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5 of the best gin bars in Edinburgh

As a new gin craze sweeps across Scotland, it's time to find your favourite gin palace.

Published: February 3, 2017
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Edinburgh's selection of specialist bars is awash with sophistication, where you can discover new flavours and learn all you need to know about gin.

Take a look at our top five Edinburgh gin bars, and see what tickles your fancy.

56 North

(56 North, 2 West Crosscauseway, EH8 9JP, 0131 662 8860)

This crisply modern bar on Edinburgh's South Side is a haven for gin-lovers. The menu provides a comprehensive guide to their never-ending list of gins, with more than ten handy categories such as 'Scottish', 'Historic' and 'Robust'.

The menu also helps you out with a numbered list of mixers and garnishes so that you can have your gin just the way you like it, or maybe experiment a little.

Their gin master-classes have won a number of awards, so you can be sure of an exceptional afternoon of gin-related hijinks. You can choose from a “Journey with Gin” class, or a class focused on pairing gins and cheeses.

If you visit during the Edinburgh festival, make sure to check out 56 North's Tanqueray Secret Garden, providing a summery oasis away from the bustle of the Fringe.

For a quick bite, 56 North is also ideal, as you can grab a hearty steak, or share a deli board with your friends.

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(20 Princes St, EH2 2AN, 0131 652 7370)

It's not just a gin bar. It's a classy hotel joint with a whole range of premium spirits on offer, which can be whipped up into an elegant cocktail in the blink of an eye.

They create their own juices and infusions, to make sure that their drinks are the freshest on the block. Some of their cocktails are spectacular, such as the Strawberries and Steam, which is made with strawberry infused Brokers Gin, Lillet Blanc, Crème de Fraise, and a whole bunch of other delicious treats.

Located on Princes Street, you can be guaranteed a delightful panorama of the city. The view indoors isn't bad either: modern chic combined with quirky touches that make Juniper one of the best places to hang out.

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The Jolly Botanist

(260 Morrison St, EH3, 0131 228 5596)

The staff really know their stuff at The Jolly Botanist. With Victorian-inspired interiors, a quirky top-hatted logo, and comfortable leather furnishings, you couldn't wish for more pleasant surroundings. With over 60 brands of gin on offer, you can be sure of finding the perfect gin for you.

Or you might prefer an expertly mixed cocktail, such as the delightful Edinburgh fizz, composed of prosecco, your choice of gin, and either raspberry, elderflower, or rhubarb and ginger.

If you feel peckish, you can sample their top-class gastro-pub grub, such as the sweet potato burger, or monkfish served with prosciutto.

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The Royal Dick

(Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL, 0131 560 1572)

The name comes from the former veterinary school, in case you were wondering. The interior of this bar is particularly noteworthy: beautiful wooden operation tables, antique furniture, and cabinets full of interesting knick knacks are married with the latest modern design.

Their classically elegant menu is only matched by their excellent selection of beverages. With Barney's craft brewery and Pickering's gin distillery just next door, you can literally get the finest Edinburgh-made gin on tap.

One Square

(1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR, 0131 221 6422)

Housed in Edinburgh's branch of the international Sheraton hotel chain, One Square has its own bespoke gin from Pickering's, named after itself. It is made with Mediterranean liquorice and orris rood from far afield, as well as the familiar juniper and floral Scottish heather.

They champion Scottish gins as English classics, and offer exclusive gin tastings to help you find a match made in heaven.

In the restaurant, you can nab a table that overlooks the formidable Edinburgh castle, while sampling the best in seasonal British cuisine.

The bar's striking green and purple furniture will certainly catch your eye, as will the fantastically diverse bar menu. Although gin is the house speciality, you can also select a fine wine or a Scottish craft beer.

Maddy lives in Edinburgh and has written for the Sunday Herald and the Ed Fringe Review. She is passionate about authentic, sustainably sourced food, and is always keen to discover exciting new flavours.

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