It’s no secret I love a good drink, cocktail culture was one of my favourite parts about living in New York City, and has continued as a beloved activity in London.
Envisioning Edinburgh as the land of whisky, imagine the surprise on my first visit, a trip planned to celebrate a friend’s birthday, when I discovered the capital of Scotland is known for their cocktails as well. Some of the speakeasies and bars I visited even rivalled the likes of ones in New York.
Places like Whiski Rooms and Bow Bar are my go-to recommendations for anyone looking to sample great whisky, but my favourite places to grab a cocktail in Edinburgh bring a different type of experience to the table.
If you’re in Edinburgh and looking for respite from the pub scene, any of these places are worth a pop in for a cheeky cocktail.
5 of My Favourite Places to Have a Cocktail in Edinburgh
Panda & Sons: Hands down, my favourite. Run by a family of pandas who are barbers by trade and cocktail aficionados by night (gotta love the backstory ;)), it’s a speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf in a faux barber shop. No detail goes un-noticed here, from decor to table service, and of course- the drinks themselves. A must-visit any time I’m in Edinburgh for the evening.
nightcap: Below street level, this small bar is quiet, cosy and takes great pride in their cocktails. They cap the number of people allowed into the bar, so sipping a tipple here is a relaxing experience. The cocktails are insanely good as well, I’m preferential to the whisky based nightcap, but the gin-based Doctor’s orders and their take on a classic martini are wonderful as well.
Bramble Bar: Another sub-street level bar, but the only thing in common with nightcap are the great cocktails. Cranking old school hip hop and with seating everywhere you look, including carved into wall space and dug out grottos, Bramble Bar is bigger and more lively than nightcap. The important part though: Great drinks.
The Voyage of Buck: Hygge manifested in bar form with oversized leather couches, fuzzy blankets, soft lighting, glowing candles and copper fixtures. Oh, and the drinks are great too.
The Bon Vivant: I stumbled into this cosy French style bistro while waiting for a table at El Cartel Mexicana (which, is incredible – 10/10 recommend). Lovely atmosphere, candles everywhere, and good twists on classic drinks, enter: scotch colada.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh? Where are your favourite places to kick back with a pint or tipple?