Edinburgh Cocktail Week managing director Gary Anderson shares a day in his diary

Gary AndersonGary Anderson
Gary Anderson
He’s extra busy this year, as the cocktail week now runs from October 11-24

5.30 am

Time to wake up. This is the busiest time of the year for me so I’m up early to load my yellow Labrador, Merlin, into the car so I can take him up to Calton Hill or to Inverleith Park for a walk to start our day.


I normally work from home so fresh air and sunshine is a good boost before heading back inside. Emails and meetings take up the rest of the morning. We have built the Edinburgh Cocktail Week Village marquees in Festival Square, which has involved project managing bar installations and lighting, as well as chatting to bars about their menu offerings. There are 100 partner bars taking part so as you can imagine there were lots of email conversations about logistics.


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I don’t eat breakfast so no poached eggs and avocado here I’m afraid. I’m not a huge fan of herbal tea or coffee either, although I am partial to Pepsi Max for my caffeination.


We had a Spritz Garden pop-up at the St. James Quarter this summer and it was a great excuse to discover all the great restaurants and shops there. I like to swing by the Bonnie & Wild market for a lunch meeting on the way to Festival Square.


After lunch I nip across to The Scotsman Hotel who are hosting a classic cinema experience with us to discuss the final film arrangements, photograph their cocktail serve and of course, taste the Moët & Chandon Champagne cocktail.


Sadly it isn’t all Champagne cocktails, so next up I make my way to Festival Square to have an onsite meeting with The Cocktail Village team. This time last week, the bars were arriving to set up their stands, and we were installing the flooring and arranging some of the larger decorations. I had my hard hat on and everyone working on the project had such a great attitude so we made speedy progress. Once again I’ll have a can of my trusty Pepsi Max to keep me on the move.


Leaving the site may seem like the end of the day, but I have been away from my laptop all afternoon so I’m back to the laptop to catch up on emails and discuss ideas for Edinburgh Cocktail Week 2022 with brands – they like to plan early. If I’m lucky, my partner Liam will have made dinner, he makes a mean spaghetti bolognaise. If not, we might get a take-away from our favourite Indian restaurant, Shanaz in Stockbridge. If I’m in charge of dinner, I like a bit of a mezze platter so will pick up some mozzarella, tomato, hummus and a French stick.



Edinburgh Cocktail Week has been extended to two weeks and now runs from October 11-24. The flagship Cocktail Village is at Festival Square, and there are 100 bars in the capital offering signature cocktails for £4, if you have an ECW wristband (from £8.80).

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