A celebration for the taste buds at The Ivy on the Square

Rugby fans who can’t make it to the each of the games – and those who want to continue celebrating – can enjoy a little of the Six Nations in their glasses.

Edinburgh’s The Ivy on the Square is celebrating the beloved sporting event with the creation of six limited-edition cocktails, each dedicated to the six countries in the championship.

When you walk in, it’s clear that the spring is also being celebrated as the gracious hosts are dressed in the floral blazers and the Six Nations branding is adorned with flora and fauna. We were seated at the end of the bar where those flowery menus were laid out with the classic bar menu and greeted by a smiling barman on the other side.

Botanicals are on display in each of the cocktails. My companion began with The G.O.A.T., a light and airy mix of Plymouth gin, Plymouth sloe gin, lemon juice and lavender syrup, served in a coupe glass and garnished with a dried lavender sprig and citrus peel. Those citrus notes reigned supreme in this well-balanced amber drink with the lavender only providing the subtlest of flavour.

The G.O.A.T

Our only qualm with this drink was that we couldn’t distinguish anything quintessentially Welsh – apart from the
name which we assume is a play on Wales excellent track record and their mascot.

My first drink was the English Rose – a delightfully fancy version of Pimm’s served in a pint glass with a fun beachy straw. In fact, it had Pimm’s cordial in it along with Beefeater gin, Elderflower cordial, Fever Tree lemonade and garnished with a mint sprig and lemon on top and cucumber slices lined inside.

It was a very fresh drink with the elderflower and citrus blending nicely together. The cucumber added a nice refreshing twist, and this increased the longer it sat in the cocktail. I know rose flavouring can be controversial and divisive, but with the name of the drink, I would have been keen to taste just a hint of rose.

We were treated to bar snacks in between cocktails and had mouth watering truffle arancini that would lure me back another day and enough zucchini fritti and sourdough bread to comfortable feed a group of four.

It was quite a busy Wednesday night with every table full or just about to be filled—which isn’t surprising for the George Square location. The music was low and unobtrusive, perfect for intimate conversation for those on dates, muted laughter and in the case of my friend and I, baring our souls.

The Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle was a drink of contrasts. It smelled decidedly like Christmas with notes of cranberry and cinnamon but tasted like summer. Served proudly in a martini glass, it consisted of Jameson – of course – Lillet Rouge, Cointreau, lime juice, and like the Zesty Italian, whiskey barrel bitters.  Lime juice is the first discernible flavour and my companion noted that it mixed nicely with the whiskey.

The Irish cocktail wasn’t the only drink to invoke Christmas. Served in a lowball glass, the Zesty Italian was incredibly citrusy to the nose, a beautiful red in colour and garnished with dried orange peel. It featured Malfy Aranciata gin, Barolo Chinato, Campari and whisky barrel bitters. At first, I was put off by how bitter it was but with every sip, my pallet adjusted until I could taste the nuanced drink it was. Like the Spritz Veneziano that inspired it, those smooth citrusy and herbal notes arose to surface to linger happily on my tongue.

We didn’t get to try the Scotts on the Rocks which wa a blend of Plymouth gin, Chivas 12-year, ginger and lemon juice and honey, or the Le Coqs with Beefeater gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with The Ivy Champagne. Both sounded intriguing, so we will be back to enjoy them along with another round of truffle arancini.

Like the championship itself, these cocktails are only featured until March 19, so make sure to stop in if you enjoy a delightful range of themed cocktails in a trendy location.

The Ivy on the Square, 6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 2BD

0131 526 4777