Nightcap – a cosy rabbit hole with cocktails and food
This was my last night out in Edinburgh and it was time for my last nightcap. Nightcap, an apt name for a bar with long opening hours, amazing drinks and solid food. It is a relatively new addition to the local bar scene. Situated in a good neighbourhood close to Bramble, Nightcap is also located in the basement and at first sight it seemed to be a small cocktail bar as well.
It is not! After pressing the buzzer and entering through the door you will discover a cosy cocktail restaurant and bar spread across two floors. I entered the basement well equipped with a boomerang cocktail, that had been entrusted to me by a friendly bartender. For those who have no clue what a boomerang is in this context, It is a drink that is sent from one bartender to another from different bars. Usually in discreet packaging by a trustworthy customer. It is a perfect icebreaker.
The bartender, Robbie, gave me an excellent tour through the whole venue. Going downstairs to the lower basement you will find an impressive labyrinth of cosy niches, table football and the kitchen. Initially planned as a festival pop up in 2016, Nightcap later became a serious bar and restaurant. They are famous for their ribs, chicken wings and their great selection of beer. Be careful if you are downstairs, not to get lost in the irregularly shaped rooms and tiny nooks, especially when you are a bit tipsy.
Nightcap: one place but two bars. One for the serious high class cocktail indulgent and one with a great selection of beers, shots and solid food. Both till late.
Back to the basement and the tiny cocktail bar, the bartender treated me nicely with drinks from the small and focussed selection. They concentrate on homemade ingredients to create complex flavours. I first ordered the Jade River because the rhum agricole immediately caught my eye on the wooden menu. The drink came with a massive green ice cube like the green hills of Edinburgh. It was a delicious savoury and spicy combination of Clément, blanco vermouth, wasabi, seaweed, lime and celery. The green ice cube turned out to be cucumber giving a very refreshing note as well a nice look. After this drink I continued with more tart flavours and opted for the King Bee. The presentation was also fit for a king. Elegant glassware with a huge clear ice cube stamped with the name of the bar, bathing in scotch, manzanilla sherry, herbal liqueur, raspberry & honey shrub and camomile.
The vibe of this place is intimate, laid-back and so relaxing that I had to have one further drink. I opted for their signature drink, Nightcap. A boozy concoction unique and perfectly presented. First of all the vinegar in the drink was amazing and rounded off the combination of bourbon, Perique tobacco liqueur, PX sherry, balsamic vinegar and orange bitters. It was served with a burnt match and garnished with an orange twist on a nail. Great drink and the tobacco liqueur was delicious by the way.
It was time to say goodbye to the bar and the city. Edinburgh has a world-class selection of cocktail bars and as I said in my first story of Edinburgh bars, you are guaranteed a warm Scottish welcome. That was an unforgettable adventure and thanks to everyone for keeping me “stalking” and making me feel at home in their bars.