Daytime gin distillery that becomes a bar after hours. Cocktails are mostly gin-based – and largely successful
In the basement of the Rutland Hotel, at the west end of Princes Street, Heads & Tales was a 2014 debutante that took the current trend for all things gin and made it manifest. Décor is a little bit steampunk and there's a gin micro-distillery on the premises, making the Edinburgh Gin brand. There are gin masterclasses and you can design your own gin cocktail under the guidance of the bar staff.
During the day, before the bar opens, there are also distillery tours. The house cocktail menu offers yet more gin-based wonders, but allows that some drinkers might prefer a different spirit altogether, so juniper refuseniks may visit and still find something to suit. With its snackish menu, evenings-only opening and central location, this is very much a grown up destination with a brilliant range of gins, obviously, but some serious mixology talent behind the bar too.
Some people might like designing their own gin cocktail (choose the gin, the glass and the complementary flavours), others could go straight for a Violet Fizz (Edinburgh Gin, violet, blueberry, some citrus, elderflower tonic and prosecco). Alternatively, for a baroque, non-gin cocktail, the Purple Rose of Tokyo takes some beating (vodka, basil, agave, plum sake, citrus and plum bitters).
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1a Rutland Place