The Permit Room, a theatre of cocktails

The Permit Room
The Permit Room
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IT’S late. The Christmas party crowd is dwindling but you fancy a last nightcap... The Permit Room, on St Andrew Square, could well have the answer.

Open until 3am daily, The Permit Room is one of the few places open ‘til the early hours where you can get a good cocktail in a truly theatrical setting.

Hidden away in the basement at 3a St Andrew Square, beneath Dishoom, the Permit Room, named after the bars in Bombay where only permit-holders may consume alcohol - is one of the Capital’s best kept secrets.

With its own distinct personality, the bar is themed around the Bombay tradition of Parsi Theatre, with artwork on the walls that depicts characters and scenes from barmy performances and theatre posters.

The Permit Room menu even resembles a programme from a Parsi theatre production.

Throw in a few stand outs cocktails and the subterranean venue is the ideal place to chill.

There’s the Viceroy’s Old-Fashioned, a bottle-aged muddle of Woodford Reserve bourbon, bayleaf reduction, green tea and so on.

Or the Tehmul’s Tangle, a cinnamon-tinted threesome of Hayman’s sloe gin, fresh lemon juice and ginger. A sly Dishoom pimento soda adds a little spice to the affair.

Other favourites include Sonia’s Negroni, equal parts of London Dry Gin, bitter Campri and Dishoom vermouth (macerated with vanilla, cinnamon and ginger). Bottle-aged for smooth, tawny intensity.

The Marzban’s Fizz, made with Smoked Chikoo, Indian pear, and Johnnie Walker Black Label, topped with a soda fizz.

Finally, there’s the Pila House Sling, with 1800 Coconut Tequila, Chartreuse, Cointreau, pistachio, rhubarb and fresh jackfruit juice.

Regulars of Bombay’s Pila House (playhouse) would delight of such a tipple before curtain call.

The Permit Room, 5pm-3am, 0131-202 6406