Edinburgh has managed to become this epicentre for hospitality, cocktail creativity and a general good time – it’s the main reason I write this blog and I’m all for it. This year alone, Edinburgh’s cocktail calendar has managed to squeeze in a visit from Tales of Cocktails, host the inaugural Edinburgh Cocktail Festival and next month Cocktails in the City returns for it’s 5th year here.
So along comes Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend, the newest drinks event to let you sip and socialise your way round the city. The concept is simple – purchasing a wristband (which you can do here) means that when you visit participating bars between the 6th and 8th of October, you can try signature cocktails created specifically for the event for the grand total of £4. I’m sold.
The line up is strong, with over 50 of Edinburgh’s drinking establishments taking part (see full list here). So whether you are normally partial to a gin in George Street or a whisky in the west end, there should be something to tickle your fancy. This seems like the perfect opportunity to try some new places so to introduce the event, I’ve complied my hit list of venues which I would go to, made entirely of bars I’ve never visited before. It’s quite an eclectic mix and match combo but that’s that’s part of the fun.
Printing Press 21-25 George Street
I’d start my evening here with a dalliance in the Printing Press. Located in George Street, the website says that it’s taken inspiration from ‘Edinburgh’s literary history and Scottish Larder’ – somehow I don’t think they mean a copy of trainspotting and a can of irn bru.
Brewhemia 1a Market Street
Moving swiftly on from George Street to new kid on the block Brewhemia. Now I follow them on Instagram (@brewhemiaedin) and judging from their stories, the place looks like a bloody hoot.
Branded ‘Scotland’s beer palace, they’ve not limited themselves whatsoever, they’re promising brass bands, Oktoberfest festivities and a lot of fun. Between the bothy, taproom and prosecco bar (they have a button to request prosecco!!) I think they’ve got choice for everyone covered. Between the 6th-8th, they’re allowing exclusive access to their boudoir for wristband holders for sipping on their aptly named Moulin Rouge cocktail created specifically for the event.
Akva 129 Fountainbridge
Our northern pals may have infiltrated our houses, turning the world hygge mad, it also seems like they’re going to do the same to the bar scene. There are four scandi bars taking part in the Cocktail weekend so it’s only natural, to continue the international theme following Brewhemia. My penultimate bar of my fake evening would be the canalside Akva in Fountainbridge (the other three are Boda Bar, Joseph Pearce & Hemma)
I’m very keen on this as Google tells me that Koskenkorva Salmiaki is a Finnish liqueur and Gomme is a Norwegian spirit so we’re going fully nordic-noir with this drink and has the added benefit of looking like a christmas pudding which is all that I ask for in drink aesthetics really.
SkyBAR 34 Bread Street
For such a beautiful city, I can only think of a handful of places to properly appreciate an Edinburgh evening skyline. Therefore it’s a given that I’ll be ending my fictitious night out at SKYbar. I’m a sucker for a nice view, even more so a view with a cocktail in hand. For ECW17, it’s opening exclusively for wristband holders for the Saturday, which is a treat for those who work Mon-Friday as this place normally has the strict opening hours limited to the first Thursday of every month.
So there we have it, a sample night out of comprising of completely different bars trying some new venues and drinks. Compile your own version using a full list of the cocktails available here and let me know your thoughts!
Now I’m going to lie down and recover from my ‘hangover’.
Credit for Images go to Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend who kindly provided them for the purpose of this post.