Scotland’s capital is second only to London in terms of the diverse amount of gin experiences in any UK city.
From gin making, gin cruises, tastings and even gin qualifications, Edinburgh really does have all your gin needs, wants and desires covered.
Our guide will help you identify the best gin experience Edinburgh has to offer to suit your preference.
Plus, if you’re thirsty for more, you can always check out our in-depth look at Edinburgh gin tasting experiences as well. Chin-chin!
Gin Making Experience Edinburgh
Edinburgh Gin’s Gin Making Tour
The Edinburgh Gin Making Experience has a certain magical charm. It involves a tour of the Edinburgh Gin distillery, a tutored tasting session and the chance to conjure up a bottle of your own unique custom-made gin.
Using miniature copper stills and the Head Distiller’s range of aromatics and botanicals, you will have the chance to craft your very own bespoke gin recipe. It’s all very witches cauldron-like and the space even looks like a secret room you might find in Hogwarts.
The tour starts daily at 12.15pm and the duration is 3 hours. Max group of 5 per day. The cost is £100pp and is strictly over 18s. You can only book this tour online.
Gin and Cheese Tasting Edinburgh
56 North ‘Scottish Gin and Cheeses’
Launched in 2008, 56 North has the prestige of being the first ever dedicated Scottish gin bar. And they are clearly still blazing a trail, having won Gin Bar of the year in 2017 at the Scottish Gin Awards.
With a stock of over 350 gins, you’ll never be short of a new tasting experience. 56 North offer a ‘Scottish Gin and Cheeses’ class in which you can sample 8 different gins ranging from the classic to the newly more established to the tiny craft brands. Everything is paired with premium mixers and cheese boards for the group.
If you are a gin and cheese lover, also be sure to check out The Gin and Cheese Fest in Glasgow.
The gin and cheese tasting course lasts around 2 hours and is priced at £29.95 pp. Book online here.
Gin Cruise Edinburgh
Drinks Lab Gin Cruises
Summerhall Drinks Lab run a gin cruise in which your host, Greg, a graduate of Plant Science, will take you through the different fruits, flowers, spices, barks and roots that make up each spirit, as well as some fascinating stories from gin’s incredible past
You’ll be on board a canal boat called Lochrin Belle, for a two hour tasting departing from Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.
This fabulous purple vessel is a dream gin boat which will provide the opportunity to sample five Scottish gins as you sail. You’ll sample each neat, followed by a mixed drink or cocktail.
The gin cruise costs £39.50pp. Visit the Summerhall Drinks Lab website to book.
Gin Distillery Tour Edinburgh
Pickering’s Gin Distillery Tour
Scottish gin distillery tours are some of the most varied in the world and Edinburgh hosts a few of the best.
Summerhall Distillery, home of Pickering’s Gin, opened its doors in 2014, becoming the first gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years.
It’s since been voted Visit Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction in Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders.
You will get to learn the fascinating history of Pickering’s gin, see the entire production and bottling line, and taste samples of Pickering’s Gin expressions.
Tours cost £10 and run Thursdays-Sundays, lasting for one hour including a 15 minute tasting. Find out more.
Gin Tasting Edinburgh
Brewhemia ‘Gin Flights’
Brewhemia offers ‘Gin Flights’, a tasting class in which customers can choose a package containing three gins, their perfect garnish and two premium mixers to allow you to play with flavour.
Gins are grouped together in 4 different categories which compliment each other such as the ‘Spicy’ package which includes Ophir, Gin Bothy Gunshot and Bullards Strawberry and Black Pepper. The ‘Savoury’ package contains Edinburgh Seaside Gin, Gin Mare and McQueens Smokey Chill.
For groups of 8 or more you can book a gin tasting with one of their Ginologists. The expert will take you through two flights, explain the gins and flavourings and finish with a gin cocktail, plus alpine pizzas.
£40pp for 60m mins, available in the Gin & Prosecco bar weekdays from 5pm and all day Saturday/Sunday. Book by phoning 0131 226 9560.
Gin Masterclass Edinburgh
Secret Herb Garden w/The Edinburgh Whisky Academy
It seems like everyone has a degree these days but who has a Diploma in Gin? The Edinburgh Whisky Academy in association with the Secret Herb Garden offer a one day course that will have you fully qualified in the art of gin.
You will hear from gin experts and get hands on with the extensive array of botanicals in the garden. Dr Greg Kenicer will discuss botanical structure of a few key plants, allowing candidates to fully immerse themselves in the wonderful world of flavour components for gin.
Once you’ve passed the exam and completed the course, you will receive your diploma certified by the SQA.
Diploma in Gin is a one day course including exam on the day costing £280. Book the course here.
Best Gin Bars Edinburgh
The Jolly Botanist
The Jolly Botanist is a bit special. It has a quirky top hat logo, Victorian-inspired interiors and offers 65 brands of gin from all over the world, including some very rare gins.
They’ve produced an excellent gin menu which describes each gin, tells you where it’s from and which tonic and garnish should go with it.
Winners of the Star Pub award for the second time in 2016, this bar offers an ample variety in gin and cocktails and a guaranteed fun gin experience.
See more: Read about more gin bars in Edinburgh.
The Jolly Botanist is open 7 days a week and located at 256-260 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8DT.
Top image from Shutterstock. All other images courtesy of the respective organisations.
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