Alexander Mahler, tester of bars and drinks at Spartacus Traveler, has drinks around the world. Today he visits bars in Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh.

Talisker Skye whisky, dark Scottish beer, salted caramel, a chicken egg, some chocolate bitter and star aniseed: What sounds like a full breakfast are the ingredients of the Salt Malt Flips, which the bartender lands on the bar before me at Monteiths’. The bar in central Edinburgh is located right on High Street – and yet its entrance is hard to find, hidden at the bottom of a narrow tunnel of twigs. The drink is full-bodied and round, and almost as rich as a meal – the perfect refreshment for mind and soul on a typically dark, rainy afternoon in Scotland’s capital. Just twenty minutes’ walk from Monteith, the Bramble Bar is easy to miss, too; it is nestled in the basement of a corner house. Despite its numerous awards, the bar has maintained an unpretentious coolness. Even old-school hip-hop can can flow from the loudspeakers at times. Although the menu already gives an indication of the creativity and perfectionism that is cultivated behind the bar it really becomes apparent when you tell the bartender your choice and leave him to it. I particularly liked the Celery Sour with its unusual freshness and the Aged Affinity which brings out the smoky character of Scottish whisky like no other cocktail.

61 High Street

Bramble Bar
16A Queen Street

Text: Alexander Mahler

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