday when the bar is jumping and the cocktails are flowing.
One of the tastiest creations on the menu is the Espresso Martini, which is hand-crafted with Kahlua, vanilla vodka, Licor 43 and a shot of espresso.
Address: 3 Melville Place, Edinburgh EH3 7PR
Phone: 0131 629 9868
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Dragonfly is a supercool and unexpected hangout that the tourists often miss. It’s location near the Grassmarket is incredibly convenient, and it can be accessed from the Royal Mile in just a few minutes. This is a great place to go on a weekend night when there are DJ’s playing and the place is packed.
Although the menu is extensive and there are cocktails to please any taste, one of the most popular is the Bajan Basil.This rum-based cocktail gets kicked up a notch with the addition of basil, freshly-squeezed lime juice, Cointreau and a simple sugar syrup solution.
Address: 52 W Port, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2LD
Phone: 0131 228 4543
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Listed as one of the top 100 hotels in the world by Times Travel Magazine Tigerlilly also has a great bar and restaurant on the ground floor. It’s a popular haunt so best to go there earlier in the evening as it fills up quickly!
You will find plenty of standard wines and spirits here, but one of the most eye-catching options is the Purple Damson. Effortlessly simple, the Purple Damson is a combination of gin, damson jam, sugar syrup and lemon juice.
Address: 125 George St, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH2 4JN
Phone: 0131 225 5005
Fourth Floor Harvey Nichols
Harvey Nichols is a true institution, and their bar, restaurant and brasserie command great views over the city. The bar is quite small and fairly sterile in decoration but the service and cocktails are excellent. It’s a great bar to either start the night off or end the night on.
Stick with a local favorite called the Sicilian, which is crafted with blood orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice, sugar and a top layer of prosecco.
Address: Harvey Nichols, 30-34 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD
Phone: 0131 524 8350
Panda and Sons
Walk along Queen Street and you’d be forgiven for not seeing this corker of a bar disguised as an old fashioned Barbershop. Like all Speakeasys, all is not as it seems. When you first walk through the door, don’t be disheartened not to find your pals sipping gin and juice. Rather, keep your cool and head down the carpeted stairs to a bookcase disguising a handle. Turn it and step into a world straight out of 1930s Chicago.
After the journey inside you’ll want a drink so quench your thirst with something off their extensive cocktail, wine or beer menus. Driving? They have a fabulous mocktail and soft drinks menu as well.
This is a bar like no other and one that breathes life into what could have been a dingy basement location. Definitely a place with fabulous atmosphere and delectable libations.
Address: 79 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 4NF
Phone: 0131 220 0443
If you want to know what we think the best bars in Glasgow are read this.
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