IN the early days of lockdown, as our usual avenues of pleasure were closed off, it may come as no surprise to learn that online searches for “cocktail shakers” surged.

Cocktails had been a booming trend pre-pandemic and with social diaries empty, it seems many desperate souls took the plunge and bought their own mixers in a bid to try and bring a little luxury into lockdown.

Let’s face it, though, home-made concoctions are never going to be quite as aesthetic or as enjoyable as the ones put down to us on a night out on the town reconnecting with family and friends.

And as the world begins to open up, for many, a simple catch up over a cocktail is now a must-do.

So put your shakers on ice and get your glad rags on to investigate some of the hottest cocktail spots across Scotland.

And let us not forget who is back on the silver screen - 007 - so, naturally, always ensure your martini cocktails are “shaken, not stirred”.


Central Station, 99 Gordon Street

Glasgow, G1 3SF

0141 221 3388

PULLING up a seat in Champagne Central, the bar overlooking Central Station in the heart of Glasgow city centre, feels like stepping back in time. In surroundings that evoke the golden age of travel - with a domed ceiling, original pillars, gleaming chandelier and marble floor - the stylish venue is the ideal spot to indulge in a cocktail. Take your pick from the likes of ‘Flaming Coconut’, a coconut rum, dark rum, spiced rum, lime, pineapple, orange and grenadine concoction, to a ‘Johnnie Scott’ - Scotch blended whisky with apricot liqueur, lemon and peaty single malt. Other favourites include ‘Teatime with Alice’ - spiced rum, rhubarb liqueur, lemon, apple, vanilla syrup and rhubarb foam and ‘Siberian Tea’ - vodka, limoncello, lemon and ginger ale.


11 Mitchell Lane

Glasgow, G1 3NU

0141 204 2404

Bar Soba is in Hanover Street in Edinburgh and has a few Glasgow locations, including Merchant City and Byres Road. It's also in Mitchell Lane. The company has been "mixing cocktails since 1999” and its drinks are bursting with flavours that notably complement the menu - the food is inspired by the markets in southeast Asia. The shareable 'Mango Tango Skull' comes in a skull-shaped glass and as well as mango, orange, lime and passionfruit juices, features coconut rum and mango liqueur with a few limes sliced into the skull for good measure. A 'Russian Bounty Hunter', meanwhile, features stoli chocolate coconut vodka, milk, cream and coffee liqueur, while their 'Pan Asian Persuasion' menu includes the classic 'Singapore Sling’ made famous by Singapore's Raffles Hotel.


1 Academy Street

Inverness, IV1 1JN

01463 714471

Bar One in Inverness is described as "the home of cocktails in the Highlands”. The buzzing venue promises “some old favourites, new creations and just the right amount of tongue-in-chic twists to keep your taste buds tingling”. The cocktail menu is fun-filled, including a 'Bubblegum Daiquiri' that is garishly blue and comes with popping candy; a 'Bakewell Tart', that features Amaretto and vanilla vodka and 'Millionaire Shortbread, which is described as 'pure gluttony', pairing caramel vodka with chocolate liqueur, finished with a buttery biscuit rim. In a nod to the northern lights, you can also indulge in an 'Aurora Borealis' that changes colour.


25 St Vincent Pl

Glasgow, G1 2DT


The family behind Glasgow’s much-loved restaurant, Urban Bar & Brasserie, have rebranded the hotspot; bringing a brand new restaurant and bar to Glasgow’s city centre that, as well as offering classic dishes, serves up fine cocktails with a twist around a striking 22-seater marble bar. Guests are welcomed to enjoy their favourite dram in the Whisky Room, relax over lunch or dinner in The Garden Room or enjoy a more private dining experience in Ralph & Finn’s Boardroom. Cocktails include a 'Red Door', with Glenfarclas 105, sugar snap pea and pomegranate cordial, tonic water and Peychaud Bitters, and a 'View Carr' that features Buckfast tonic wine, New Orleans bitters, plum sake, Flor De Cana 12 rum and Courvoisier VSOP cognac.


1-3 Westgate

North Berwick, EH39 4AE

01620 890501

The Herringbone - which celebrated seven years of operation in August - prides itself on being locally sourced. The “independent watering hole by the sea” has a real coastal breath-of-fresh-air vibe too. Offering "beautifully crafted cocktails”, the venue says it is “always working on new” recipes, with the latest offering the ‘Gin & Juice’, comprising Tanqueray Rangpur Gin, Cointreau, passion fruit, pineapple and orange. ‘John Muir's Garden’, meanwhile, is made up of Tanqueray gin, Edinburgh gin, rhubarb and ginger liqueur and grapefruit bitters.


67-69 Renfield Street

Glasgow, G2 1LF

0141 331 2614

You can find Revolution cocktail bars in various cities across the UK, including in Aberdeen's Belmont Street, Church Street in Inverness, Glasgow's Mitchell Street and in Chambers Street in Edinburgh. Glasgow’s original Revolution is a modern, lively cocktail bar and restaurant situated on Renfield Street, where the cocktail menu is described as “unbeatable”. It is currently offering a special ‘Freshers 2021’ menu till October 11, that includes an ’All Nighter', a candy and caffeine mix featuring Red Bull and watermelon.


2 West Port

Dundee, DD1 5EP

01382 525205

Located in Dundee’s Cultural Quarter, The West House has an effortlessly cool air and to go with it, a new outdoor ‘Aperol Spritz garden’ where the aim is “to transport you to the Italian Rivera, right from the heart of Dundee”. Quite a task, but the names of some of its cocktails alone suggest it may well be possible, from ‘Mr Blue Sky’ to ‘The Italian Job’. Meanwhile, the ‘Aperol Spritz’ is obviously a favourite while in the garden.


132 Main Street

Prestwick, KA9 1PB

01292 677675

The Vine in the heart of bustling Prestwick in South Ayrshire greets patrons with a neon sign advising them to: “Live more worry less.” Apt words as we try to move past the pandemic, perhaps. The Vine bills itself as the town's "original day-to-night destination" and offers a range of contemporary cocktails inspired by some of the newest products in the market created by its own bartenders. They include a 'Basil Bush', with Hendricks Lunar gin, Italicus, lemon, sugar syrup and basil, and a 'Rambler', with Johnny Walker Black, Martini Rosso, Campari and Peychaud Bitters.


191 Ingram Street

Glasgow, G1 1DA

0141 552 1101

The Corinthian Club is a historic Glasgow property, oozing with character. Built in 1842, it was once the Glasgow & Ship Bank and later the city’s judiciary courts, before restoration in 1999 transformed it into a must-see city hotspot. Featuring a 26 foot glass dome and some of the most intricate and elaborate plasterwork in the city, the restaurant, bar and event venue prides itself on style - and also its cocktail menu. It has even introduced new 'cocktail tree servers', that hold six cocktails at once for £45. Their lavish offerings include an array of 'X By Glenmorangie' cocktails, such as 'X Marks The Spot' with Glenmorangie X, pineapple, mango, citrus and soda, while a house specialty menu includes the 'Flamingo Martini', featuring Absolut Vanilla, Chambord and pineapple.


51 Langstane Place

Aberdeen, AB11 6EN

01224 516126

Orchid the granite city's home for discerning drinkers, “dedicated to raising the standards for mixed drinks and cocktails in Aberdeen and Scotland”. During lockdown, it pivoted to offer an online cocktail delivery service, but its doors are once again open and patrons can enjoy their drink of choice in a stylish, relaxed setting. The range of cocktails are classic and contemporary and sometimes quirky. And if what you want isn't on the menu, the guys behind the bar are happy to whip up a classic or bespoke cocktail. One new introduction is the 'Curious Disposition', described as an “intriguing twist on a margarita”, bringing together blood orange, Aperol and rose.


27 Royal Exchange Square

Glasgow, G1 3AJ

0141 222 2321

This bustling daytime cafe transforms itself into a buzzing cocktail bar as evening falls, offering some of Glasgow’s most “insta-worthy cocktails”. With an island bar in the centre, the surrounding booths make it an ideal catch-up spot with friends venue and some of the cocktail garnishes really do beg to be photographed and uploaded to Instagram immediately, from candyfloss to edible flowers. A fun favourite is the ‘Rubber Duck’, featuring Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice Gin, lychee, Blue Curacao, apple and yes, a rubber duck. It’s vibrant and fun and, just as the name says - social.


14 George Street

Edinburgh, EH2 2PF

0131 624 8624

The iconic George Street building, with its six, fine Corinthian columns, is a city landmark, whose aesthetics and rich history draw visitors alone. But the cocktail menu does its bit to attract patrons to the beautiful spot. If an 'Old Fashioned Scotsman', with its Monkey Shoulder Scotch and bitters doesn't do the trick, a 'Don't Rye For Me' might be up your street, with some Bulleit Rye, Amaro Montenegro, Cacao White and black walnut. And, of course, The Dome is a big draw over the festive season, famed for its Christmas decor that turns the venue into a winter wonderland.


4 South Harbour Street

Ayr, KA7 1HZ

01292 280212

As its name suggests, The Waterfront offers patrons the chance to gaze over the River Ayr while once again enjoying the experience of dining out and meeting family and friends for food and drinks. Its extensive cocktail menu is divided into sections to help customers choose - elegant and bubbly, Waterfront favourites, the classics and the bartenders' selection, with the latter including the aptly named 'Ayrshire Rose', a blend of Beefeater gin, Elderflower syrup, fresh raspberries and apple juice. Or what about a classic Mai Tai, blending Havana Especial with Cointreau and almond syrup, fresh lime and pineapple juices?


1 Station Road

Milngavie, G62 8PG

0141 956 4111

Located in the heart of Milngavie, at the foot of the iconic West Highland Way, Garvie & Co is a modern all-day destination, offering an experience to suit everyone, from a bakery and restaurant, to a bar and piano room. The cocktails on offer are as stylish as the surroundings and may indeed act as a dangling carrot to weary walkers. The classics are there, from the 'Margarita' to the 'Espresso Martini', with other delights including 'Ginger Spice', made up of Edinburgh rhubarb and ginger gin, Kraken dark rum, sugar, lime and ginger beer, and 'Jungle Juice', featuring coconut rum, banana, lime and sugar to sweeten the experience further.


125 George Street

Edinburgh, EH42 2JN

0131 225 5005

Tigerlily is a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant in the heart of the Capital with bold, indulgent decor that offers an extensive cocktail menu that matches the aesthetic. Its equally bold and indulgent array of concoctions range from the classics to Tigerlily’s own originals. Maybe you fancy a sip of 'Living on a Pear', which mixes 10 year old Glenmorangie with pear and soda, or some 'Lemon Drizzle Floradora', mixing Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin with Framboise, strawberry and ginger ale. Reviewers regularly describe the venue as stylish and opulent and that is Tigerlily to a tee.


44-46 Ashton Lane

Glasgow, G12 8SJ

0141 334 6688

Nestled in the rafters of Innis & Gunn Brewery Taproom on Ashton Lane, access to this fairly new addition to the iconic corner of the West End is through the stairwell. Once you arrive, the GCC promises “a cosy and intimate drinking experience”. What it offers is all there in the name, of course, with surely some of the best named cocktails in existence on the menu, including 'Paloma what's her faith', 'Who's Tommy and why does he get a Margarita?' and 'On Wednesdays we wear pink’.


127 South Street

St Andrews, KY16 9UH

01334 479191

The Adamson occupies a historic site in St Andrews, originally home to the Adamson family in the 1800s, whose eldest son, Dr John, was a physician and pioneering photographer. He took the first calotype portrait in Scotland in 1841 and a couple of the cocktails are a nod to his work, including the 'The Physician’ with Finlandia vodka and raspberry and 'Doctor's Orders’, with Bombay Sapphire gin, lime and mint. There are plenty of cocktail trees to choose from too at the venue that creates a set of seasonal menus throughout the year.


72 High Street

Fort William, PH33 6AD

01397 703600

Tourist hotspot Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of the UK and after all of the action-packed activities, a cocktail is surely called for. The Tavern, situated in the centre of the town, obliges. Its 'Drumstick Lolly', with Stoli vanilla vodka and raspberry vodka, is a retro favourite, and where better than sitting in the shade of Ben Nevis to enjoy a 'Flower of Scotland' - whisky with Angostura Bitters, ginger ale and freshly squeezed lime.


23 Bank Street

Dumfries, DG1 2NX

01387 249421

Situated at the junction of Bank Street and Irish Street in Dumfries town centre, The Corner Eatery and Bar Store, with an industrial-vintage interior, offers great tasting international food and cocktails. In keeping with the restaurant's travel theme, the menu - for food and drink - draws on a variety of inspirations from cultures and countries around the world. As a result, the classics are all there, from 'Bellinis' to 'Martinis' and if you want to push the boat out, there are cocktail shots too.


106 Buchanan Street

Glasgow, G1 2NB

0141 378 1200

The Ivy has long been the ultimate venue for the world's A-list stars. Known for its exclusivity, The Ivy in London opened up a restaurant in the heart of Glasgow’s Style Mile in 2019 and its cocktails are as supremely elegant as the surroundings. Set across two fabulous floors, the space features two beautiful onyx bars and is a decadent location for reconnecting over a cocktail. Favourites include The Ivy Royale - its signature Kir Royale with Plymouth Gin, sloe juice, vermouth and Ivy Collection Champagne, and the Ivy Sling, based on the classic 'Raffles' recipe. And as the Glasgow Ivy is also a celebrity magnet, who knows who you could spot over your flute?