'Secret' Edinburgh pub is 'world's 2nd best bar' and 'worth the price of a plane ticket' says US magazine

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Edinburgh venue is named as the second best bar on the planet

An Edinburgh nightspot even some locals don’t know about has been named as the second best bar in the world.

Panda & Sons, a speakeasy-inspired bar on Queen Street disguised by a vintage barbershop frontage, was given the honour by a prestigious food and drink guide.

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It comes as US-based magazine Food and Wine shared its latest roundup of the top bars across on the entire planet – with just 11 venues making it onto the prestigious list.

Coming in at No.1 on the list was Scottish-sounding bar Benfiddich, a 17-seater bar Tokyo, while behind Panda & Sons in third place is Little Red Doors, which can be found in the trendy Paris district of Marais. Rounding out the top five are Maybe Sammy, in Sydney, and Alquimico in Cartagena.

Completing the list are Himok in Oslo, Handshake Speakeasy in Mexico City, Atlas in Singapore, Sips in Barcelona, La Sala de Laura in Bogota and Plus: Baba Au Rum in Athens.

Panda & Sons was opened in 2013 by award-winning bartender Iain McPherson and his family. The venue has won countless awards and accolades over the years, and was the only Scottish venue to make last year’s coveted ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ list – and one of only six in the UK to feature.

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Food and Wine says: “The second annual edition of our Global Tastemakers survey proves that excellent drinkmaking knows no borders. This year’s class of winners crisscrossed five continents, featuring major cities from Singapore to Sydney and Cartagena to Mexico City.

“The bars that stood out to our network of food and travel experts embraced the weird and wonderful. As these results make clear, this year’s most exciting drink destinations are well worth the price of a plane ticket.”

In its description of Panda & Sons, Food and Wine wrote: “Entry instructions – find the barbershop run by a pair of well-coiffed pandas and slip into the back – at this Edinburgh speakeasy are slightly silly.

“These more mischievous elements complement a serious triumph of process, as Panda & Sons owner Iain McPherson is one of the world’s leading experts on freezing techniques. He’s responsible for inventing a method of cold infusion called ‘switching,’ in which water is removed from a spirit and replaced with something more flavourful.

“As such, classic cocktails have a technical touch, like an Appletini (olive oil-washed vodka, clarified apple, umeshu and Calvados) or the creamy colada with cocoa butter-washed rum.”

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