Best Edinburgh bars to experience key cocktail trends for 2019

Shervene Shahbazkhani spoke to industry leaders at an event in Edinburgh recently. Pic: Supplied
Shervene Shahbazkhani spoke to industry leaders at an event in Edinburgh recently. Pic: Supplied
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It's Edinburgh Cocktail Week, so why not get into the spirit of things and visit some of the city's best bars for experiencing the latest cocktail trends.

Following on from the successful bartender education roadshow Jigger Beaker Glass at The Voodoo Rooms, Shervene Shahbazkhani, Head of Brand Advocacy at Bacardi Brown-Forman who organised the event, shares key cocktail trends forecast for 2019 along with the best local bars to try them out.

READ MORE: 10 drinks to look forward to at Edinburgh Cocktail Week


A theory which proposes a possible complementary relationship between complexity and simplicity...

The days of over-the-top additions and cocktails served with 101 extravagant, unsustainable ingredients are on their way out. Drinks are being pared back to create simple
and clean serves with hidden complexity. Behind these minimalist looking cocktails, bartenders are using very intricate flavour combinations and scientific techniques to create
show stopping cocktails with more than meets the eye.

Where to go: Kin, Bon Vivant, Black Dahlia

Applied science

Bartenders are becoming more knowledgeable than ever on how to apply scientific techniques to cocktails – from re-distilling flavours using a Rotovap, to clarifying milk and juices. There’s a wide range of readily available tools out there which can create depth of flavour, and as bartenders become more used to handling scientific equipment and
techniques, cocktails will inevitably see enhancements in taste and aesthetic.

Where to go: Lucky Liquor, Bramble

Bold flavours
Our flavour palates are diversifying, with people warming to bold and bitter flavours. Take the resurgence of vermouth and amaro (Italian bitter liqueuer)-based drinks such as the Americano and Negroni, these used to be the bartender’s secret handshake and now they’re firmly in the mainstream. Savoury flavours such as kale, or green juices, are now accepted with open arms whereas five years ago consumers may have turned their noses up when faced with a cocktail that looked like one of their five-a-day.

Where to go: Voyage of Buck, Night Cap, Panda and Sons

Sustainability and wellness

With the wellness trend well and truly established, particularly with millennials, many consumers are drinking less and exercising more than any previous generation and we’re seeing that transform the way alcohol is being consumed. Low-ABV style drinks will see continued growth, and aperitivo hour will dominate menus. This ‘take care’ attitude is also being applied to the planet and environment as sustainability takes centre stage across industries.

Bars are challenging themselves to make sure they have a sustainable approach. Ingredients are no longer used once and thrown away without a second thought, instead
every element is applied to as many cocktails as possible. Think soda made from eggshells.

Where to go: Hoot the Redeemer, The Voodoo Rooms