The Lucky Liquor Co. – The Lucky Number is 13
Right from the start I have to say that you are guaranteed a warm Scottish welcome in Edinburgh’s bars. It is a small city with so many high-end bars and luckily they are all in walking distance.
Edinburgh is small in size but huge in innovative and delicious drinks.
The weather was a mix of rain and sunshine but honestly, with a clear blue sky, I cannot think of a more picturesque city than Edinburgh. The scenery is wonderful. Romantic and at the same time a bit creepy wynds and closes, cobblestoned streets and a unique architectural culture is found between green hills and the sea. The city is small and cozy and has a family charm. No wonder that I fell in love immediately. Incredible street food, cool cafes, lots of beer and lots of young people are setting trends and keeping the old walls alive. Summer time is festival time in Edinburgh. The city becomes a stage and is packed with art and culture. I was right there when the first Edinburgh Cocktail Festival took place. A tiny festival for cocktail lovers and those who want to learn something about spirits in general.
There is also a wonderful and buzzing world of cocktails and this was the main reason for my trip. I wanted to visit a Greek bartender in his new work place and I paid a visit to the bar manager Mark Low of The Lucky Liquor Co. He sat at the Salut Bar in Berlin next to me and he told me about the concept of the bar and I was tempted to look for a flight and accommodation for Edinburgh the next day. Some people ask me how I decide on my next bar destinations. This is a good example of that. Also on my list was the number 47 of the Word’s 50 Best Bars. The Bramble Bar was one of the first bars that made Edinburgh a bar capital. So many good reasons for a trip, right? There was one thing I underestimated. The alcoholic strength of the drinks. Usually I travel to Mediterranean countries and can consume many drinks. Unfortunately, I ran up against my limits quickly and could not visit all the planned bars. Drinks are heavy in spirits, so in every bar a water service is a matter of course.
Let’s check out which bars left me stirred not shaken. Those ones which didn’t convince me will not appear, by the way.
The hours passed quickly without me noticing and same with the drinks. I was sitting at the bar counter that hosts a handful of bar stools and watched the bartenders preparing the drinks and changing the LPs on the turntable. The bar counter is located at the end of a small venue with a black and white chequerboard pattern that gives it the atmosphere of a ’50s ice cream shop. There are tables and chairs and a large window. It is a bright place, simple tiles, wood and a very good vibe.
Lucky Liquor is the brainchild of the duo behind Bramble and The Last Word Saloon (I missed this place). But the concept is so different and very unique. When Mark told me about the concept I was very curious: There are 13 cocktails on the menu, based on 13 types of alcohol and 13 types of homemade liquors. This changes every 13 weeks and this is a great thing, because you will never get bored by the menu.
Is 13 unlucky or lucky? It depends on the country. In Scotland 13 is the lucky number of drinks you can enjoy at this cozy and laid-back bar.
A unique concept, unusual flavour combinations, and innovative presentation is paired with skilled and lovely bartenders.
My first drink of choice was the Cantaro. A mezcal based drink with tepache, lime, orgeat and jalapeno vinegar. It came in nice pineapple glassware. The fruity and light mezcal supported the ingredients perfectly and the drink was well balanced and smooth.
The flavour combination of watermelon shrub, basil, red pepper, tomato and some Cocchi Americano sounded a bit exceptional to me. It is a rum based drink. SeaWolf is a Scottish Pot Still Rum. I didn’t expect a rum distilled in Scotland but I got a neat sample to try. Notes of banana and sugar cane with a powerful flavour of tropical fruits, with 41 % abv it is very smooth. In the cocktail it worked very well and all the unusual flavours were united in a refreshing and tasteful concoction. The drops of basil oil rounded off the drink, very delicious. The rest of the night I put myself in the skilled hands of the bartender.