One of my friends here knew someone who had studied abroad in Edinburgh the year before, so we were blessed with many hidden gems. One of my favorites was Hoot the Redeemer. A very eclectic bar, the outside is only one single red door, that leads down to its basement location. Once you get to the bottom of the stairs, a fortune teller doll is on the outside of that door, demanding passage. The fortune teller lights up and screams, and you then are supposed to push through to get to the bar!
The menu is made up of your standard drinks, but also has alcoholic slushies, and ice cream! I of course had to try the ice cream. I ordered the whisky and dark chocolate flavor, and it was amazing. The creaminess and sweetness of the dark chocolate, offset the kick of the whiskey. When I first took a bite it tasted like dark chocolate, but I then got a warm feeling on my tongue from the whisky.
Hoot the Redeemer has a great fun atmosphere, and is definitely not a tourist trap. I would visit it again should I return to Edinburgh this semester.
Fun fact: They do not call whisky scotch over here. We only call it scotch back in the US because it is whisky made from Scotland. Also, to tell the difference between Scottish and Irish whisky, Scottish whisky has no “e” in the spelling, while Irish has an “e”, whiskey.