Edinburgh Festival Guide

Words by Caorunn Gin

Photography by istock.com/jmimages

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The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for the numerous arts and cultural festivals held each August in Edinburgh, Scotland. The largest of these are the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. These various festivals are organised by different organisations and are unrelated to each other, but together comprise the world’s largest annual cultural festival.

Brought to you by our friends at Caorunn Scottish gin...

Three top tips to help you get the most out of the Edinburgh International Festival

      Balance your time. The Edinburgh festival is bursting with things to do and whilst it may well be possible to squeeze in a huge number of shows to any given day we think aiming for around four or five is the perfect number to offer a good balance of art and comedy whilst leaving you a little time to simply soak up the atmosphere of the festival.

      Plan in advance. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to the Edinburgh International Festival, so check out the official festival guide and create a rough plan of what you want to see in advance, giving yourself plenty time to travel between venues and taking note of a 'back-up' option should your first choice sell out. What's more don't forget that when it comes to the Festival word of mouth goes a long way too. Check out Twitter and talk to people to find out what's not to be missed - after all there's no better way to enjoy the festival than by keeping your ear to the ground and following the buzz.

      Mix it up. There's plenty of venues across the city beyond the "big four" festival locations so it's worth keeping in mind that you don't have to limit your attention to them alone. Edinburgh is a fantastic city and there's lots to be discovered so allow yourself a little time to go off-piste and explore what the capital has to offer.

Your hidden retreat from the bustling festival crowds

Whilst the Edinburgh International Festival is a hive of activity it always comes in handy to have a tranquil sanctuary in your mind should you need a little time to simply kick back and plan your day which is why we've teamed up with Hotel du Vin to create just that!

This August we're offering those in-the-know the perfect hidden retreat from the busting Edinburgh International Festival crowds in the form of the Caorunn Gin Garden, #CaorunnGardenHDV. Hosted by Hotel du Vin in the heart of Edinburgh and nestled in the hotels enclosed courtyard the Caorunn Gin Garden boasts al fresco dining, a suite of exclusive Caorunn cocktails to indulge in and an indoor "snug" area should the wet and rainy Scottish weather decide to show itself, all that remains now is for you to join us there...
When: 4th-28th August 2017
Where: Caorunn Gin Garden, Hotel du Vin, 11 Bristo Place, Edinburgh EH1 1EZ

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Where to drink?

In addition to the Caorunn Gin Garden pop-up its suffice to say that Edinburgh boasts a huge collection of watering holes from cocktail dens to beer gardens so there's no doubt something for everyone. However, if you're pushed for time and not quite sure where to lay your hat and enjoy a Caorunn & T then we believe these 'must visit' Edinburgh bars are worth checking out:

  • The Edinburgh Cocktail Festival, New Waverley, Market Square, Sibbald Walk, Edinburgh, EH8 8BJ. Before we talk bars we couldn't miss out the Edinburgh Cocktail Festival. This pop-up event is the city's first ever festival dedicated entirely to cocktails. The venue boasts everything from an inspired boat shaped bar hosted by Single Malt Whisky brand Old Pulteney which is serving up a fleet of Scotch Whisky Cocktails to live acts and street foods - this pop-up is certainly worth a visit!
  • The Blackbird 37-39 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LH. This hip bar with secluded beer garden offers a gastropub-style menu inclusive of lots of delicious vegetarian dishes, a luxurious suite of cocktails, not to mention a secluded beer garden. So if an "old local" rejigged into a trendy pub with a friendly atmosphere sounds like what you're looking for then a trip to Blackbird won't disappoint.
  • The Voyage of Buck 29-31 William St NE Lane, Edinburgh, EH3 7NF. With just as much character as the fictional traveller, the eponymous philanthropist, polo player and traveller, William 'Buck' Clarence that the bar was named after Voyage of Buck is a cool city bar that boasts a cocktail menu as long as your arm. This is most certainly one for you cocktail aficionados out there!
  • Hamiltons 16-18 Hamilton Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5AU. Hamilton's was opened in 2008 to give the Stockbridge locals a bar where the service was relaxed, but informed and drinks we expertly crafted. And it doesn't disappoint!
  • Treacle 39-41 Broughton St, Edinburgh EH1 3JU. To some Treacle is a great cocktail bar with handfuls of awards, to others it's the perfect mid-week a hunt or pre-club venue, but to us it's quite simply a super cool bar that makes for the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a Caorunn & T!
  • The Bon Vivant 51 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DY. The elegant and relaxed atmosphere of The Bon Vivant boasts fine cuisine and an ever changing cocktail list!
  • The Devil's Advocate 9 Advocate's Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1ND. Home to a vast collection of whiskies, multi-award winning bartenders and a delectable Scottish food menu the Devil's Advocate is a gem hidden in the historical and atmospheric Old Town of Edinburgh.
  • Bramble 16A Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JE. Voted one of the top twenty bars in the world in 2008 Bramble Bar and Lounge has firmly established itself as one of the best. The bars laid-back understated atmosphere and suite of must-try cocktails makes this a must-visit destination for those that enjoy a tipple, or two!

Caorunn Gin Cocktails

We thought we'd take the opportunity to share four delicious and simple Caorunn Gin cocktails with you.

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Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Maraschino cherry
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.
35 ml Caorunn Gin
15 ml Maraschino liqueur
20 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
10 ml Creme de violette

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Ginitos (Gin Mojito)
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Mint sprig
Method: Gently MUDDLE mint in base of glass (just to bruise). Squeeze lime wedges and drop into glass. Add sugar and lemon juice then stir prior to filling glass with crushed ice. CHURN drink with ice and finally top with soda.
50 ml Caorunn Gin
8 fresh Mint leaves
3 wedges Lime
12.5 ml Sugar syrup
12.5 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Top with Soda water

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Glass: Collins
Garnish: Mint sprig & raspberry
Method: MUDDLE lime and berries in base of shaker. Add gin, sugar, lemon juice and mint. SHAKE with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
3 wedges Lime
1 fresh Blackberry
1 fresh Raspberry
½ fresh Strawberry
50 ml Caorunn Gin
12.5 ml Sugar syrup
12.5 ml Lemon juice
8 fresh Mint leaves
Top with Soda water

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Apple + Ginger
Glass: Collins
Garnish: Mint sprig & slice fresh ginger
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain into ice-filled glass.
50 ml Caorunn Gin
5 ml Sugar syrup
10 ml Ginger syrup
100 ml Apple juice

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