Panda & Sons climbs onto the World’s 50 Best Bars list

The Panda family: the team at Edinburgh cocktail bar Panda & Sons

EDINBURGH bar Panda & Sons has firmly planted its flag on the world stage by earning a spot on The World’s 50 Best Bars list. 

The capital cocktail bar was the only Scottish venue to make the list this year – in 39th place – and one of only six in the UK; it was also the only UK bar outside of London.

The annual list is compiled by The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy, a group of 650 bartenders, drinks writers and cocktail specialists from around the world. Voting is anonymous and independently adjudicated by Deloitte. 

Captain Panda: Iain McPherson, owner of Panda & Sons, Hoot the Redeemer and Nauticus.

Owner Iain McPherson, venue manager Nicky Craig and bar manager Sean Moggach travelled to Singapore to collect the accolade. 

“We’re approaching ten years of Panda & Sons and what a way to celebrate, being awarded a place in the World’s 50 Best Bars,” said McPherson. 

“We’ve worked hard to push the boundaries and expectations of cocktail making by inventing new ways of creating them, and that’s exciting. It’s an honour to be representing Scotland alongside incredible bars from across the globe that inspire us. 

“I’m so proud and thankful to my amazing team for helping Panda & Sons achieve this.”

Panda this year launched its latest cocktail menu, Transcend, which featured drinks created using cutting-edge techniques including switching, sou pression, freeze drying and cryo concentration. 

Although Panda & Sons was the only Scottish bar to make the list, another was acknowledged for the quality of its cocktail offer. 

The American Bar at Gleneagles, which in 2019 was named SLTN Cocktail Bar of the Year, was awarded Best Cocktail Menu at the Singapore event. 

The bar’s Book of Berries menu, launched earlier this year, features 18 cocktails, each dedicated to a single botanical berry sourced from the hills of Perthshire. 

Sips in Barcelona was crowned as the world’s best bar this year, with the Connaught Bar in London the highest placed UK venue, at number five. London’s Tayēr + Elementary was placed eighth, with Satan’s Whiskers 28th, A Bar with Shapes for a Name 35th and Scarfes Bar 41st.