Trust the Scottish to make a run to the liquor store more fun - and more artful. Demijohn, a little storefront in the popular Grassmarket area of Edinburgh, aptly bills itself The Liquid Deli. Shoppers browse around huge jugs of oil, vinegar and spirits, tasting their way through the shelves. They then select a hand-blown Italian glass bottle and fill it with their purchase (bringing it back another day for a refill).
Find things like elderflower vodka and Seville orange gin, bramble and apple vinegars, olive oils from Corfu, Tuscany and Kalamata, handmade British wine, and unfiltered single-cask, single-malt whiskies - 20 local suppliers in all. Tutored tasting guides help visitors make up their overwhelmed minds.
Finally, a souvenir that won't collect dust.
32 Victoria St., Edinburgh (other locations in Glasgow and York); 44 (131) 225-3265; demijohn.co.uk.
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