Christmas shopping and stress seem to go hand in hand, so if you want to get away from the chaos of queues, Christmas jumpers and cheesy music then escaping for a relaxing cocktail might just do the trick. Heading out for a cocktail in the evening is also particularly nice at this time of year, with the twinkly lights and crisp air creating the perfect atmosphere.

1. The Dome Edinburgh

14 George St, Edinburgh

Festive opening hours: open every day from 10am

0131 624 8624

Edinburgh really comes alive at Christmas – with its German markets, ice skating and Ferris wheel drawing visitors from across the country. Nowhere does Christmas better than the Dome, with its stone pillars adorned with lights and a colossal tree in the centre of the Grill Room that reaches up to the top of the magnificent ceiling. Its cocktail list is extensive and even includes one called the Snowflake – very apt for this time of year.

2. The Grosvenor Café, Glasgow

24 Ashton Lane, Glasgow

Open Monday-Friday, 11am- midnight, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am- midnight

0845 166 6028

Ashton Lane is one of Glasgow’s prettiest streets, but it is particularly lovely on a winter’s night when its canopy of fairy lights stands out against the dark sky. The Grosvenor Café is one of the star attractions, with its 1920s ballroom-style venue the perfect place to unwind. But the best bit of all? Every cocktail is half price from Monday to Thursday.

3. The Adamson, St Andrews

127 South Street, St Andrews, Fife

Bar open Monday-Thursday, 5pm-late, Friday 3pm-1am, Saturday 12pm-1am and Sunday 3pm-late

01334 479191

With nearly 40 different cocktails on its menu you will be spoiled for choice in the Adamson. Options range from sparkling, classic and bartender’s choice cocktails, with the house Bloody Mary and the passion fruit daquiri both particularly good. They also offer a 90-minute cocktail masterclass with one of their bar team, where you will learn the tricks of the trade and try two of their cocktails, before getting the chance to have a go at making one for yourself.

4. Bar One Inverness

1 Academy Street, Inverness

Open Monday-Wednesday, 12pm-12am, Thursday- Saturday, 12pm-1am and Sunday, 12pm-12am

01463 714471

Since it opened in 2009, Bar One has set itself apart as a real cocktail specialist, with trained mixologists creating a range of inventive drinks to keep customers coming back. For those who might be overwhelmed by their list of several dozen cocktails, One Bar has a handy guide that separates its drinks into flavour groupings such as sweet, refreshing or bitter. And if you are driving, there is also a list of tasty soft-tails.

5. Metropolitan Glasgow

Merchant Square, Candleriggs, Glasgow

Open Sunday- Thursday, 10am-12am, and Friday and Saturday 10am-3am

0141 553 1488

Merchant Square is one of the most stylish locations in Glasgow, with its indoor courtyard providing the perfect place to escape the cold weather. Metropolitan has an elegant balcony overlooking the square, where you can kick back with one of their 50 cocktails and watch the crowds milling below. As well as their mammoth list of house cocktails they also offer a ‘challenge your bartender’ drink, where you tell them your favourite spirit and taste profile, then enjoy the results.

6. The Tippling House, Aberdeen

4 Belmont Street, Aberdeen

Open Monday-Thursday, 4pm-2am, Friday, 4pm-3am, Saturday 1pm-3am and Sunday 4pm-2am

Its design might resemble an old-fashioned tavern, but the Tippling House is one of the most sophisticated bars in Aberdeen. Rather than producing well-known cocktails like mojitos or daquiris, all their cocktails are unusual creations that are inspired by the seasons and change regularly. It might not be what you are used to, but try a Hare Hare Hare or an Edmund’s Folly.

7. Panda and Sons, Edinburgh

79 Queen Street, Edinburgh

Open Monday- Friday,4pm-late and Saturday-Sunday, 3pm- ate

0131 220 0443

This speakeasy-style bar, disguised as a barbershop, is accessed through a secret bookshelf door to add a sense of drama to your night out. The excitement continues with the cocktails: some change colour, some are served in a hat and some ‘steam’ with dry ice. They aren’t cheap, but for the atmosphere they are more than worth it – plus the bar pays the living wage to all its staff.

8. The West House, Dundee

The Westhouse, 2 Westport, Dundee

Open every day until 12am

01382 525205

There is a relaxed, laidback atmosphere in the West House, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t put extensive thought into their cocktail menu. They offer the classics with a twist as well as their own creations, and the range is very reasonably priced considering the quality (and measures) of spirits that they use.

9. Neuro’s Dumfries

Neuro’s Bar, Restaurant and Spa, The Crichton, Bankend Road, Dumfries

Open Monday- Saturday, 11am-9pm and Sunday, 12.30pm-9pm

01387 702 500

One of the most sophisticated venues in Dumfries, Neuro’s sits outside the town centre on the grand Chrichton Estate. Its impressive cocktail menu makes it well worth the trip – with the bartenders happy to go off-menu if your favourite isn’t on their list.

10. Meraki Stirling

79 King Street, Stirling

Open Monday-Thursday, 5pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 12pm-1am and Sunday 12pm-12am

01786 561091

Popular with locals, Meraki is a reasonably small bar that gets busy quickly, so it might be best to book ahead. They have a range of classic cocktails for a very reasonable £5, but they also frequently introduce seasonal creations and special deals. And, as if you needed more reasons to visit, they offer complimentary popcorn.

11. Browns Glasgow

1 George Square, Glasgow

Open Monday-Thursday, 9am-11pm, Friday-Saturday 9am-12am and Sunday 9am-10pm

0141 221 7828

The elegant Browns Bar, situated in a former Post Office building built 130 years ago, provides an ideal setting to enjoy a sophisticated cocktail: with a menu of signature, seasonal, spritz and sparkling varieties to choose from. And with George Square being the home of Glasgow’s Christmas markets and attractions, you are in the perfect place to get into the spirit.

12. Bar 99, Aberdeen

1 Back Wynd, Aberdeen

Open Monday- Thursday, 11am-12am, Friday- Saturday, 11am-1am and Sunday, 12:30pm-12am

01224 631640

The cocktails in Bar 99 are pretty impressive, but its staff make it a cut above. They are friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating and will be happy to take requests for any cocktails that aren’t on the menu.

13. Jam Jar, Bridge of Allan

28 Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan, Stirling

Open weekdays, 12pm-10 (ish), and weekends 12pm-late

01786 831616

It might not be the biggest venue on our list, but this cosy café/bar has a huge cocktail menu that covers gin, rum, vodka, prosecco, bourbon, and tequila cocktails. But for those that aren’t drinking, the Jam Jar doesn’t treat you like an afterthought. Rather than throwing in a few token mocktails, they have an extensive and considered non-alcoholic menu that includes virgin versions of a Pina Colada, Mojito and Bellini.

14. The Tree House, Ayr

Open Sunday-Thursday, 9am-12am and Friday-Saturday, 9am-12.30am

67-69 Sandgate, Ayr

01292 288 500

This bright, stylishly venue is (unsurprisingly) themed around trees, with leaves dangling from the ceiling, plants adorning the windowsills and two large trees in the centre of the bar. The drinks are equally trendy, with the cocktails made to an impeccable standard and served with a smile.

15. The Devil’s Advocate, Edinburgh

Open every day, 12pm-1am

9 Advocate's Close, Edinburgh

0131 225 4465

Hidden up Advocate’s Close in an old Victorian pump house, the Devil’s Advocate might not look like a traditional cocktail bar. But don’t let first impressions put you off: it is actually one of the most specialist cocktail venues in the city, with an imaginative list of geographically-themed drinks that offers an exciting alternative to more standard cocktails.