Let's face it with the riot of colours and sounds, constant leaflets being shoved in your hands and the endless crowds at the Edinburgh Festival you are going to want to take a break and possibly grab at gin at some point.

Edinburgh is one of the best cities in the UK for gin bars and during August, it takes it up a notch as the festivals come to town.

Here are some the best places in the capital to get your juniper fix.


56 North

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

56 North’s Secret Gin Garden. Picture: 56North Facebook

The moment you see the gantry in 56 North, you’ll understand why it bills itself as ‘Scotland’s original gin bar’.

Not content to offer one of the widest ranges in the capital, they also provide some truly fun masterclasses and for that special day out, they also offer a tour of their very own in-house stills showing you how this exciting spirit is made.

And, don’t forget 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.


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

Picture: Juniper

With a name like Juniper you know you are safe hands when it comes to gin. This hotel bar specialises in gin cocktails, even going as far as to create their own juices and infusions, to make sure that their drinks are the freshest on the block.

Over 50 gins take up residence in their bar, and the staff are passionate, knowledgeable and always available to make a suggestion for the perfect serve to go with your chosen gin.

The Jolly Botanist

(260 Morrison St, EH3, 0131 228 5596)

This Victoriana themed gin joint lies close to Haymarket train station and was named Edinburgh’s Best Bar in 2016. Since then its won multiple awards for its gin and cocktail selection and is the perfect place to learn more about this exciting spirit.

With over 60 brands of gin on offer, you can be sure of finding the perfect gin for you.

The Royal Dick

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

Picture: Summerhall

Summerhall is a gin hub in its own right with a gin distillery, bar and even a drinks lab all housed within its walls.

Named for the former veterinary school, the Royal Dick is the perfect old school bar in which to relax and enjoy a G and T or two, and should you feel inspired you can even pop next door for a tour of the wonderful Pickering’s gin distillery.

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 – having just released the fourth batch.

So you know they are serious about gin. Championing Scottish gins, and sporting an impressive collection of over 100 premium gins, One Square also recently launched their regular ‘Ginnasium’ gin tasting masterclasses that are perfect for both novices and connoisseurs alike.

Heads and Tales

(1a Rutland Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2AD)

Picture: Trip Advisor

Relax with a cocktail or two as you watch Flora & Caley do all the hard work (that’s Edinburgh Gin’s stills and not the bar maids) in this excellent little bar hidden away beneath the Rutland’s Hotel, which allows guests to get up close and personal with one of Scotland’s top gin production sites as well as sample some of the country’s best gins and of course the excellent Edinburgh Gin range.

• READ MORE: The best food and drink themed events to check out during the Edinburgh Festival 2018

Edinburgh’s Nicholson’s Pubs

Nicholson’s Pubs are running their Gin Festival again this year all over the country, and in Edinburgh it’ll be taking place in:

The Conan Doyle, 71-73 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JD

The Mitre Bar, 131-133 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG

Deacon Brodies Tavern, 435 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2NT

Rose Street Brewery, 55-57 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2NH

Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar, 30-34 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, EH1 2QE

Each of the bars will be offering 40 rare, premium and limited-edition batch gins (including a special one made for them by Tarquin’s) at great prices and there is a focus on Fruit Cups and World gins this year.


Edinburgh Gin Festival Garden & Pleasance VIP bar

At Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh Gin Festival Garden will unveil a contemporary
space. Bringing the outdoors in, the space will be themed on the botanicals used to make the popular capital-made spirit.

The Mound in partnership with Contini

Serving bespoke cocktails alongside the Edinburgh Gin range, this year will see the return of the popular summer-themed pop-up bar and garden on The Mound. Conveniently located in between Princes Street and the Royal Mile, the terrace is ideally located for a drink between festival shows.

Edinburgh Seaside Gin Gazebo at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Serving a range of Edinburgh Gin gins and gin Liqueurs (flavours include: Rhubarb & Ginger, Pomegranate & Rose, Plum & Vanilla, Elderflower and Raspberry).

As headline sponsor at the Signing Tent at Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Seaside Gin Gazebo comes complete with branded deckchairs and will provide the perfect escape from the festival rush, throughout the festival.

Caorunn’s Summer Gin Garden

The team behind Caorunn have taken over Hotel du Vin Courtyard, hidden away on Bristo Place, and turned it into a summer-themed outdoor pop-up.

Light bites are on offer alongside five specially designed cocktails by the hotel’s head bartender. Alternatively, settle down with the classic G&T.

Sipsmith Gin Bar

The Sipsmith’s rooftop garden may tickle your fancy. Held at the Glasshouse Hotel opposite the Playhouse, a £40 entry fee earns you an array of beers, proseccos and G&Ts.

Daffy’s Gin Den

Award winning Daffy’s Gin and Double Dutch Drinks – a match made in Edinburgh – have joined forces for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe for an exclusive festival and botanical themed pop-up bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh.

Festival-goers can look forward to Fringe inspired and botanical led gin cocktails, such as Girl Friday, Raissa Glass and Jump for Joyce, as well as the signature D&T – Daffy’s and tonic.


The Gin Chronicles with Fentimans (£12 pp)

(Artspace at St Marks, 7 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2DP)

Produced by the infamous ‘Misfits of London’, The Gin Chronicles return for the 4th time in a fabulous 5-star radio style theatre comedy show involving a fast-paced, rip roaring story set in 1940’s New York with amateur detectives Jobbling and Golightly.

The show also involves a complimentary Gin and Fentimans Tonic, so sit back and be transported to a bygone era and enjoy this part vintage, radio-style comedy that will both thrill and humour alike.

‘The A Club’

(The Merchants’ Hall, 22 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 2EP)

Scotland’s own field to bottle gin specialists Arbikie are back in the capital this month with their kick ass live jazz, rock, folk and pop experience, that’s the perfect place to grab one of their exciting gins and sit back and enjoy the show.

Summerhall Drinks Lab 

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

The newly minted Summerhall Drinks Lab team are offering not one but two excellent events during the festival.

The first Slàinte Mhath is an hour long tasting session and study into the joys of Scottish distilling, where you’ll receive a gin & tonic or whisky & ginger ale on arrival, then three neat samples of different styles of gin or whisky, with a selection of mixers available.

While Science of the Sesh is an interactive two hour tasting featuring Scottish gin, whisky and rum cocktails and neat samples, where you’ll become a sensory scientist and challenge your perceptions of flavour.

Learn how to become a better taster and how to make your own drinks perfect; through practical challenges, experiments and of course, good old fashioned drinking!

Scotland through the BeverAGES

(Lochrin Belle Canal Boat)

If you like a range of drinks (other than just gin) and of course boat trips then this exhilarating event is for you.

Two drinks experts, one boat, seven drinks and 1000+ years of Scottish history, what more could you want?

About The Author

Sean Murphy

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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