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16A Queen Street, Edinburgh, UK

SPEND A LONG DAY IN EDINBURGH and you might well want to kill one of the kilted chaps playing the bagpipes. Seriously. As honourable as traditions are, this one may need looking at.

Mercifully there is an abundance of bars in which to escape the din and none are more appropriate than Bramble. Scottish in all the elements that matter, you’ll find the bagpipes switched for hip-hop and the tartan replaced by tasty drinks.

This is a basement bar in the New Town, so it is buried away from the city’s clichéd touristic shenanigans and provides a genuine escape. Then there’s the service, with a cosmopolitan cast as talented as the world’s best bartenders.

The drinks list makes sense. It’s easy to navigate, takes its lead from the classics but twists with some contemporary style and engenders some eyebrow-raising.

The unpretentious décor works, the low roof and sensible lighting create an ambience to envy and the bar and back bar are serviceable - no frills but a place to sit at for hours.
With all of this you get the impression the owners are simply doing what they want to do with the place - it just so happens that this is what the most discerning drinkers in Edinburgh want as well.

It truly is one of the best bars in the world and as a result regularly features in this list. As new bars arrive there’s a tendency to forget the old guard, but if there’s any justice this venue will not fade away. After all, consistency is one of the foremost achievements in this industry.