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An intimate cocktail bar.
The first thing you’ll notice about Bramble is that it’s very difficult to find. I’ve been twice before, and on my third visit I managed to walk past it twice: before consulting Google maps, which gave me the completely wrong answer. Funnily enough, 16A Queen Street isn’t on Thistle Street.
Rest assured, Bramble is certainly worth finding. Climbing down the stairs into the basement can be a little daunting: only a small brass plaque outside the door indicates the speakeasy that lies within. Walking through the door, I was greeted by the sound of chilled out hip hop and the laughter of after work drinkers.
Approaching the bar, I asked for the cocktail menu. The menu itself is short and sweet, with a number of cocktails (most based on gin and whisky) ranging in price from £6.50 to tenner. There’s also a list of suggested gin and tonic combinations, but that’s another review for another day. The menu is bound in the cover of an old hardback book: on this visit, by Lisa Gardner (the title was too faded to read).
I settled on ‘The Saint’: a prosecco base with peach bitters and elderflower. Three of my favourite things. I took a seat on a very comfy easy chair: almost designed for solo drinking excursions such as this one. This is exactly what an Edinburgh bar should look like. Bramble is dimly lit, with neuks and crannies that are perfect for anyone seeking privacy. The bare stone walls, antique furniture, and achingly beautiful bartenders ooze genuine chic, unlike the minimalist boredom of other cocktail bars just up the road on George Street.
You’ll need to get there quick if you want to claim a neuk: this visit was at 6pm on a Wednesday afternoon and most of the seats were already filled. Despite its best efforts to remain hidden, Bramble is not a hidden secret.
It took the waiter just under two minutes to create my cocktail, and myself only a few seconds to get down to the business of sipping. The Saint is sweet and fruity without cloying: it’s obvious that pure ingredients are used here rather than dismal sugar syrups. All in all a very well crafted tipple, with the sweetness of the elderflower combining with the tanginess of peach and fizz of prosecco to create a sherbert like flavour and sensation.
Despite being a sparkling wine cocktail, at a modest £7 it wasn’t the most expensive on the list: that honour goes to their signature mojito.
Review by Jemma from Jemma Eat World