Top gin festival to return to Edinburgh's Summerhall this summer

One of Scotland's top gin festivals is returning to Summerhall in Edinburgh this summer and this year is set to be its most exciting line up yet.

Published 14th Mar 2018
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

The Juniper Festival, which is returning for its fifth consecutive year, celebrates all things gin, with added street food, craft stalls and entertainment, and will run from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd June over four sessions.

The Juniper Festival

This year, Edinburgh based drinks events & consultancy company Solid Liquids are shaking up their traditional format with the introduction of a couple of new ideas.

The first of which, the Distillers Room, sees them bring together over 20 distillers into one room to mingle with the guests. Each distiller will be able to wander the room with a bottle in hand pouring samples and allowing attendees to chat and ask questions.

Jamie Shields head of drinks education at Solid Liquids explained that they want this year's vibe to be much more relaxed, while also giving guests even greater access to the producers than ever before, he said: "We've always been proud to offer guests the opportunity to meet the people responsible for making the products, and this year we're taking that further by only allowing those involved in the production - no brand reps, no bartenders, just distillers."

The rest of the festival will also change format; this year the orgnaisers have invited brands to pair up with Scotland's best bars to collaborate and create some unique and interesting serves for those who attend, to sample and to buy full sized versions of.

Shields added: "We want to showcase not only the great products from around the country, but also the talented minds that use the spirits in new and creative ways."

As usual there will also be a strong focus on educating those who come to the festival, with a range of talks and masterclasses on offer as well as a program of 30 minute sessions where brands can discuss a topic of their choice, allowing a greater opportunity not just to discuss their products, but also the wider gin industry.

Previous topics have been the "History of Tonic Water", "Cocktails at Home", and "WTF is a Scottish Gin?".

Jamie Shields added: "Since its inception, Juniper Fest has been ever evolving, and with the number of festivals increasing each year, we want to offer something new and innovative to the gin calendar.

"Our Makers & Mixers edition focuses on the things our guests love - meeting and picking the brains of the people responsible for making the products they're sampling, and trying new and interesting gins and serves.

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"Despite the changes, our ethos of education remains at the forefront, with even more talks, masterclasses and interactive experiences than before, so guests can enjoy beautiful drinks and learn a thing or two!

Guests will be given a G&T token on arrival as part of their ticket price (£22.50 inc booking fee), with tickets available from our website at

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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