The Best Edinburgh Cocktail Bars

| Courtesy of The Voodoo Rooms
Chloe Caprani

Each of the venues on this list has a unique spark and soul. Each one combines innovation with impeccable service, knowledge and passion. Each one enhances Edinburgh‘s reputation as a city awash with creativity and entertainment. It would be impossible to award a number one slot and so, in no particular order, here is the list of our favourite cocktail bars in Edinburgh.

Panda & Sons

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, Pub Grub, Cocktails

Courtesy of Panda & Sons

Accessed through a secret door hidden behind a haphazard bookshelf, this vintage barbershop speakeasy revives the 1920s prohibition era with elegance and authenticity. The cocktails are expertly prepared, charmingly named and a visual feast. Interestingly, Panda & Sons also serve cocktails designed for groups. ‘Liquid Brunch’, a mixture of Ketel One, chamomile tea, ginger wine and fennel syrup presented in a teapot, serves three while ‘The Milky Bar Hero’, a combination of gin, liqueur, cognac, rose water and condensed milk, serves six.

Recommended: ‘The Birdcage’, a sensory delight, combines Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve, rhubarb and lemongrass shrub, Aperol, Angostura Bitters and a cinnamon and clove mix, served in a smoking bell jar.

The Lucky Liquor Co.

Courtesy of The Lucky Liquor co.

The Lucky Liquor Co.

Courtesy of The Lucky Liquor co. | Courtesy of The Lucky Liquor co.

The Voodoo Rooms

Courtesy of The Voodoo Rooms

The Voodoo Rooms

Courtesy of The Voodoo Rooms | Courtesy of The Voodoo Rooms

The Paradise Palms

Bar, Restaurant, Vegetarian, American, Cocktails

Chicken Burger in a basket with a cocktail on a wooden table with ketchup and mustard

Self-described “neon-lit dive bar” The Paradise Palms has everything a sane person could want from a bar; eccentric decor, custom made cocktails and an AC/DC pinball machine. The colours are vibrant, the music is uplifting and the atmosphere is festive. The venue has a weird and wonderful aesthetic, catering to those with a taste for the quirky and serving as a home to the Pollyanna Cabaret and Variety show, a monthly book club, open mic sessions, ‘sci-curious’ soirees and more. Go early for food (the Ninja Buns are frighteningly addictive) and spend the evening enjoying the spectacle.

Recommended: ‘The Higher Place’, a joyful mix of raspberry gin, hazelnut syrup, peach liqueur and prosecco.


Cocktail Bar, Bar, Cocktails

Glasses with red cocktail in an old-fashioned glass
Courtesy of Anna Volobueva / Alamy
Wedged between the Irish bars of the Grassmarket and the salacious red lights of the ‘Pubic Triangle’, Dragonfly is a cocktail bar cut somewhat adrift from its peers. While by night the Old Town is more commonly associated with pubs and live music than award winning cocktail bars, the decor of this venue best represents the gilt-edged vintage and kitsch that the area is better known for by day. The perfect place to round off a day’s sight seeing, visitors can climb the Royal Mile before slipping down the Castle Wynd steps and directly into Grassmarket Square.

Recommended: The ‘Bajan Basil’, a heady mix of Gay Eclipse rum, Cointreau, lime juice, sugar and fresh basil leaves, served straight up and the ‘Peach, Plum, Pear’, a cognac and champagne based gem.

The Huxley / Heads & Tales

Courtesy of The Huxley Edinburgh

The Huxley / Heads & Tales

Courtesy of The Huxley Edinburgh | Courtesy of The Huxley Edinburgh

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