Here is two pretty significant anniversaries happening this year for Cocktails in the City. It’s the 5th year in which it returns to Edinburgh. More importantly, it is the second year that I’ve been.
My shitty sense of humour aside, Cocktails in the City was the best event of last year and I’m buzzing that it’s back. For those unaware, it is essentially, where some of Edinburgh’s finest descend on the beautiful Mansfield Traquair and turn it into a cocktail emporium for two nights (This year is Thursday 12th & Friday 13th October).
Drinks brands and the bars of Edinburgh match up to create unique signature drinks creating a cocktail safari for the general public to enjoy. The thing that made last year stand out was the creativity with the drinks themselves & their presentation, the inventive set up of the stands (Panda & Sons were cutting hair at theirs) and the electric atmosphere because of the stunning venue.
I’m keen so to help you prepare – here’s four bars that you should watch out for at the event:
Nightcap & Jack Daniels 3 York Place
I feel the term ‘hidden gem’ needs to die a death, especially in a city of underground basement bars but I have to say it applies here. Outside of CITC, it’s a darkened drinking den with little alcoves and snugs to hide away in with your ‘nightcap’. Although they don’t get points for creative cocktail naming this year with their offering being dubbed ‘Nightcap’, anything with vinegar in it gets my sign of approval. Last year their partnership with Deaths Door gin for Dr’s Orders was one of my favourite drinks of the night so I dug out this insta from the archive.
Boozy Cow & Naked Grouse 7 Frederick St
Any drink that comes with caramel popcorn, shortcake AND whisky – I’m there. I’ll cope with the inevitable sugar coma afterwards. No further thoughts on the matter. Yes, yes, yes.
Epicurean & Maker's Mark 1 George IV Bridge
When I first went to CITC, Epicurean was somewhere I’d never heard of. Shocked, I know. Then their drink blew me away & I had to visit the bar afterwards. They’re all about creating colourful cocktails using their hydroponics home grown flowers and herbs – they also used honey, made in their roof top hive.
This year, they’ve partnered with Maker’s Mark and chatting to Epicurean at the preview for the event, their ‘Red Wax tribute’ is indeed a tribute to a Margie Samuels, who was the matriarchal force behind the brand who came up with the logo and the idea of hand dipping the bottles in red wax. I love a bit of backstory and brand heritage and thoroughly enjoyed the drink so thanks Margie for the good work!
Panda & Sons & Dewars 79 Queen St
Last but not least is everyone’s favourite bar-bershop (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) It’s technically a family run business with a slight twist in that it’s a family of pandas. Although at their drink is at this moment is ‘tbc’ and therefore a mysterious concoction, I have no doubt that whatever they make is going to be great because it’s Panda & Sons.
Thus completes the four bars that I’m excited to try at Cocktails in the City. Obviously I’ve not gone through every bar attending as I haven’t the attention span but if you do want a full list of participating bars you can go here. Even better if you want to go, you can find tickets on their website.
If you also fancy some further reading, Clair who writes at Crohn’s in the City (and got the inspo for the name from CITC) wrote about five cocktails on her hitlist and her thoughts on the event last year here.
Credit for these photos go to Cocktails in the City.