Edinburgh Festivals 2014: Cocktail hot spots
Grab a margarita or two to escape the festival crowds in our pick of the city's finest cocktail bars
This article is from 2014.
It’s not all student theatre and stand-up comedians trying to make it on to TV panel shows – Edinburgh also has some classy cocktail joints where hipsters hang out and talented mixologists showcase their skills. Barry Cooper hand-picks a few places to escape the festival crowds for a margarita or two
This newcomer to Edinburgh’s cocktail scene is a subterranean speakeasy-styled sprawl hidden behind a quirky barbershop frontage. Cocktails use smokes and foams to pull off big flavours, but with an eye to history and a great catalogue of classics.
With two tucked-away venues lending these bars a speakeasy vibe, the Bon Vivant is a cool spot to hide from the crowds while the staff make good use of the hard-to-source rums and bourbons on the back shelves. The Thistle Street branch has its own wine merchant next door – a good place to pick up a bottle to drink back at the ranch.
Tonic is a snug where table space comes at a premium. Just off George Street, it’s an ideal spot both pre and post-show for something short and strong or long and luxurious. Known for inventiveness, it boasts some ice-cream and sorbet staples as well as the best Porn Star Martini in the city.
A big and bookable hip hangout close to the Grassmarket, Dragonfly is a stalwart of the Edinburgh bar scene and continues to hold its own among the New Town upstarts. Head here for a daiquiri to start a night out with the girls, or if you’re flagging after one too many festival shows, hit them up for an espresso martini – guaranteed to give you a second wind.
This convivial St Stephen Street hangout specialises in the unconventional. Using rotovaps and steel ageing, as well as almond syrup and peach pearls, the staff push creativity to a new high. It’s a great spot for a night in Stockbridge or a stop-off while boutique shopping, and it could be a welcome respite from the Fringe hubbub.