Edinburgh Cocktail Week promises 'exciting features, pop-up spaces and unique experiences across the city'
- Katharine Gemmell
- 19 September 2019
With the ground barely cold from Edinburgh's festival season, the next excuse to enjoy a few tipples out on the town is just over the horizon
The nights may be getting darker but never fear; Edinburgh Cocktail Week is just the thing to keep you warm this autumn. Returning in October, this annual celebration brings a week of aperitif-themed events to 70 of Edinburgh's cocktail bars and beyond.
The event works by uniting cocktail bars around the city to collectively provide a special £4 signature cocktail for the whole week. Mixed drinks experts like the Refinery, Harvey Nichols and Tigerlily will all be returning alongside some new additions, such as Cold Town House, The Raging Bull, Smoke & Mirrors and The Barologist, among others. Running alongside this is a programme of events and parties like bartender takeovers, educational masterclasses and tastings, parties and cocktail-making competitions.
Organiser Gary Anderson explains: 'Throughout the week we have a programme of events and experiences happening including Seedlip Yoga sessions, tours of the newly opened Holyrood Distillery, Cocktails Aboard Fingal, and a Classic Cocktails & Classic Movie Night at the boutique Scotsman Picturehouse.'
Following on from its success last year as the event's new epicentre, the Cocktail Village, situated in Festival Square, will expand its size and experience for a brand new forest-themed addition. This enchanting extension, dubbed the Cocktail Forest, features a wigwam, fire pit, forest floor and canopy to get festival-goers into a cosy autumn mood. It also promises pop-up bars, giant toadstools, a twinkling starry sky and mythical forest creatures so that it feels like you're camping with your cocktails.
Alongside this, the village will again host 19 pop-up bars, masterclasses, live music and entertainment, with entry being free with an Edinburgh Cocktail Wristband band. Tipples will be provided from the likes of Edinburgh Gin with Brewhemia, Belvedere Vodka, Johnnie Walker, William Kerr's Borders Gin, Poco Prosecco, Highland Park, and many more also on board.
Another exciting add-on to the week are the Cocktail Domes on the rooftop garden of the Glasshouse Hotel – a second free site for wristband holders. It will provide stunning panoramic views across the city in transparent domes that fit 8–10 people with Instagram-worthy, hygge-inducing fairy lights, blankets and sofas, plus drinks options from Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Ketel One Vodka, Casamigos Tequila and Belsazar Vermouth.
Since beginning in 2017, the event has grown rapidly and is now the biggest of its kind outside London. Anderson comments: 'We have continued to grow the festival and visitor experience by adding new and exciting features, pop-up spaces and unique experiences across the city. This approach, along with the support of amazing festival partners, has grown Edinburgh Cocktail Week into the biggest cocktail festival outside of London – something the team and I are very proud of.'
Edinburgh Cocktail Week, various venues, Mon 14–Sun 20 Oct, edinburghcocktailweek.co.uk