Bramble – Hip Hop Not Only on the Tastebuds
Hip Hop, great service, complex drinks. A very cool and laid-back place with unpretentious bartenders. You either like it or you don’t.
The Bramble is a cocktail created by Dick Bradsell in 1980s London, and the name of this bar. Nearly ten years ago Bramble opened its doors and helped to establish Edinburgh as a Cocktail capital. At the moment the bar ranks at number 47 of The World’s 50 Best Bars.
Like some of the other cocktail bars in Edinburgh you could easily miss Bramble. I am not bad at finding speakeasy locations and from the street level I noticed a small brass plaque outside the door just like had I already seen at Lucky Liquor. I climbed down the stairs and entered a dimly lit cellar room. My ears were treated to hip hop tunes and I was a bit confused because I expected something totally different: perhaps more of a posh prohibition speakeasy kind of bar.
My eyes needed a bit to adjust to the darkness but I found my seat at the bar counter immediately. I turned around and let my gaze wander through the room. You will find yourself in a cave-like cosy venue with bare bricks and a few small seating niches, some comfortable armchairs and a few seats at the bar.
I was pleasantly surprised by the attentive service and the smaller bar counter which, as is usual, leads to more interaction and being closer to the bartenders. With all the candle light the atmosphere is very intimate. The back bar is very well stocked and one bottle lined up to the next on top of the fridges. The menu is a mix of forgotten and newly invented drinks. I did not opt for the Bramble and asked for a different crowd pleaser. Mint 500 is a concoction of Hendrick’s Gin, elderflower, apple juice, lime juice, mint, basil, peach bitters and vanilla gomme. It kept the promise of the bartender, light and refreshing and nicely balanced.
The barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktail is one of the signature drinks and was my next choice. It came in a little chilled bottle with a lovely label and a separate glass, a brandied cherry and a twist of lemon to pour yourself. It is a cooperation with Glenmorangie and is made, of course, with Glenmorangie 10 year old, Byrrh aromatic wine and Noilly Prat. The taste was again well-balanced with a flavour of dried fruits, wood and light spice. My cup of tea, I would say. I had a special night out. Close to the bartenders and pleased by their drinks.