Christmas drinks in Glasgow, Edinburgh & Dundee

Christmas is the time of year you’re obliged to hang out with your family, but it’s also the perfect occasion to grab some festive drinks with friends or get properly hammered with co-workers to help toast another year at the coalface

Article by Jamie Dunn | 30 Nov 2022
  • Spry

For a quality night out with friends around the holidays, you'll probably want to go somewhere a bit special but also somewhere that's a haven from the Scottish winter; somewhere that’s as chic as it is cosy, basically. 


Fitting that bill in Edinburgh is The Devil’s Advocate (9 Advocate's Close), an Old Town jewel serving great whisky and cocktails that you’ll find halfway down a staircase between The Royal Mile and Cockburn Street. Other inviting cocktail joints are to be found scattered around the New Town. Bramble (16A Queen St) offers low light and cool tunes while neighbouring Lucky Liquor (39A Queen St) is more stripped back, with a great menu of 13 drinks that change with the seasons.

Lucky Liquor

Nightcap (3 York Pl) is a snug spot with a menu of alternative cocktail classics, and it’s right next to The Stand, so perfect for some drinks before festive comedy. Down in Leith, you have Nauticus (142 Duke St), where every concoction has a link to Leith’s rich history as a trading hub, the West End has Hey Palu (49 Bread St), an Italian aperitivo-style drinking den, while on the Southside, the neon-lit Paradise Palms (41 Lothian St) offers more of a tropical party feel for your Christmas night out. 

If wine is your preferred Christmas tipple, run to the lovely Spry (1 Haddington Pl), the small but perfectly-formed Mistral (10-12 Bonnington Rd) or the vibrant Wine and Peach (91 Dalry Rd). We’re also fans of the chic Nótt (13 Crighton Pl), which also has a deli counter specialising in cheeses, meats and homemade Turkish delights, so you could pick up some last-minute gifts for those foodies in your life. 

Craft beer aficionados looking for a Christmas night out can choose from The Hanging Bat (133 Lothian Rd) and Salt Horse (57-61 Blackfriars St), both of which offer an ever-changing menu of sharply curated beers. And if you don’t mind drinking alfresco there’s the wonderful Bellfield Brewery (46 Stanley Pl) in Abbeyhill, but don’t worry, the beer garden is equipped with patio heaters, so you can enjoy the winter nights without developing frostbite. 


As Christmas nears, cosy spots with great selections of whisky make for the perfect venues to catch up with friends at the end of the year. The Ben Nevis (1147 Argyle St) is small but always lively thanks to a mighty selection of malts and regular live trad music. You’ve more chance for a seat at Woodlands gem Dram! (232 Woodlands Rd), the gorgeous Òran Mór (Byres Rd) or city centre stalwart The Pot Still (154 Hope St); each has a unique atmosphere and an enviable array of whiskies and ales. 

Òran Mór

Ashton Lane fave Ubiquitous Chip (no. 12) has three inviting bars to choose from (The Big Pub, the Corner Bar or the aptly-named Wee Pub), so you should find one to fit your Christmas get-together. While you’re on that distinctly festive lane, with its shiny cobbles twinkling under a canopy of fairy lights, you can also pop into Belgian beerhouse Brel (no. 37-43) or the much-loved Irish pub Jinty McGuinty's (no. 29).

If you fancy a classy but relaxed wine bar for your festive meet-up, Brett (321 Great Western Rd) has you covered. Chinaski’s (239 North St) and Hillhead Bookclub (17 Vinicombe St), meanwhile, are both fun pubs with great atmospheres and should be top of your list of destinations for more lively Christmas drinks.


Over in Tayside, speakeasy Draffens (Couttie's Wynd) offers a buzzy atmosphere and inventive cocktail menu and the St Andrews Brewing Co (2-3 Shore Terr) is your go-to if you’re looking for more of a tap house session for your Christmas night out. There’s also the sleek and inviting Jute Cafe Bar (152 Nethergate). Not only is it one of the best hangouts in town, but it’s also part of the DCA, so perfect if you want to incorporate a night at the cinema with your Christmas drinks.