Heads and Tales really isn’t telling fibs when it refers to itself as ‘Edinburgh’s hidden gem’. Down a set of steps and through a heavy door into the basement of the Rutland hotel, you’ll find Heads and Tales – Edinburgh’s speciality gin bar.
Last week, I was invited to enjoy some Thursday night (much needed) cocktails and light bites with a friend. Both of us love a cocktail, so we had high hopes for Edinburgh’s hidden basement bar. As soon as we sat down and were presented with the menus, we knew that quality was of the utmost importance at Heads and Tales.
The selection of gin on offer was vast – with special highlights being some of Scotland’s top tipples, including, of course, all varieties of Edinburgh Gin. Our bartenders were enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and after talking to them about what was on offer, there was both the trust and the expectation that, whatever they conjured up, would be delicious.
We were sat next to one of two Edinburgh Gin stills in the bar – after all, it is a gin distillery during the day. The daytime gin distillery is open until 5 pm, at which time it becomes a wonderful cocktail bar. As well as tours, and tastings, gin masterclasses are on offer which allows you to design your own gin cocktail
Cocktails at Heads and Tales
While there are a number of cocktails on the menu, there is also the option to design a cocktail according to your tastes. This involved choosing a gin, a type of glass and finally, a flavour of choice. The rest is left in the capable hands of the bartenders. I opted for a champagne glass, Edinburgh Seaside gin and the taste of Cardamom. What I got back was a delight – sweet and sour, with a good kick of Scandinavia’s favourite spice.
My friend opted for a West Side Story – a cocktail made with the Australian gin, West Winds Sabre, plum, peach and mint – particularly refreshing at the end of a long Thursday at work!
I soon followed suit and ordered a Daisy Cutter, another cocktail featuring Edinburgh Gin, but this time, combined with blood orange and citrus.
To accompany our cocktails, we decided to enjoy a selection of light bites; cheese toasties, haggis bonbons with grain mustard mayo and some all indulgent mac n cheese bites with bloody mary ketchup. What a joy!
Cocktails and Heads and Tales was an absolute delight – I simply can’t believe that I hadn’t visited before, but rest assured, I will be back – and next time, I might just stay for the weekend.
Find them: 1a Rutland Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2AD
Contact them: 0131 656 2811