Edinburgh Cocktail Week have announced their plans for this year’s event, Monday 15th – Sunday 21st October, which include a huge 750 square meter ‘Cocktail Village’ at Festival Square on Lothian Road, a ‘Secret Spirits Study’ masterclass hub & bar on Queens Street, over 80 of the city’s favourite cocktail bars, and a week-long program of events & parties across the capital.
The growth of the festival from 3 to 7 days follows the popularity of last year’s inaugural Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend. Organiser Gary Anderson commented… ‘We are thrilled to reveal our plans for this year’s Edinburgh Cocktail Week. Last year proved that Edinburgh is the biggest cocktail capital outside of London and showed us the need to expand the event to a week-long celebration. Based on feedback and our ambition to further grow the event we have introduced new elements such as Edinburgh’s first Cocktail Village, a masterclass hub on Queens Street, and increased the number of bars taking part to over 80 to help spread footfall. Edinburgh has some of the best bars and mixologists in the world and Edinburgh Cocktail Week is about showcasing and supporting the city’s thriving cocktail scene. We can’t wait for October to arrive and look forward to welcoming cocktail-lovers to Scotland’s biggest cocktail festival.’
Just like last year, all signature cocktails featured during the event are available to wristbands-holders for £4 each, with wristbands priced at £6 for a weekday band (valid Monday to Friday) and £8 for a weekend band (valid Saturday and Sunday).
The Cocktail Village is free to enter for wristband-holders and will be the epicentre of this year’s festival, where festivalgoers will collect their wristbands and free copy of the ECW Guide before enjoying £4 signature cocktails from 15 bespoke pop-up bars such as Edinburgh Gin, Belvedere Vodka, Jameson Whiskey, Ableforth’s Gin, Altos Tequila, Smokehead Whisky, Rock Rose Gin and many more. Giant trees, picnic tables, live music and DJs, grass flooring and potted plants, festoon lighting, heaters and a clear roof skylight will create an outdoor festival atmosphere for festivalgoers to hangout with friends and socialise with fellow cocktail enthusiasts in before setting off on their cocktail adventure around the city. The Cocktail Village is delivered in partnership with Purvis Marquee Hire Scotland.
The number of cocktail bars taking part in the event is also increasing from 50 to over 80 including Harvey Nichols, Baba, The Voyage of Buck (recent winner of Scotland’s Most Stylish Cocktail Bar), Black Ivy, The Permit Room at Dishoom, Tigerlily, Finn & Bear, The Printing Press, Miss Woo’s, The Refinery and Tonic, stretching further across the city as far as Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry. This expansion follows organisers’ plans to create clusters of bars in more residential areas – Leith, Stockbridge, Broughton and Bruntsfield – spreading footfall and allowing wristband-holders to experience Edinburgh Cocktail Week without having to travel into the city centre.
Another exciting addition to this year’s event is ‘The Secret Spirits Study’ pop-up on Queens Street, hosted by Wemyss Malts and Darnley’s Gin. The exact location is being kept a closely guarded secret just now, but wristband-holders can look forward to a program of cocktail making, gin and whisky masterclasses during the day where they will sample and learn how to create classic cocktails or their own gin or blended whisky before getting hands-on to shake-up their own creation to bottle and take home. Masterclasses are one hour long and attendees are invited to stay afterwards to enjoy £4 signature cocktails from the bar. In the evening the venue will become an underground cocktail bar with a program of bar takeovers from top bartenders from across Scotland, who will showcase their skills and create a menu of signature cocktails for wristband-holders to enjoy in the lounge or underground arched bothy. Tickets for masterclasses and evening sessions will be on sale from September, with the secret location only being revealed to ticket-holders.
There will also be a program of events and parties throughout the week as brands and bars collaborate to host exclusive brand residency evenings across the city. Expect mini masterclasses, vibrant DJ sets, industry experts, free merch and some fancy cocktail flairing as brand ambassadors and local mixologists unite to shake, stir & strain a repertoire of creative cocktails. Tickets for events and parties go on sale in September, priced at £4 each and include a welcome signature serve.
A new ‘Official Bottle Shop’ partnership with Royal Mile Whiskies and Drinkmonger in Bruntsfield, offers wristband-holders exclusive discounts during and after the event – perfect for those looking to buy a bottle of their favourite brand they discovered during Edinburgh Cocktail Week, stock up on gifts for Christmas, or recreate signature cocktails at home. Royal Mile Whiskies are also the official on-trade supplier to participating bars.
And the benefits of an ECW wristband don’t end there: wristband-holders can also enjoy free entry before midnight to top late night venues including Opal Lounge, Shanghai, Lulu, and Edinburgh’s latest edition 4042, plus additional perks on dining, retail and beauty during the event.
Edinburgh Cocktail Week are proud to support Maggie’s Edinburgh as their official 2018 charity partner and hope to raise £2400 – the daily cost for Maggie’s to provide free support to people affected by cancer – by offering attendees the option to donate between £1 and £5 when purchasing wristbands online. Andy Anderson, Centre Head at Maggie’s Edinburgh said… ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be the beneficiary of this years’ Edinburgh Cocktail Week. All the support Maggie’s offers to people affected by cancer is free and we rely entirely on voluntary donations to both build and run our centres so we really are most grateful for the support from Gary and his team.