Edinburgh’s very first festival dedicated entirely to the art of making cocktails launches tomorrow (Friday 4 August).
The month-long festival (which runs until 28 August) will give cocktail lovers the chance to join in with mixology masterclasses, learn more about their favourite spirits and – of course – sample plenty of drinks.
Launching a new Edinburgh festival
Based at New Waverley, there’s a jam-packed programme to look forward to, with daily events, masterclasses, live music, DJs and talks taking place at the festival’s hub.
The festival has been organised by The Drink Cabinet, a Scottish creative agency who work with clients in the drinks industry.
“We were always amazed that Edinburgh didn’t have a dedicated cocktail festival yet, so we thought, ‘Why don’t we make one ourselves, and launch it during one of the best festival seasons in the world?’”
Explains Rebecca Foran from The Drink Cabinet.
Festival-goers can purchase a wristband (valid for the whole month) for £15. As well as free entry to the events and masterclasses, the wristband also entitles guests to a discount on cocktails, shaken and stirred by top bartenders from across the country.
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What to expect at the festival
One highlight to look out for is Ketel One’s Bloody Mary Kitchen – a hands-on cocktail making experience which allows guests to design and make their own personalised Bloody Mary cocktail.
Gin lovers can venture into the mysterious Tanqueray Ten Future Forest to try their hand at some of the more unusual methods of cocktail making, such as nitro-infusion, and the #LoveScotch party offers visitors the chance to learn about the classic Old Fashioned whilst sipping on whisky cocktails.
“One of the events I’m most looking forward to is the ‘Flairtenders – Smokey Cokey’ event sponsored by Lagavulin on 27 August – we’re going back to the ’90s and seeing if bartenders can still put on a show with their moves,” says Foran. Cocktails and mocktails are on the menu at The Drink Cabinet main bar, and the New Waverley courtyard will also host the Fevertree Airstream G&T pop-up bar and The Old Pulteney Drifter, a huge boat-shaped bar.
Food, music and cocktails
The Edinburgh Cocktail festival will showcase a range of local and international drinks brands, with Diageo heading up the festival as the principal sponsor.
“The first ever Edinburgh Cocktail Festival is a global platform for industry professionals to showcase the city’s eclectic and vibrant cocktail scene to an international audience,” explains Stephen Martin, Diageo Reserve Brands Ambassador for Scotland.
Visitors can also enjoy drinks such as Cross Brew, made by the team behind Edinburgh’s Bramble bar, and natural sodas from Rapscallion.
“We have homegrown brands like Old Pulteney, Loch Lomond Whiskies and Copper Dog flying the Scottish flag, alongside specialist brands like SeaWolf, JUS and social enterprise, Ginerosity,” Foran reveals.
“It doesn’t stop at the drinks, though. Guests can look forward to daily live music from homegrown talent, and incredible street food and stalls from the Food + Flea Market.”
Vendors from the Food + Flea Market – including The Buffalo Truck, Pizza Geeks and Barnacles & Bones – will be serving up delicious street food to compliment the festival’s cocktails.
“We’ve worked with really incredible bartenders and mixologists who are bringing amazing serves to Edinburgh Cocktail Festival. We’ll hopefully open Edinburgh’s eyes to exciting new flavour creations,” says Foran.
The Edinburgh Cocktail Festival runs from 4 August to 28 August, 12pm to 10pm daily at New Waverley Square, EH8 8BG – www.edinburghcocktailfest.com