Edinburgh has a lot to offer when it comes to bars, but most of all: cocktails. To really get the most out of your cocktail experience in Edinburgh, check out these five of the best cocktail bars in the city. Each of them offers unique speciality cocktails, a wide selection of drinks and a cool, comfortable atmosphere.
1. Last Word Saloon
With dark decor, low lighting and plush leather couches, the Last Word Saloon marries the Wild West with sophisticated city bar. With a range of speciality cocktails starting at £6.50, you are guaranteed to find a drink you could not get anywhere else. A highlight of the menu is the sugary-sweet ‘Butter Scotch Cocktail’ (don’t worry, it’s just the name). A blend of whisky, butter, Aperol, sherry, vanilla, and ginger jam, it’s a sweet but light cocktail that you can enjoy by a roaring fire after a game of darts.
2. Bramble Bar
Bramble Bar is in lieu of the Last Word, but their thing is gin. They’ve got gins from Scotland, the USA, the Netherlands and even Australia. The cocktails are varied and there are plenty of non-gin options if you’re not keen, but definitely try a gin cocktail as it is Bramble’s speciality. The Mint 500 is to be recommended: it mixes Hendrick’s with lime, apple, mint, vanilla, peach and basil for a tangy yet sweet and smooth taste. You will also find that Bramble has a similar vibe to Last Word, with cosy armchairs, dark corners and dim lampshades that exude a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.
3. Boteco Do Brasil
This vibrant bar in Edinburgh does well to make you feel like you’re in the streets of Rio de Janeiro with its funky plants, colourful decor and busy dance floor. The food is excellent, specialising in traditional Brazilian tapas, but the cocktails alone are worth going for. The specialities are the Banana Mamma – ‘guaranteed to take you to the beaches of Brazil’ – and the fail-safe Reggae Rum Punch. Each cocktail is specifically catered to transport your taste buds to a far more exotic and exciting place, from the heart of the Scottish capital.
4. Hoot the Redeemer
This place is easily missed, as it’s a hole in the wall on Hanover Street. As you go down some stairs and through a tiny door, you are taken to Hoot the Redeemer, a speakeasy-style bar that is probably one of the best for cocktails (and the worst kept secret in Edinburgh!). You are given complimentary popcorn and can enjoy video games as you drink. Another plus is that the bar is nice and intimate as if you’re the only ones who know about it. The best cocktail is the Hoopla Fix, which comes as a vibrant shade of aqua in a cute round fishbowl. It mixes Bombay Sapphire gin, tonic, rhubarb bitters, blue curaçao, lemon and sugar for a refreshingly sweet taste.
5. Panda and Sons
Hoot the Redeemer isn’t the only speakeasy in town – Panda and Sons is just as hidden, making it a really exciting and special visit when you go. Just like in the Prohibition era, the bar is located behind a vintage barber shop and has continually won local and national awards for its service, drinks and overall experience. The interior is a step back in time, with black and white wall posters and drinks served in vintage china tea sets. The Brown Derby cocktail – a superb concoction of bourbon, pink grapefruit juice and honey – is not one to miss.