Edinburgh, Scotland, is a city balanced on the precipice of tradition and modernity whether you’re talking about the city’s culture, its architecture, or its bars. For the latter, modernity means a shift away from beer bars and pubs and toward a cocktail revolution.
VinePair spent five days in the city with the people and bartenders who are leading the cocktail push. From our experience, here are the best cocktail bars to visit for the ultimate Edinburgh cocktail bar crawl.
The Voodoo Rooms
Upstairs at the Voodoo Rooms, innovative bartenders sling drinks over vintage-looking wooden bars. There’s also live music and cabaret rooms.
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Nightcap Restaurant & Bar
A speakeasy-style bar with low lighting and cocktails that’ll make your head turn.
Bramble Bar & Lounge
Bramble has been around since 2006, long before the current cocktail movement started in Edinburgh. The small, dimly lit room remains a classic.
Panda & Sons
Panda is here to serve your every cocktail need. It follows in the footsteps of an American speakeasy with the cocktail part of the bar in the basement. Personal cocktail suggestion: Bird Cage made with Scotch whisky.
Hoot The Redeemer
A bar owned by the same people behind Panda & Sons. Hoot the Redeemer has alcoholic slushies and an old-school ice cream machine, only all the ice cream has booze.
Don’t let the college vibes throw you off. Paradise Palms is a serious cocktail bar with a serious cocktail menu.
The Devil’s Advocate
This is a place where you can both grab a dram from a large selection of single malt whiskies and have a cocktail made from it as well.
Lucky Liquor Co
Innovation at its finest. The cocktail menu switches up every couple months, with specials written on the white tile in the back. Don’t forget to take your drink down to the downstairs lounge.
The Bon Vivant
The Bon Vivant isn’t just about cocktails. Alongside some of the best drinks made on this side of Scotland (and a beer list), there’s also a killer kitchen and dinner menu.