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We check out Edinburgh's newest bar, The Cocktail Mafia, which offers gangster-themed cocktails and a horse's head in the window

Drinks include Sleeping with the Fishes

Published: December 9, 2021
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I’m drinking a cocktail out of a port sipper, which resembles Sherlock Holmes’s pipe.

There’s a plume of smoke emanating from this blend of Glenfiddich and vermouth, among other things. Elementary, my dear Watson.

I’ve ordered this at Edinburgh’s brand new west end bar, The Cocktail Mafia, which is owned by the people behind Lothian Road’s Raging Bull.

I guess if their original pub is named after the Martin Scorsese film, this one must be inspired by that director’s other creations, like Goodfellas.

That’d explain the names of the cocktails, which include the sharing cocktail, Sleeping with the Fishes (‘rum punch your stress in the face’ it says on the menu), Smoking Barrel and Blood on the Ground. If I was more of a film buff, I’d probably get all of the less obvious references.

There’s a huge line-up of bottles behind the bar here, which is a necessity, since the menu features about 30 cocktails. Eventually, they’re also going to have a ‘secret’ section of the menu, which will be written in invisible ink, so you can only read it under UV light.

One of the mixologists, who formerly worked at the equally glamorous House of Gods in the Grassmarket, gives me the drink that’s been the most popular tonight. The Milieu Vert comes in a vintage coupe glass and is bright green, with basil-infused sugar crusted around the rim. “Is that absinthe?” asks my friend but, no, thankfully I will not meet the green fairy tonight. Instead, this contains Roku Gin, Midori, Chartreuse, Citric Acid and a smashed up basil leaf, for a flavour that’s as green as the Grinch.

The Cocktail Mafia’s interior is designed by Ja!Coco! who are responsible for the maximalist look of other venues in Edinburgh, including Porty SliceSuperico Bar & Lounge, Scran Bistro and The High Dive. Their back room has Club Tropicana vibes, partially thanks to metal palm trees which they found when they took over the premises and a mural of a sunset with the motto, “snitches get mafia stitches”.

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If you’re trying to find this place, which is in the former premises of Sygn, look out for the flashing horse’s head neon sign on the window.

15 Charlotte Lane, www.thecocktailmafia.co.uk

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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