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  • Writer's pictureDiana Spencer

Edinburgh Cocktail Week launches

Mixing it up at Festival Square

Edinburgh Cocktail Week is back, this year for a 10 days of spirit-focused merriment.

ECW 22 promises to be bigger and better than ever, with various events taking place throughout the city alongside the usual cocktail offerings.

Having never taken part in ECW before, I thought it was about time I found out what all the fuss is about.

Thursday night’s launch party brought together the great and the good from across the city, journalists, bloggers and influencers like the Social Bitches, drawn to the promise of free booze like moths to a flame.

The venue was the event’s hub, the loud and bustling Cocktail Village in Festival Square, featuring 21 pop-up bars serving £5 cocktails (and £6 and £7 in some cases), live music, DJs, experiential spaces and street food.

Committed to getting a good overview of what was on offer, my friend and I sampled:

  • ‘Watermelon Wake-up' from The Cocktail Mafia, featuring Grey Goose Watermelon and Basil

  • ‘Tickle me Pink’ (Tanqueray gin, pear liqueur, pomegranate) and ‘Royale Collins’ (Tanqueray Blackcurrent Royale, prosecco) from Herringbone

  • Boda Bars’ ‘Blandat Marg’ with Absolut Passionfruit, Olmeca Blanco Tequila and passionfruit puree

  • ‘Cranberry Orange Busker Sour’ with Busker triple cask, cranberry juice and ginger beer

  • And finally, for dessert, ‘Matcha Grasshopper’ with Tia Maria Matcha, Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao White, Cream, Nutmeg and chocolate

There was certainly no shortage of options, though gin was predictably a popular spirit choice.

The Cocktail Village is free to access with an ECW wristband, which will set you back £9.35, but also gets you access to the £5 ‘signature’ cocktails at 120 bars around the city for the whole 10 days.

If that isn’t enough, visitors can also book tickets to various masterclass events, like The London Essence Company’s ‘G&T and Beyond Masterclass’, but a real highlight was The Glenlivet’s ‘Dramming in the Dark’.

This is a 30-minute immersive tasting with a curated music and light show intended to reflect the individual tasting notes of the whiskies. The idea of mixing a Speyside single malt into cocktails might seem like sacrilege to some, but this unique experience certainly did a good job of introducing whisky to a different, perhaps younger, audience. Tickets cost £10.

If you enjoy a cocktail or three, this is definitely the Edinburgh festival for you – ideal for warming up these cooler autumn nights.

Edinburgh Cocktail Week runs from 7-16 October.

Find out more, buy a wristband and view the programme of events on the website:

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