THE LAST WORD SALOON - 44 ST STEPHENS ST, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
So a wee while ago I was fortunate enough to be in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the fringe festival, which was truely amazing! And upon meeting some wonderfull in the know people, I was introduced to this real gem of an establishment - The Last Word Saloon, in the heart of the city.
What can I tell you about this place.... It is pretty special. This almost subterranean speak-easy cocktail bar, which created an inviting and intriguing vibe with it's unusual match of eclectic and minimalist decor. The walls were covered in stag antlers and wild boar heads, which added a touch of wilderness to the inner city venue. The bar was surrounded by a kaleidoscopic wall of mirrors of all different shapes and sizes, reflecting the light every which way against the darkly painted wall. The background music playlist was perfect for long summer evenings catching up with friends for a few drinks, consisting of the beautiful voices of Stevie Nicks and Co. To top it all off, there was one clever little feature of this basement venue I will never forget, which was the comedy stand-up show snippets, which were playing in the bathrooms.
The Cocktail menu is pretty exciting too. They serve the classic and their namesake: "The Last Word" like I have never seen it made before. In a small martini glass you are served: redistilled green chartreuse (which is clear), gin and maraschino, with a green effervescent style tablet on the side (imagine a berocca, only green, and about to be fizzing away at the bottom of your cocktail glass) that contains all the sugar and the colour that was removed from the chartreuse during the re-distillation process. The concept is to drop this green tablet into the clear spirits in the cocktail glass, turning the drink green. It's pretty amazing, and a really fun drink to try.
Being with a rather large contingent of friends out for a pre-dinner drink, I only managed to sample one Gin Cocktail here, and ran out of time to have a chat to the bartenders and ask them all my exciting questions (I do apologise team).
The Six Cylinder Cocktail, Married in Steel caught my eye, as it appeared on paper to be very similar in ingredients to a Negroni, containing: Bombay Sapphire Gin, Martini Rosso, Martini Dry, Campari, Cherry Heering, Dubonnet and *Secret Formula* (absolutely no idea what that means, but it sounded exciting and I was dead keen to give it a go). Cylinder canister photograph on the left.
As the name "six cylinder, married in steel" suggests, the drink was served in a small metal cylinder along with a glass containing a large ice block with a twist of orange. The cocktail had the gorgeous red colour that you would expect from the Campari, and smelt very strongly of sweet orange. The initial taste was all sticky and bitter as you expect from a good Negroni, however it was far sweeter than I expected and the undeniable yet subtle cherry flavours from the Cherry Heering were certainly present. The Six Cylinder Cocktail is an innovative concept that will definitely go down in my book as one of the most interesting cocktails I have ever been served.
All in all, The Last Word Saloon is one of those bars where if I were ever back in this great Scottish city again I would visit in a heart beat. I highly recommend this Gin Joint to any one visiting Edinburgh.
Keep being responsible team!