52 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LD
0131 228 4543
Dragonfly is a unique and award-winning independent cocktail bar in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Our extensive cocktail menu has been constantly honed over the five years since we opened, and mixes the finest spirits with a variety of fresh fruits, juices and a few ingredients you might not expect.
We love music, and agonise over our genre-spanning playlists. At the weekends some of Edinburgh’s finest DJs spin a mixture of hip-hop, soul, electro, reggae and everything in between.We’re open from 4pm – 1am, seven days a week. Drinks are our thing (as you might have gathered!), but if you need a little sustenance while you’re here, we can arrange to have an awesome pizza delivered straight to your table.
It’s a sad fact that, over the years, Edinburgh’s Grassmarket has become rather grimly synonymous with lairy hen and stag dos, and, as such, a part of town best given a wide berth come Saturday night. Which is a real shame, because among the drinking games and L-plates lies is a bar that’s not to be missed: Dragonfly on West Port.
Like it’s namesake, Dragonfly is small but really very lovely to look at. Light years away from the hyper-chic glass-and-flash of George Street’s cocktail bars it straddles a sort of glamorously kitschy line between Oriental luxe and a vintage rummage sale. Oversized chandeliers sit alongside a chinoiserie mural and karate wallpaper, with the mirrored bar playing host to an oddball assortment of depths-of-the-attic paraphernalia (skateboard and a miniature gong, anyone?) – all grandly presided over by a haughty-looking ceramic tiger. This is ‘tongue-in-chic’ done with aplomb.
Dragonfly’s cocktail menu similarly combines with the quirky with the exotic; the bar doesn’t serve food so efforts are solely dedicated to the art of mixology. Scanning an extensive and unusual list of libations I courageously considered the intriguing-sounding Guinness Daiquiri, but with my reviewer’s hat on decided instead to go off-menu to run the cocktail bar litmus test with a Gin Martini. Made with the gin of my choice (posh gin at no extra cost!), it was ice-cold and refreshing, although at the bartender’s suggestion I opted for it to be served “dirty” with a splash of olive brine and the salt unfortunately overwhelmed what would have otherwise been a lip-smacking rendering of the cocktail classic.
My drinking partner Ali tried out a sweeter offering: the Peach, Plum Pear, which was a Champagne cocktail with white peach, plum liqueur and pear Cognac. This was a truly stunning drink, layered in pink stripes with a sour plum nestling at the bottom for extra retro charm. Aesthetic appeal did slightly win over taste – Ali pronounced it too sweet before mixed with the provided swizzle stick – but once stirred it was a softly fizzy and fruity bellini, perfect for sipping on a summer evening.
So don’t let those (well enough meaning but very loud) hens and stags put you off; stylishly inventive in ambience, looks and menu, Dragonfly is a gem – the Grassmarket’s diamond in the rough. And all without a single penis straw in sight.
Jane from Jane Eats Edinburgh
Raspberry Berry or "The Cocktail Formerly known as Prince" - Beefeater Gin, Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, Grand Marnier, Cranberry Juice, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Fresh Raspberries, Fresh Basil Leaves and Cracked Black Pepper.
21 original + all the classics.
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