While there is a real abundance of cocktail spots in Edinburgh, one particular speakeasy bar on Queen Street has stood out in the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list this year. Panda And Sons took the sixth spot on the expert ranking, unsurprisingly beating the likes of Speak In The Code in Manchester and London’s Three Sheets.
Panda And Sons appears to be a barber shop at first glance, but once you walk through a door that is also a bookcase, you’re transported into a cosy wee place with imaginative concoctions and the excitable allure of the prohibited bar concept itself. Guests don’t expect luxurious grandeur at Panda And Sons, but the quality of the cocktails: each drink is created with balanced touches of both modern and classic inspirations. There is just something way more exciting about not being allowed to do something, but doing it anyway, and the speakeasy bar has knocked it out of the park.
The Top 50 Cocktail Bars list is created by 100 industry experts from bartenders and owners, to drinks writers and influencers. Each voter has four votes with one vote to be used in their local region, and the remaining three in other regions around the UK.
Chris Lowe, publisher of Top 50 Cocktail Bars, said: “We have created Top 50 Cocktail Bars to help people find the best bars, which are often hidden, around the UK. London still has more bars on the list than any other city but having almost all of the UK’s major cities represented showcases the explosion of great venues on the cocktail scene.”
We’re sure you’re keen to give Panda And Sons a visit after being reminded why it’s awesome, so next time you’re there, opt for the Paolo Appletini with Grey Goose, clarified apple, Avallen Calvados, umeshu and lemon. There is also a cocktail made with absinthe, out of all the spirits: Tian Tian is constructed using sugar snap pea cordial, Boutique-ey Gin Gin Panda, Dolin dry, verjus, Ahus Akvavit and absinthe. Now that’s a dangerous concoction, but we’ll try it anyway.