OVER 80 local bars will be showing off their best recipes to thousands of punters across the city this October for Edinburgh Cocktail Week.
The epicentre of the festival will be a 750 square metre ‘cocktail village’ at Festival Square, which will host 15 pop up bars and a bill of live music and DJs.
The festival, to run between October 15 and October 21, will also host a spirits masterclass hub and a programme of events and parties across the city.
Over 7,000 people attended last year’s inaugural Cocktail Weekend, with the event proving so popular three of the participating bars ran out of ingredients.
However, organisers have expanded the festival from three to seven days and increased the number of bars from 50 to 80 to reflect demand.
READ MORE: Edinburgh cocktail bar named best in the UK
Organiser Gary Anderson said: “Last year proved that Edinburgh is the biggest cocktail capital outside of London and showed us the need to expand the event to a week-long celebration.
“Based on feedback and our ambition to further grow the event we have introduced new elements such as Edinburgh’s first Cocktail Village, a masterclass hub on Queens Street, and increased the number of bars taking part to over 80 to help spread footfall.”
Edinburgh’s thriving cocktail scene is in the spotlight after the new town bar Bramble was named the best cocktail bar in Britain at an awards ceremony on Monday.
Tonic, which was also included on the Top 50 Cocktail Bars awards shortlist, is one of the leading bars taking part.
Bars participating in the festival this year stretch from the city centre to South Queensferry, including clusters in residential areas like Leith, Stockbridge, Broughton and Bruntsfield.
Mr Anderson said: “Edinburgh has some of the best bars and mixologists in the world and Edinburgh Cocktail Week is about showcasing and supporting the city’s thriving cocktail scene. We can’t wait for October to arrive and look forward to welcoming cocktail-lovers to Scotland’s biggest cocktail festival.”
READ MORE: In full: Every bar taking part in Edinburgh Cocktail Week 2018
Punters will have the chance to learn about making cocktails themselves at ‘The Secrets Spirits Study’ pop-up on Queens Street, with Wemyss Malts and Darnley’s Gin hosting masterclasses throughout the week.
However, a profit for local cocktail makers is not the only goal – the festival also aims to raise £2400 for local cancer charity Maggie’s Edinburgh.
Andy Anderson, Centre Head at Maggie’s Edinburgh, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be the beneficiary of this years’ Edinburgh Cocktail Week.
“All the support Maggie’s offers to people affected by cancer is free and we rely entirely on voluntary donations to both build and run our centres so we really are most grateful for the support from Gary and his team.”
Wristbands for the various events are on sale now at www.edinburghcocktailweek.co.uk.