Fox & Beagle pick their favourites from the best bars in Edinburgh - our spiritual home.
Outside of London, only one city in the UK featured in 2018's list of the world's 50 best bars: Edinburgh. Edinburgh is also where Fox and Beagle visited their first 'craft' cocktail bar, and mixed their first drinks, so it's fair to say we know the scene pretty well.
The Last Word Saloon - Stockbridge
The second bar from the team behind the award-winning Bramble, The Last Word is everything you could want in a cosy neighbourhood cocktail bar. There are comfortable chairs by an open fire, fantastic cocktails, Chartreuse on tap and a #breakeavenbottle deal that will get you an exceptional dram of scotch at a shockingly low price. Heaven.
Bramble - Queen Street
Back where it all began. For Fox and Beagle, and for a significant number of the world's best bartenders. Ok, so we never did a shift behind the bar here, but this was where we first discovered quality cocktails, and where we first fell in love with 90s hip hop.
The Black Dahlia - The Mound
A tiny room with windows over the city, but this bar is about more than the view. Backed by whisky ambassador Jamie Mac, this is a new addition to the Edinburgh bar scene that deserves to go far. Watch this space.
The Lucky Liquor Co. - Queen Street
Bar number three from Team Bramble. Only thirteen bottles behind the bar, but my, what a list they come up with every three months. Has dialled back a little on the ice cream parlour look, but you'll recognise it by the large neon sign in the window.
Nauticus - Leith
Brand new and focussed on whisky, Nauticus replaced a err, local pub near Easter Road. The bar has a strong focus on local products, making syrups and sodas in house and sourcing as much as possible from Edinburgh and Scotland based suppliers. The interior is a stunning recreation of a Victorian pub and the friendly staff serve up some innovative cocktails in a relatively unloved part of town.
Heads & Tales Gin Bar - West End
The original home of the Edinburgh Gin distillery (before the brand opened a second site in 2016). The stills, Flora & Caledonia remain, and the bar still produces gin. Naturally the cocktail menu has a strong juniper slant.
Under the Stairs - Old Town
Down under the stairs off George IV Bridge, behind Greyfriars Bobby you'll find the comfortable lounge of Under the Stairs. Settle down in one of the vintage chairs and enjoy an innovative (but terribly named) cocktail from the extensive list. Don't miss the food either.
Panda & Sons - Queen Street
Edinburgh's second entry in the 2018 Best Bars list is a party bar. Why is it based around a fictional family of panda barbers? Who knows.
The Devil's Advocate - The Mound
A beautiful multi-level space on my favourite rat run between the Court of Session and Waverley station. Another great spot for dinner with a focus on seasonal Scottish produce - a theme that also flows through to the cocktails created by the award-winning bar team.