Orchid Bar

14 Bon Accord Square, Aberdeen

What is it: Now in its eighth year, Orchid has gone from strength to strength ensuring the granite city as one of Scotland's best cocktail towns. Following a recent refurbishment, it looks great and is clearly a bar driven by the team that work here. Over the years, the Orchid has been home to some of the UK’s best bartenders who have gone on to work in amazing venues such as “worlds best bar” Dandelyan, London and Amsterdam's Tails And Spirits.

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Interesting fact: Since opening the bar in 2009, Ben Irvani and the team always dreamed of creating their own gin brand. Porter’s Gin was the brainchild of Ben Iravani and Alex Lawrence, as well as their friends Josh Rennie and Danil Nevsky. It took over five years after opening for them to eventually develop and create the brand.

Verdict: Aberdeen has an amazing bar scene that most people from Edinburgh and Glasgow probably don’t know about. Along with bars like Tippling House and Dusk, Orchid has changed the way a lot of people drink in Aberdeen. Yes, that might be a bold statement but I have seen the same thing happen in Edinburgh with bars like Tonic and Bramble over the last 15 years. Bars like these are hugely important because they are not driven by just making money, they aim to introduce people to a new way of enjoying amazing spirits and drinks.

Drink: A lot of time in effort is put into developing new drinks menus. While the owners are serious about their products they still manage to make the menu approachable and fill with really tasty drinks. Some cocktail bars get carried away with creating concoctions that are for other bartenders and focus on weird techniques and ingredients rather than just making delicious drinks to be enjoyed. A recently launched new menu is full of amazing drinks, including Smoke And Mirrors – a twist on a classic English Milk Punch with Navy Rum, clarified milk, pineapple, spices, citrus and smoky lapsang soushong tea.

Food: If I’m honest, I am not sure if they do food here, I’m always just here for the drinks. I think I may have heard a rumour once that there was some sort of charcuterie board on offer.

Prices: You will find cheaper cocktails in the more mainstream bars around the corner but I promise that you get what you pay for here. Special menus are on offer all the time that will keep you happy if you are a bit hard up.

Children: Sorry, this place is for the grown-ups.

Alfresco: Small bit of space outside but all the action is happening inside.

Perfect for: This is one of the best places to go in Scotland if you fancy a big night out. I’ve had plenty of memorable nights here just letting loose and having some good old-fashioned fun, something that can be lacking in some cocktail bars.

Avoid if: You are just not into great cocktails and amazing chat and prefer a dark corner in a pub to sit in peace with your pint and paper.

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