Gin Tours in Edinburgh: Distilleries, Make-Your-Own, & Gin Pub Trail

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Let the games be-gin! While whisky is still the tourist tipple of choice, there has been a distillation explosion in Scotland, which visitors can learn about during the following Edinburgh gin tours featuring distilleries, masterclasses, make-your-own, and a City Centre gin bar crawl!

You may also like our guide to whisky tours in the city and beer gardens list.

Gin Distillery Tours in Edinburgh

Holyrood Distillery For Whisky and Gin

Holyrood Distillery (19 St Leonard’s Ln) founders Rob and Kelly Carpenter and former Macallan master distiller David Robertson opened the doors to the century-old Engine Shed in 2019.

Known as being the first distillery in Edinburgh to produce single malt whisky since 1925, the tasting tour provides a ‘buy one get one free’ experience as visitors get to learn about whisky and gin!

The reason distilleries produce both spirits is because they have to wait three years for whisky to mature, whereas the distillation process of gin is much quicker.

This City Centre gin tasting tour is led by an expert guide who discusses the traditions of craft distilling used at Holyrood and encourages guests to taste and smell their way through the session.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Drinks included: Yes

56 North Distillery and The Oldest Gin Bar in Edinburgh

Sitting on the city’s Southside, close to The Meadows, 56 North Distillery (2 W Crosscauseway, Newington) reveals how their award-winning South Loch Gins are created during this 1.5-hour gin experience.

The interactive tour includes information on the botanical production and a visit to the oldest dedicated gin bar, which boasts over 300 types of gin.

Guests sample three gins that are made on the premises and use a bit of their new-found knowledge, plus support from tasting notes to identify what’s in the glass, or they can sip while they think!

And, if you time it right, you might just get to try a soon-to-be-released secret potion!

The tour wraps up with a gin cocktail.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration 1.5 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes

Lind & Lime For Production and Cocktails

Heading down to the Shore, Lind & Lime (24 Coburg St) is located in the lively Leith neighbourhood, which can be reached by foot, bus, or tram.

Savour a signature welcome gin and tonic, giving you the courage to join the production team of this working distillery, where you are invited to bottle and label your own mini bottle of Lind & Lime Gin as a souvenir!

Before you go, your guide will teach you how to perfect the Gimlet during a gin cocktail-making session.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration 1.5 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes, during class and to take away

Note: Some tours require proof of age, so remember to pack a driver’s license or passport.

Gin Tasting in Edinburgh

The Lost Close For Gin Tasting Below The Old Town

Moving away from the traditional distillery tours, The Lost Close (1A Parliament Square), which is part of CoDE Pod – THE CoURT accommodation just off the Royal Mile, hosts an underground gin-tasting event.

The 1-hour tour allows participants to try out four different gin flavours and various tonics to suit every tastebud!

Reviews give positive comments to the unique location and the brilliant gin guides.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration 1 hour
  • Drinks included: Yes

Cumberland Bar For Make-Your-Own-Gin Experience

The Cumberland Bar (1-3 Cumberland St) is known for its sports on TV and Sunday roast, but it also puts on a cool make-your-own gin class in Edinburgh.

Visitors are transformed into scientists during this 3-hour session creating their own 500 ml gin concoction in a small group setting, a bespoke expedition for big gin fans who have done the above tours already.

Reserve a spot here.

  • Duration 3 hours
  • Drinks included: Yes, during class and to take away

56 North For Gin and Cheese Pairing

Back to Scotland’s oldest gin bar at 56 North (2 W Crosscauseway) for a 2-hour tasting session, ideal for those who want to drink without touring the copper stills.

The session lines up eight different flavours of gin for tasting, paired with cheese, while a professional tour guide talks the group through the history and process of gin making in Scotland.

Reserve your spot here.

  • Duration 2 hour
  • Drinks included: Yes, and cheese

Cheese fans, there’s a cheese crawl in the city! Read all about it in our food tour guide.

Popular Edinburgh Gin Bars

If you prefer to build your own gin trail in Edinburgh, there are plenty of options to choose from. Starting in the West End and working your way through the New Town to the Old Town, the trail takes 30 minutes to walk in total.

Heads & Tales Gin Bar

The team of mixologists at Heads & Tails (1a Rutland St) use the product of the two in-house Edinburgh Gin stills to dream up a fun menu for connoisseurs.

Located between the entrances of The Huxley and the Ghillie Dhu, it can be a little tricky trying to find the front door.

This is a dog-friendly gin bar in Edinburgh’s West End.

Tonic

We could not leave out this compact yet lively cocktail bar with a name like Tonic (34A N Castle St) could we?!

The detailed menu has a handy key for food allergens, and the cocktail names are a giggle.

Copper Blossom

Popular with groups of girls, Copper Blossom (107 George St), this photogenic cocktail bar offers an extensive gin-infused menu and a hearty food menu.

The boozy brunch is also popular.

Lucky Liquor Co

An Ev Ed favourite, Lucky Liquor Co (39A Queen St) is a Queen Street basement bar with great music and specialist booze, some of which include gin.

Feeling peckish? There is also a small selection of bar snacks.

Bramble Bar

Bramble Bar (16A Queen St) is another intimate New Town bar.

The cocktail that bears the bar name comprises gin, lemon, and blackberry.

McGonagalls Gin & Whisky Emporium

McGonagalls Gin & Whisky Emporium (49-50 George IV Bridge) is a fun bar located on the touristy George IV Bridge just before Edinburgh’s answer to Diagon Alley, Victoria Street.

It’s not just the pub name that fits with the Harry Potter theme that the area enjoys; its decor is also spell-binding; even the menu that features 100 gins and 120 whisky options looks like potion books!

Final Words

There’s no denying that gin is at the forefront of the Scottish culinary and drinks sector, so why not learn more about its history and the craftsmanship that goes into creating one of the leading tipples?

Which Edinburgh gin tour did you choose? Tell us in the comments!

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