EDINBURGH // The Jolly Botanist

The Jolly Botanist - Edinburgh

Head towards Edinburgh's West End - just a three minute walk from Haymarket train station - and you might be lucky enough to find yourself stumbling upon The Jolly Botanist and its tempting list of almost fifty varieties of gin! 

Boasting botanicals from all across the globe, the list showcases some of the finest gins on offer, from distilleries near and far. The Jolly Botanist really know their gin and they know how to bring out the best in each of their products, balancing each one with a specific tonic and garnish combination for the ultimate experience in sampling. 

Gin is far and away my drink of choice. I really like gin. But how do you even begin narrowing down the selection on a list that big?! 

The answer is, you simply don't. You skip instead to the equally-tempting cocktail list! 

That's what we did on our first visit, at least, way back on that abseil weekend. Between us, we managed to sample our way through an "Elderflower Collins," a "Bramble," some "Gin, Glorious Gin!" and a wee spot of "Edinburgh Fizz," with every one going down a treat.

Cocktails - Jolly Botanist Edinburgh

With all that gin in need of soaking up, it's a good thing the Jolly Botanist offers up a tasty food menu too.

The 'Petite Platters' sounded too good to resist and so we got stuck straight in, with the meat-eaters each starting things off with a haggis Scotch egg and homemade ketchup, while we herbivores shared some "charred bread" with olives, humus and tzatziki dip.

Then it was on to mains, where the small menu came up trumps, even offering a bit of variety for the vegetarians. Gordon pounced on the Surf 'n' Turf with its fillet steak, king prawns, mushroom, tomato and hand-cut chips, while Christy went a little more adventurous with some slow braised beef shin with a tomato ragu and parmesan mash. Gemma opted for the roasted red pepper and spinach risotto - a very generous portion for a rice-based dish! - and I played it pretty safe with the sweet potato veggie burger, served in a toasted brioche bun with house slaw and fries, and definitely wasn't disappointed.

Food - Jolly Botanist Edinburgh
Please excuse the terrible phone photos.

Given the emphasis here is very firmly on the gin, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the quality of the food.  They're currently serving a three-course Christmas lunch for £25, which strikes me as excellent value-for-money if it's anywhere near as good. 

The whole atmosphere of the bar is really chilled, with beautiful decoration in-keeping with the caricature of the dapper gentleman botanist. Whether you're a gin-lover or not, it's well worth visiting if you ever find yourself nearby. I, for one, have already made a return trip! 

256-260 Morrison Street, Edinburgh  


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  1. First of all thank you so much for visiting igaberry.com and leaving a comment! I truly enjoy reading your heartwarming notes.

    All looks really tasty! I would not say no to risotto. I am not very original when it comes to my food choices, if there is risotto there is a huge chance I will order it. :D

    I would love to connect with you on Twitter and Instagram, drop me a line so I can follow back. Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

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