Five of the best Edinburgh gins to toast the Festival with

We've picked out five of the best gins from Edinburgh and the Lothians to toast the Festival with

Published 18th Aug 2015
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Scottish gin is undergoing a massive revival at the moment, fuelled in part by the boom in small craft distilleries it has also received a boost from the arrival of several whisky companies into the gin market.

The flexibility of the recipes and relative simplicity of its production makes gin the perfect spirit for those looking to create and sell their own brand.

Interestingly, the capital seems to be a hotbed of these small distilleries and producers and with the Festival rolling into town this month, we thought we'd pick out five of the best gins from Edinburgh and the Lothians for you to enjoy while you indulge in some of the amazing shows on offer:


Picture: NB Gin

Picture: NB Gin

Made using only eight botanicals, NB claims that it only needs those eight to create a classic gin. Judging by the response they’ve received since their creation – they won a silver medal at the Gin masters awards at the first time of asking – it certainly looks they are doing something right.

NB claim that no matter the demand for their product they will only ever produce in small batches to ensure their gin is as perfect as they can make it and remains hand-crafted. They recently hosted the Brit awards after party so it’s clear that it’s that not only  gin lovers taking notice but also music royalty are too.

Recommended garnish: No garnish needed


Picture: Edinburgh Gin

Picture: Edinburgh Gin

Made by an enterprising family business, the Nicols of Spencerfield Spirits company, Edinburgh gin is another small batch gin distillery that is aiming to put Edinburgh back on the gin producing map.

Nestled below the stairs of Rutland Place in the capital, sits their gin distillery. Priding themselves on creating a taste of Edinburgh, the company's myriad gins are as varied as they are excellent (we recommend the Edinburgh Cannonball bottled at 57.2 % abv).

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You can book a tour of the distillery itself and even make your own gin should you wish to.

Recommended Garnish: Sprig of Fresh Rosemary

The Scottish Ginfographic. Picture:

The Scottish Ginfographic. Picture:


The award winning Pickering's gin. Picture: PG

The award winning Pickering's gin. Picture: PG

Edinburgh’s first gin distillery in 150 years has a lot to live up to but with a great location - Summerhall distillery - it already looks well on its way to  making its mark.

Perhaps the best weapon in Pickering’s arsenal is their 60 year-old original Bombay recipe which has been tweaked and perfected for the modern palate.

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Should you be interested you can visit the distillery in Edinburgh with guided tours and tastings also available on certain days. To find out more you can email the team at

Recommended garnish: Pink grapefruit


Daffy's Gin. Picture: DG

Daffy's Gin. Picture: DG

Daffy’s is named for the Goddess of gin and is created using the finest French grain spirit, distilled on an ancient copper pot whisky still.

Interestingly, Daffy’s mixes classic ingredients such as juniper, coriander seeds, cassia bark with newer botanicals like Lebanese mint and rare varieties of lemon, so it's perfect for those who like their classics with a modern twist.

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Recommended garnish: fresh mint and a wedge of lime


Firkin Gin. Picture: Firkin Gin

Firkin Gin. Picture: Firkin Gin

Gleann Mor Whisky Company, which is better known for its excellent range of independently bottled whiskies has decided to create its own spirit, the wonderfully rich Firkin Gin.

Combining their London style gin – created using several botanicals including Macedonian juniper, coriander seed and Italian orris root – with whisky style maturation, the gin is ‘rested’ in American oak casks to gives it that wonderful golden colour and rich, creamy vanilla tones.

Recommended garnish: A wedge of lime.


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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