Your Gin Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe

It’s that time of year again, Scotland’s stunning capital city prepares to welcome hordes of tourists and art-lovers to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

If you are planning to visit Edinburgh during the Fringe, we have put together this handy guide to Gin at the Fringe – enjoy!

Fringe Gin Shows

The A Club

Situated in the heart of the city, The Merchant’s Hall is a stunning venue for the A Club – a selection of musical acts brought to you by The Arbikie Highland Estate.  You can chill out with soul or jazz bands or experience an Abba, Blondie or Stone Roses tribute band.  But for Scottish Gin lovers, The Arbikie Masterclass is a must-attend event.

In an afternoon, the Arbikie team will guide you through all you need to know about their world-class gin, including the distilling process and their perfect serves. As part of your ticket, you will receive a welcome cocktail, tasters and the chance to create your own perfect serve. Tickets cost £20 and you can book here

Gin Safari, Edinburgh

Get off the tourist drag and onto the gin trail with this guided walking tour, featuring a Gin liqueur and fizz, the ultimate gin marshmallow experience, a slow wander through the elegant Georgian streets, gin cured salmon, gin and tonic chocolate, ending up in one of Edinburgh’s coolest gin joints for a G&T.  You just know you want to! Gin Safari tickets are £29 and are available here.

The Gin Show

This is more than a gin-tasting. The Gin Show mixes comedy and songs with three free gin tastings. This hosted event changes every night with new talent bringing a variety of acts and performances.Sounds like a great way to unwind with a gin at the end of another Fringe day- you might see us there! Tickets are £12 here.

Unbound with Edinburgh Gin

If you’re after a more literary experience, check out Unbound with Edinburgh Gin at the Edinburgh Book Festival, running nightly at 9pm from 11th – 26th August. This free event is a nightly literary cabaret in the atmospheric Spiegeltent. The line-up features a talented array of authors, spoken word artists, poets and musicians who entertain you with their words, tunes, stories and more. And, of course, you can relax with a refreshing Edinburgh G&T! See the acts here.

Fringe Gin experiences

Pickering’s Gin Jolly

Your chance to explore the fantastic surroundings of one of Edinburgh’s original gin distilleries.  With a G&T in hand, you’ll be guided around The Summerhall Distillery, home to the award-winning Pickering’s Gin – a former vet school! Your guide will show you all the sights and you’ll get to meet the famous stills and sample the gins. You can book your gin jolly here for just £15.  We highly recommend it.

Locked in The Distillery

While in Summerhall, why not check out this escape-show, based in The Summerhall Distillery?  In this escape game challenge, you need to solve the mystery of who’s plotting against the distillery. Playing as a team, you’ll have a great time trying to puzzle your way out while saving the gin in the process – bonus! Find out more and book here

Scottish Gin & Chocolate at Summerhall Drinks Lab

Still in Summerhall, we recommend you pay a visit to the Summerhall Drinks Lab. Throughout August they’ll be running regular Scottish spirit and chocolate pairing sessions. Over 90 minutes, you can learn the history and science of either gin or rum, while you sip on some delicious cocktails and vegan chocolate pairings. Find out more.

Science of the Sesh

Now in its 3rd year, the Summerhall Drinks Lab invites you to don your safety goggles for an hour of boozy science. For 1 hour you will take a look at some of the simple but fascinating science behind some of your favourite drinks, while you drink them! Learn more.

Sip Antics Gin School

Get gin-educated while you’re enjoying the Edinburgh Fringe. At Sip Antics Gin School in the heart of the city, you can choose from a range of fantastic gin experiences, where you get to create your very own gin in a copper still and take it home to enjoy! Take a look at what’s available.

The Scottish Gantry Gin Sessions

On 17th August at Akkva, Edinburgh, The Scottish Gantry Gin will welcome guests to will taste several gins, hear about Scotland’s booming industry, learn how it’s made and how Scotland ended up top of the world gin list. It’s a fun, informal and entertaining experience with six gins (25ml), perfect pairing nibbles and all the garnishes and Fever Tree tonics included! Tickets are £49 – book here.

Holyrood Distillery gin tasting events

Discover a world of flavour on an expert-led guided tour at Edinburgh’s only single malt whisky distillery, the first in the capital for nearly 100 years. The experience lasts 60 minutes and includes tastings of gin and whisky, a flavour experiment, an opportunity to get hands-on with botanicals, and a chance to bottle your own whisky straight from the barrel! Find out more

Where to drink gin at the Fringe

56 North Secret Gin Garden

The must-visit place in Edinburgh for gin-lovers, we highly recommend you work a visit into your festival itinerary. This year they have a brand new look, with even more events, tastings, meet the makers and more.  They have teamed up with 15 brilliant Scottish Gins for a mouth-watering menu of delights. They are open 12noon to 1am – 1st to 26th August 2019, but you’re best to book to ensure you don’t miss out – find out more here.

Bramble Bar

If you love a cool cocktail bar, do check out Bramble Bar in the cit’s New Town (if you can find it). Yes, it’s a hidden gem, but they have a fantastic range of gins and out of tis world cocktails! 

Edinburgh Gin’s pop-up bars

Wandering the streets of Edinburgh is thirsty work during the Fringe, so keep your eyes peeled for the welcome sight of an Edinburgh Gin pop-up bar.  Serving their range of Scottish Gins from a bespoke tipple trailer and this year, in the Waverley Festival Village it’s a perfect opportunity to stop and people-watch for a few minutes (that’s our excuse anyway)

Lady Libertine

One of the newest and most contemporary bars in Edinburgh, make sure you drop by Lady Libertine for a wonderful array of Scottish Gins, cocktails, food and music. You can even have a drink inside the old bank vault! 

One Square

Based in the Sheraton Grand Hotel, One Square not only offers you a wide choice of gins in an elegant surrounding but you can sample their own gin or take part in their Ginnasium Gin tasting experience.

DINE Edinburgh

Above the Traverse Theatre, beside the Usher Hall, the bar team at DINE really know their gin.  Relax in the stylish bar and try one of the exquisite cocktails or martinis from their menu.  They also offer a fantastic martini experience, allowing you to sample several varieties and even create your own.


A new arrival to Edinburgh’s Quartermile complex, Apothecary is a Mecca for gin-lovers.  We recommend stopping by to try one of their own EiDYN gin serves.

Heads & Tales

Home to two of the Edinburgh Gin stills, the atmospheric and intimate Heads & Tales bar is hidden underground at the west end of Princes Street.  Marvel at the extensive cocktail menu and enjoy gin as it is meant to be served. We’d recommend booking your visit in advance, as it can get very busy.

The Printing Press

Situated in The stylish Principal Hotel on George Street, The Printing Press bar and kitchen offers a wide range of gins and professionally-mixed cocktails late into the evening.

Jolly Botanist

As the name suggests, The Jolly Botanist specialises in gins and you could spend quite a while there looking at their gin menu alone.  Located close to Haymarket, this traditional and welcoming pub also serves up delicious meals and snacks.

Honestly, we could probably go on for several more pages, as so many of the bars in Edinburgh city centre serve up a pleasing selection of gins.  However, we hope we’ve given you some ‘gin-spiration’ for your Edinburgh Fringe 

Please enjoy gin responsibly.

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