A Drinker’s Guide to the Edinburgh Festivals

I’ll be taking a break from the blog during August to recharge the batteries and enjoy the delights/madness of the Edinburgh Festivals.  However, I’d never leave you to navigate the world’s biggest arts festival alone, so here’s my top boozy recommendations if you find yourself in Edinburgh this August.


The Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion
For the duration of the Festivals, Henrick’s will transform 91 George Street into a vintage Victorian Bar, complete with old-fashioned furniture and mustachioed gents.  The fully immersive experience will let patrons discover the uniqueness of Hendrick’s Gin through a series of immersive environments, including The Quietest Bar on Earth, Sonic Cucumber Bath and The Audio-gastrotorium Laboratory.  Entry into the bar is free, although the sessions are priced at £8 each or £24 for all five.


The Famous Grouse House
From Thursday 6 to Sunday 30 August, The Famous Grouse House will be popping up on George Street.  It’s promised that visitors will be “transported to a whisky-infused world, where drams and cocktails will be brought to life like never before” – sounds ambitious.  There will also be live music, dancing and a few surprises.  Located just outside the New Town Theatre, The Famous Grouse House will be open from 11am to midnight, seven days a week.


Edinburgh Gin
After three years of having to suffer Aperol Spritz, Edinburgh Gin is taking over as sponsors of the pop-up bar in St Andrew Square.  The Edinburgh Gin Garden is already up and running, serving up G&Ts and delicious gin-based cocktails as part of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival.  When I wandered through last week, there was live music on the go, with the famous Spiegeltent being constructed in the background.


Gentleman’s Guide to Drinking
I’ve never made it to this show but it comes highly recommended from a number of friends.  Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham – award-winning drinks experts – will serve punters five free drinks, whilst exploring the lives of history’s most famous drinkers.  Legends you’ll meet along the way include Alexander the Great, Winston Churchill and, of course, Jesus.  And at £12.50 a ticket, it must be one of the best value shows during the Festival!


Innis & Gunn’s New Bar
Joining The Hanging Bat and the Red Squirrel, Innis & Gunn has opened its very first bar on Lothian Road.  The Beer Kitchen is the first of five planned openings across the UK, the bar will be open from 9am each day, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar snacks, alongside a selection of Innis & Gunn and other world beers.  Growlers will also be available to take home, and for those not after a pint, beer-based cocktails will available too.


And the best thing – at certain clubs, you’ll be able to dance til dawn!  Enjoy the festival folks.  Catch you all in September.