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#No 10 – Bramble
#No 10 – Bramble





THE ONLY QUESTION MARK OVER THIS BAR'S SUCCESS IS WHEN IT MIGHT END, because since it landed on this planet it has consistently placed itself among the world's best bars. If this continues, the answer to the question posed in the first sentence is never.


For those unfamiliar with Edinburgh, this might seem unusual. Sure, the Scots like to drink - they've made a legend out of Buckfast after all and then there's whisky of course. But it takes a trip to this city to truly appreciate their devotion to discerning drinking. So that they have one of the world's best bars makes perfect sense and Bramble has long been flying the flag of best-practice drinking.


Set in a basement beneath Queen Street the bar isn't the most conspicuous, yet it's usually found to be busy, such is its reputation. Décor including exposed brickwork, the occasional leather armchair and dim lighting combined with the low key location might indicate this is a speakeasy, but more appropriate would be a blind pig or tiger. By that I mean the place is a lively good-time bar, the notion that slow jazz might accompany a silent sip should be banished from expectations because the soundtrack is hip-hop and the objective is to socialise.


Blind pigs and tigers were not reputed for their quality booze of course, but then neither were speakeasies - booze was illegal, thus the stuff they served was filthy. So when it comes to the drinks in Bramble the comparisons can end, not least since they are nothing short of outstanding.


Owners Jason Scott and Mike Aikman have a fi ne pedigree in cocktails and put their experience to solid use on the menus. But they'd be first to admit that creative content also comes from the bartenders who work here day to day. What's so impressive about Bramble is the growing alumni of these bartenders, truly talented individuals who have flexed their guns here and gone on to great things within the industry. The list is growing and the current team running the bar is impressive.


Classics all get a mention but so too does Malibu, just to give you a flavour of the range on offer, and they have successfully experimented with pioneering techniques such as barrel aging. While some have scoffed at the process, the team here has taken time to rigorously work with wood and find ways to add genuine character to their drinks.


The story of success continues in the nearby neighbourhood of Stockbridge, where Jas and Mike have converted former gastro pub The Saint into The Last Word and more terrific tipples can be found here. Edinburgh is certainly a city to train the palate and Bramble is worthy of recognition as its best bar.


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