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InterContinental Edinburgh The George raises a toast to romantic Georgian festive traditions with new winter cocktail

The Kissing Bough cocktail

EDINBURGH luxury hotel, InterContinental Edinburgh The George, has launched a delicious new winter cocktail, after collaborating with National Trust for Scotland’s Georgian House, to explore festive traditions from the era when the hotel building was first established. 

Working with experts at the attraction in Edinburgh’s New Town, the hotel has unlocked fascinating details on Georgian festivities in Scotland’s capital.  

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During its past, the hotel, a former collection of five Georgian townhouses, was once home to Susan Ferrier, Scotland’s answer to Jane Austen, and visited by Scotland’s literary greats including Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.  

Findings from The Georgian House revealed that families and friends would have revelled under ‘Kissing Boughs’, sphere-shaped decorations wrapped in ivy, holly, rosemary and mistletoe. Adorned with red apples, oranges, spices, coloured paper, ornaments, ribbons, and candles, people would sing carols, play games and exchange a kiss under it.  

Now, to bring a warm glow to dark winter evenings, InterContinental Edinburgh The George has created a heartwarming Kissing Bough cocktail, a festive blend of blood orange gin, amaretto and Cherry Heering liqueur, garnished with delicious seasonal ingredients – the perfect aperitif to the Yuletide spirit.  

Kissing Boughs were gradually replaced by Christmas Trees in the latter half of the 19th century, but their influence remains to this day as families around the country deck the halls.  

InterContinental Edinburgh The George, located in the heart of Scotland’s capital, has become a beacon for Christmas in the city, adorned with festive lights across its impressive façade and a welcoming interior that exudes Georgian charm.  

The multi-award-winning hotel has been transformed since its Georgian beginnings, from gracious living spaces, grand offices, and artist’s studios, before establishing as “The George Hotel” in 1881.     

Michael Martin, General Manager at InterContinental Edinburgh The George, said: “Edinburgh is a fascinating place to discover at any time of year, but winter brings a real sense of romance, as the dark nights are illuminated with lights and festive cheer.  

“With help from The Georgian House, we have been able to uncover even more about the Georgian era when the hotel building was first established. We can imagine literary great and former resident Susan Ferrier sitting by a roaring fire drafting the very first words of her finest novels. Our delicious new Kissing Bough cocktail and charming decorations will recreate a sense of this era and allow guests to experience the history of our magnificent property during Christmas in the city.” 

Sheonagh Martin, Visitor Services Manager at The Georgian House, added: “It was a pleasure to share our knowledge of Christmas traditions from the late 18th and early 19th century with InterContinental Edinburgh The George. The Kissing Bough is one of our favourites as it evokes a certain nostalgia, allowing us to imagine a New Town family celebrating Christmas with games, carols, food, drink and merriment.” 

Guests seeking an Edinburgh getaway can also enjoy InterContinental Edinburgh The George’s Winter Escape package; a chance to ‘coorie down’ in one of the hotel’s luxury rooms with a sharing charcuterie platter for two, followed by a sharing brownie dessert and hot chocolate. Prices start from £190.  


·         25ml Blood Orange Gin 

·         25ml Amaretto 

·         25ml Cherry Heering liqueur  

·         15ml Lemon juice 

·         75ml Orange juice 

Garnish with cinnamon, brown sugar on the rim, orange & cherry. 

For further information on the hotel, offers and menus, visit:  

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