Edinburgh cocktail week 2019: Top picks for bars, cocktails and events
Edinburgh is dressing up again this fall for an unmissable event: the Edinburgh cocktail week!
The Edinburgh cocktail week is definitely something that you don’t want to miss : it is a week full of events, pop up bars, tastings, activities and relaxation to celebrate cocktail culture in Scotland’s beautiful capital.
This year it will run from October 14 to October 20.
And if the rich program isn’t enough, it’s worth mentioning that there will be special cocktails available for only £4 in all bars participating to the event.
In this post you’ll find out how to take part and my top picks for cocktails, bars and events during this magical week!
My name is Lulu and I am a cocktail creatress, menu developer, consultant and blogger based in the wonderful Scottish highlands.
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Good to know:
- You need to buy a wristband to gain full access to all the perks of the week such as £4 cocktails or entrance to the cocktail village. You can decide which wristband to buy based on how your schedule looks : Weekdays access (valid Monday to Friday) is £6 , Weekend access (valid Friday and Saturday) is £8 while the week-long access is £13.5. You can buy the wristband online here.
- Those are the numbers : 70 bars taking part , 19 pop up bars in the cocktail forest space , 89 £4 cocktails available to try , 12 cocktails-related experiences
- The official Edinburgh cocktail week website is a joy to look at and it’s the best place to find the comprehensive program for the week
10 bars to visit during Edinburgh cocktail week + their special cocktails
N.1 - 56 North (Holyrood) - TROPICAL GARDEN GIMLET
56 North is a gin bar in the heart of the Holyrood district. They stock over 400 gins, have their own still inside the bar and started distilling their own -amazing- gin earlier this year.
Their cocktail for the week is the 'Tropical Garden Gimlet', a luscious take on a gimlet, made with their own South Loch Gin, a tropical cordial and bitters. You won't want to miss it!
N.2 - The Glasshouse hotel (Broughton) - NORTH STORM
The Glasshouse hotel is a boutique hotel at the beginning of leith walk. They have a really nice bar inside and, most importantly, here is where you'll find the Cocktail Domes!
Their drink for the week is the 'North Storm', a mix of scotch, apricot, fennel honey, pineapple and lemon juice. It's as delicious as it sounds!
N.3 - The Winehouse (broughton) - CHOCOLATE ORANGE MARTINI
The Winehouse is another boutique hotel on the list, situated almost opposite to the glasshouse!
Their cocktail for the week is a super indulgent and festive-sounding Chocolate Orange Martini made with orange gin, cacao liqueur, milk, orange and chocolate syrup and bitters... You'll want to skip dessert for this one!
N. 4 - Indigo yard (City centre) -LIFE'S A PEACH
Indigo yard is the informal bar of a small hotel in the city centre.
Their cocktail for the week is the frozen tasty tipple 'Life's a Peach', a fruity mix of vodka, raspberry and peach puree and lemon juice.
N. 5 - Tonic (city centre) - LIVE NAKED
Tonic is a fun dive bar in the heart of Edinburgh!
Their cocktail for the week is perfect if you like uncomplicated drinks: Live Naked is a refreshing spritz made with scotch, ginger syrup and sparkling wine!
N. 6 - Bar Soba (city centre) - LADY OSAKA
Bar Soba is an asian-inspired informal restaurant and bar just off Queen's street.
Their cocktail for the week, Lady Osaka, has one of my guilty pleasures in the mix...Midori! together with gin, passion fruit, apple and lemon juice. it makes for a great mid afternoon refresher!
N. 7 - Pop Up Geeks (city centre) - FORTUNE AND GLORY, KID!
The Pop up geeks are a team of bartenders with a passion for all things geeky...every month they change the entire theme of their bar, from cocktail list to decor and even their uniforms will match the pop-up! They are conveniently located just outside waverly station!
Their cocktail for the week is the 'Fortune and Glory, Kid' a refreshing mix of rum, banana liqueur, mango and greapefruit juice and lemon. Sounds like a tiki dream to me!
N. 8 - Monboddo (Grassmarket) - AIR BATH
Monboddo is a new bar and restaurant in grassmarket. With its plush and modern decor, it's a perfect place to relax.
Their cocktail for the week is a tall and simple serve. the ' Air Bath' is a mix of gin, bergamot syrup and lemon juice topped up with soda. Perfect if you fancy a lower abv alternative after all the drinking!
N. 9 - Camera bar (Grassmarket) - TROPICAL BOTANICAL
Camera bar is a new basement bar in Grassmarket. Its decor is minimal, the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing and the drinks are great!
Their cocktail for the week is the 'Tropical Botanical', a comforting mix of Escubac, fennel syrup and coconut milk, topped with tonic water.
N. 10 - Lioness of Leith (Leith) - NO STONE UNTURNED
If you happen to find yourself in the most hip and experimental part of town, definitely pay a visit to this cool gastro-pub at the bottom of Leith walk!
Their drink for the week is 'No Stone Unturned', an edgy mix of Scottish rum, roasted avocado stone orgeat and bitters. Yum!
5 cool things to do during Edinburgh cocktail week 2019
N. 1 - The Cocktail village (Festival Square, city centre)
The cocktail village is a massive marquee installed in Festival square. It's open every day of the week from 12pm to 11pm (and to 8pm on sunday). Entrance is free with a wristband.
Here you'll find 19 pop-up bars, each offering £4 cocktails in a garden-like setting: other than the grass carpet, there are flowers installation, heating lamps, picnic areas and even swings! and the rooftop is clear...it's just a funtastic (haha) amazing space to relax.
In addition to all this, there are going to be countless street food stalls and live music!
The news for this year is a new installation called the 'cocktail forest' which is basically a large dark room designed to escape the city. This enchanted place features wigwams, toadstools, a forest floor, twinkling stars and, obviously, more cocktails!
N. 2 - The Cocktail domes (Broughton)
The cocktail domes are dome-like installations on the rooftop of the Glasshouse hotel on Leith walk.
They are cosy and cute enclosed spaces where you and up to 8 friends can enjoy a cocktail while glazing over the stunning Edinburgh's skyline.
All domes are equipped with heating lamps, sofas, cushions and blankets. They are guaranteed to be insta-worthy!
Highland park took over the rooftop at the Cold Town House pub and restaurant to serve you beautiful scotch drinks with a great view of the Edinburgh castle.
Entrance to the terrace is completely free with a wristband
On Wednesday you can also enjoy an Highland park tasting with an expert between 6pm and 9pm.
You can book your spot here.
Holyrood distillery just recently opened its doors to the public with an excellent interactive tour of its facilities.
You can join them all week from 5pm for £18.5 per person.
Here you will learn about gin and whisky production but also about how to mix some of the most popular cocktails! A true hands on experience with lots of tastings.
Just make sure to book your space!
After an entire week of partying and boozing, you might feel the need of getting your yin and yang in balance again...and what better way than a morning -but not too early- session of yoga?
The best part? you won't need to bring your water bottle because seedlip mocktails will be served during the entire 1.5 hour!
The yoga session will take place at the Apex Grassmarket hotel and cost £15 per person.
This is my personal selection of activities to do and bars to visit during Edinburgh Cocktail Week 2019 and it’s not a sponsored post, I’m just really excited about all the cocktail fun coming my way!
And I hope that my shortlist will be useful to you!
One last piece of advice is to download the official ECW map from their website, it’s definitely going to be super useful!