1073 Cocktails and 238 Bars now listed
A glowing beacon in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, 99 Hanover Street is the perfect place to recover from Fringe fatigue or to shelter from the reliable rebellion of Edinburgh’s skies. The design is tasteful and eclectic with inviting armchairs, flickering candles and well chosen furniture to boost the venue’s style credentials. Classic movies are projected onto a back wall and the bar is well known for its entertainment 7 nights a week, boasting an array of the finest dj’s, with it’s pre club collaborative platform, as well as, Edinburgh’s freshest live acts. Their cocktails, of which they’re rightly proud, are creative concoctions plus they stock a wide and considered range of spirits plus a nice selection of premiums on tap. Though it can get crazy on gig nights and weekends, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and always entertaining!
99 Hanover Street’s website proclaims that as “Edinburgh’s favourite party destination” it offers up “entertainment seven nights a week”. Having chosen to undertake the very arduous task of cocktail bar reviewing on a Sunday evening, I can confirm that 99 Hanover Street really does live up to its mantra – lashings of opulent style and a pretty fine cocktail menu to boot.
Stepping inside the bar feels much like crossing the threshold into a dark wonderland, deliciously far away from the usual humdrum of Sunday back-to-work activities. The bar has been designed with real attention to detail; from the lavish birds-of-paradise wallpaper on the ceiling to the high red velvet booths, sculptural glass chandeliers and chesterfield sofas adorned with iconic images from film and music – a mix of luxe and edginess, with an escapist hint of speakeasy debauchery.
Living up to it’s promise of week-long fiesta, Sunday nights at 99 Hanover Street are devoted to long suffering weekend-workers, featuring an in-house DJ and the request to respectfully “disregard Monday mornings”. Make no mistake, it’s probably not the best place to go if you’re looking for a quiet drink, but for something a little more rambunctious 99 Hanover Street has got fizzy carnival atmosphere in spades.
Settling back comfortably into a kitsch, Vivienne Westwood-esque Union Jack sofa, my friend and I perused the menu, which was helpfully divided into categories like ‘short’, ‘fizz’ and special in-house ‘creations’. I was especially pleased to see the rather scorned prohibition classic Sidecar on the list, as well as a selection of martinis that would have had James Bond putting down his bimbo and picking up his glass in a flash.
I plumped for the Aviation Martini: a pale, opalescent offering that combined gin, maraschino and lemon juice in well-balanced quantities. I’ve found gin cocktails can sometimes be a little overpowering, but in this drink the sweet smokiness of the maraschino and tang of the lemon tempered the stronger gin flavour – although unfortunately making it devilishly easy to drink.
My friend’s libation-du-choix was one of 99 Hanover’s special creations, the Ramblin’ Fizz. This was, like mine, a short drink, featuring gin, redcurrants, lemon juice and pamplemouse (or grapefruit) liquer. Coral-pink, with a cluster of redcurrants, it looked unashamedly girly, but the pamplemousse cut through the tutti frutti sweetness and again the gin was just right, creating a drink that was softly fruity rather than astringently alcoholic.
As Monday morning beckoned we stopped at just the one. But for a hit of energy, great drinks and a spot of decadence, 99 Hanover Street is just the ticket – any night of the week.
Review by Jane from janeeatsedinburgh