Bar Kohl has been a fixture of the Edinburgh bar scene for 20 years. In celebration of its birthday, the bar is leaving its wild youth firmly in the past and embracing a more elegant, sophisticated sensibility. Gone are the rows of flavoured vodka and shots, replaced by an inventive and exciting cocktail menu. With that in mind, my friends and I paid a visit to the infamous bar.
As the name suggests, black is somewhat of theme. It is dark and slick, and though during the day the large windows let in enough light to deem it bright and airy, the darkness adds a deeper flavour to the night.
Even though the bar seemed busy, we were able to grab enough chairs for the five of us. During the evening, the staff are a bit more lax about the seating, and didn't mind us borrowing a chair from one of the tables.
We were intrigued by the chilli and chocolate treacle, featuring aged rum, chilli infused syrup and chocolate bitters, but couldn't resist the Edinburgh pop with three different kinds of gin, soda and a splash of tangy rhubarb.
I don't drink, and I mean I've never been drunk, but I sipped the array of my friends drinks quite happily. Bitters is just that - bitter. I wasn't a fan, but like I've said, intrigued. The gin served in a teapot complete with teacups tickled me; I do like a whimsical approach.
Gin in a teapot
The staff didn't mind me ordering water whilst my friends seemed to be supporting the bar, with their cocktail orders. The shots are pretty cheap too.
Bar Khol is definitely a bar for grown ups, you won't find students in there, not because it's expensive (prices meander between £6.75-8.75 per cocktail), but because it's slick, sleek, and proudly somewhere the adults like to hang. Bare bricks, wooden floors, and efficient service make it somewhere you want to be.
Music is a mix of underground house and a few chart toppers. It's not somewhere to dance, but a little bop around is more than acceptable. Bar Khol wants to know if you've had a good time, and they have a fun, interactive website. They encourage you contacting them re your experience via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
It was clear from our evening that Bar Khol is one of Edinburgh's best bars, for more reasons than one.