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Scottish craft gin is booming, and Edinburgh is at the heart of the juniper revival. Here’s a round-up of the best distilleries in the Scottish capital where gin fiends can book tastings and tours.
Beneath this swanky cocktail bar in Edinburgh’s Southside, there’s a hidden basement-level distillery, with a vibe similar to the speakeasy days of Prohibition. Tasting sessions take place in the lab, where an expert distiller and bartender guide you through the finest pairings of gin, mixers and garnishes. Alternatively, take a tasting among the copper stills themselves as they gurgle away making juniper magic, and find out about the process from start to finish.
In an old railway shed near Holyrood Park, this gin and whisky distillery offers a peek behind the scenes with guided tours and tastings. Holyrood Distillery’s state-of-the-art visitor’s centre is kitted out like a science museum, with a dedicated nosing room, the tallest copper stills in Scotland and a lab-like gin experience room. Hit the outdoor courtyard bar where you can sample your favourite spirits in a heady cocktail mix.
In the historic docklands of Leith, once Edinburgh’s thriving hub of whisky and spirit trade, the Tower Street Stillhouse embraces the area’s boozy heritage. This cavernous distilling warehouse offers tours that show off its garden shed, branded as the “Global Headquarters”, and the copper stills that brew Lind & Lime Gin. Learn about the origins of this botanical experiment, as well as the grand plans to develop a whisky and expand its operation into striking new premises at Ocean Terminal.
Outside North Berwick, between the coast and endless fields, the NB Distillery is a small, family business run out of old farm cottages. Get an insight into the fascinating birth of NB gin, a rags-to-riches story told with passion. Enjoy a gin tasting with Scottish canapés and views of rural East Lothian from the tasting room. Scheduled drop-in tours run three times a week, or book online for the full experience with a tasting.