Burns Night Cocktails

In celebration of Burns Night on Saturday 25th January, we have created two new and exciting cocktails with Scottish ingredients! We ventured up Calton hill to take picturesque photos of these cocktails, which include our Minus 33, gin. Here is everything you will need to make one at home:

Minus 33: Thistle cheer you up!

  • Pack your glass with lots of ice!
  • 25ml Minus 33 gin
  • 25ml Buckfast
  • 25ml Campari
  • 25ml Lemonade
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters
  • Garnish recommendation: blackberries
  • Extra décor: thistle for a Scottish feel

Minus 33: Gin&Bru 

  • Pack your glass with lots of ice! 
  • 25ml Minus 33 gin
  • 100ml Irn Bru
  • Garnish recommendations: orange and mint 

O what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin, rich!

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My Interview with Skinny Booze Founder Tom Bell

If you know anything about how and why I created Minus 33, you’ll know that taste was the most prominent thought. The hundreds of hours spent in the ‘lab’, the countless number of different recipes, the constant back and forth with a panel of expert tasters, all with one purpose in mind – to bring to market an exceptional tasting spirit. 

The by-product of this process? Less calories. At 46 calories per serving, Minus 33 is noticeably lighter than most other spirits. Proud of this, it was only natural that we teamed up with Skinny Booze to stock Minus 33 -- the UK’s main destination for low calorie alcohol. To find out some more about Skinny Booze, and the low calorie sector in general, I decided to do a short Q&A with co-founder, Tom Bell, who I’ve known now for a number of years.

When did you first launch Skinny Booze? Where did the idea come from? 

Skinny Booze has been in existence for nearly 7 years. It’s crazy to think how far things have come! However, the initial idea stemmed from my rugby playing days. I found myself frustrated by training hard each week and then seemingly undoing all of that hard work as soon as we went to the pub after each game to celebrate (or commiserate). To break this cycle, I started to do some research into lower calorie alcohol and found that there weren’t any suppliers in the UK.

What have been some of the key challenges that you’ve faced?

Honestly? Decent enough products to stock. I was determined to find UK consumers lower calorie alcohol that still tasted great. Unfortunately, though, in those early days, I was really struggling to find wines that I felt customers would want to re-purchase. And, as for lager or beer, the manufacturers had often taken almost all of the alcohol content out in order to reduce the number of calories. This actually led me to launch Skinny Lager, which at 89 calories per bottle but still 4% ABV, has been a real gamechanger.

So, you feel as though the industry is starting to change with the times?

Yeah, definitely. But it’s being driven by consumer demand, rather than any regulatory change to ensure consumers are aware of the health implications of what they’re drinking and easily able to find better alternatives. Amazingly, a bottle of water – which has next to no calories – has nutritional labelling, but a bottle of beer – which can easily have over 200 calories, if you’re unlucky – has none. Thankfully, though, consumers are cottoning on to this and searching out better alternatives for themselves. You only have to look at the rise in search volume around ‘low calorie’ to see the demand.

That sounds like good news for Minus 33, then?

Absolutely. Both the low calorie and the premium spirit sector, more generally, have really exploded in popularity across recent years. Minus 33 is a favourite with a lot of our customers, and you certainly don’t need me to tell why (but I will!) – light in calories, no artificial flavours, no preservatives, no added sugar, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, plus the taste! It really is a pleasure to stock Minus 33. I think it’s fair to say all of your hard work has paid off, but I’m excited to see the continued growth of the brand, and we love what you’ve done recently with the introduction of Minus 33 Pink. 

Well, that’s very kind of you to say. We’re delighted to have you as one of our stockists and, for anyone reading this, please make sure to check out Skinny Booze and their full collection of lower calorie wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. Please also make sure to use ‘MINUS33’ as a discount code to receive a 10% off discount off of your order. Thanks for sharing that with me, Tom.

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A Pink Drink to Make You Clink

After too many hours in the lab, I'm finally delighted to introduce the new member of the family; Rosé Minus 33 Pink Gin.

Since launch, I've been dying to put some new recipes and designs into action, but being a small business, prioritising the day to day means that sometimes the innovation is pushed to the back of the queue.

Not anymore. Rosé is here.

Our new limited batch 'pink gin' is made by taking the original Minus 33 recipe and infusing it with fresh rose and hibiscus petals. Not only do they add colour, but the floral notes are more obvious on the nose and the final product is sweeter with a slightly peppery finish.

It is gorgeous and tastes delicious. Works well with lemonade and a slice of lemon, but can also be enjoyed with tonic or neat over ice. Give it a try and let us know what you think, I only managed to make a few bottles and I am unsure when we will next be able to do a batch, so hurry if you want one!

The bottle comes in the regular bottle pack and makes for a great gift.

Find out more here

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Top 5 Edinburgh Fringe Pop Up Bars - 2018

We had the terribly tough job of going around and compiling a list of our favourite pop-up places to drink during the fringe this August. Tripadvisor isn't great for suggesting non-permanent venues, so we thought we'd create our own, slightly biased list. Having been busy running our own pop-up, it’s taken us a little longer than hoped to get around them all but we’ve managed to give you our top picks for you to enjoy in the closing week of this year’s festival.

In alphabetical order:

Cocktail Kitchen @ The Food + Flea Market

The Cocktail Kitchen based at The Food + Flea Market is just off the Royal Mile. Ideal if you don’t want to have to fight crowds to get a drink but still want to be close to the action.  Run by Solid Liquids, who have some of the most experienced bartenders in the city, you can expect some amazing, refreshing delicious cocktails served with style.  Just check out one of their top sellers below. Soak up the atmosphere as you suck up a Frozen Salted Caramel Pina Colada through a paper straw #savetheturtles. Live music, tasty cocktails, what is not to love!? Definitely one of our favourites.

Great for: Live music, saving the turtles and Instagram snappers.


Mr Sippy’s Taptails

Our friend, ‘Mr Sippy’ is causing quite the stir with his ‘tap’tails. Cocktails on draft is nothing new, but having served our Raspberry Ripple from a  keg during this year’s Juniper Festival I can assure you, getting them to taste good, let alone phenomenal is quite the art. Mr Sippy is a master of this art and because the drinks are on draft you won’t be waiting long for your drink to be served. Also based at The Food + Flea Market, you really are spoilt for choice at this venue. The market is operated by the team from the pitt so if you’ve been down to Pitt Street before you’ll know just how good a day out at their venues can be.

Great for: Quick drinks, Pitt Lovers, drivers (yes, they do alcohol free taptails too!) Taps aff to that!


R33KERS @ Rag and Bone Barbershop

Obviously, our list wouldn’t be complete without our own pop-up in the mix. Minus 33 have teamed up with Peatreekers whisky to create their own pop-up bar in a BARbershop this Fringe. Operational barbers by day, illicit drinks lab by night. Located in between the Pleasance and Waverly, it’s an excellent pre-show/ post-show nightcap venue. With cocktail names inspired by haircuts, come and sample over six cocktails and see just how a barbershop can be transformed into a bar each night.

Great for: Gin and Whisky fans, Speakeasy bar fanatics, nightcaps

Sips In the City @ Niddry Street

We love a good pun – and just like their puns, their drink selection is great too. A wide range of drinks and an entry that has more than just cocktails. Cider fans will love this spot. Just off the Cowgate, it is a relaxing space to enjoy a few drinks and serves as a fantastic pre-fringe meeting spot too. Watch the world go by as you listen to live music and indulge in the odd Jaeger bomb.

Great for: cider lovers, jaeger bombers, live music aficionados.

Tanqueray Gin Garden

Tucked away behind 56 North, a UK leading Gin Bar, is the Tanqueray Secret Gin Garden. Ideally situated for George Square, each year a vacant parking lot is transformed into an amazing gin garden. With slushy and regular cocktails complimented by a fantastic menu from the bar, you can spoil yourself with an array of cocktails and nibbles. Great atmosphere and managed by a top Edinburgh venue, you know you’ll get knowledgeable staff who know just what drink you’ll like the most….you can always pop inside if it’s raining and enjoy a Minus 33 as well…so there is that!

Great for: slushy fans, people fed up with long queues in George Square, going inside for some Minus 33s ;-P

Try them all out and let us know what you think. Likewise, if you find a hidden gem, let us know and we can add it to our to do list.

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The Chubby Person’s Guide to Drinking!

While there is so much out there telling us what to (and what not to) eat - there is a lack of advice on how to get tipsy when you are on a diet. So here it is, the gospel in all it's glory! Advice on what to drink when you are on a diet.
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