Available for immediate use 22/04/2020


Cocktail connoisseur, and business mind behind alcoholic ice-cream range, Señor Scoop and Edinburgh bar trilogy Panda & Sons, Hoot the Redeemer and Nauticus, has invented a new ‘switching’ technique which allows the water content of alcohol to be replaced with other distinguishing flavours.

Known for exciting his customers with experiential bars that stir the senses, owner Iain McPherson wanted to push the boundaries of the industry having become frustrated with their limitations.

Fascinated by sub-zero temperatures, an interest amplified by his gelato training at the prestigious Gelato University in Bologna, Iain installed an operational lab beneath Panda & Sons; a creative space called the ‘Brain Melting Society’ where he could experiment and dissect the freezing process.

He discovered the method of fractional concentration – replacing water in spirits with another non-alcoholic liquid – coining the technique, ’switching’. This involves a complex process of freezing the spirit to a specific, differing temperature to split its water content.  

Iain comments, “Switching allows you to be creative with flavour and texture, giving the bartender more freedom to be creative and control over the end result.”

A secretive, silent menu operates in Panda & Sons, allowing the keen cocktail enthusiast to experience a wide range of switched cocktails and learn more about the technique. With the juices and flavours spirits are usually mixed with, instead being introduced into the spirit itself, the result is a shorter, boozier cocktail. Using the same building blocks of flavour but in a different way, Ian believes this to add improved texture that aids flavour. 

From adding coconut milk to white rum for a smooth coconut daiquiri, to a clarified blend of pineapple and lime juice for a punchier ‘Jungle Bird’ tiki drink, no cocktail is resistant to transformation with Iain’s innovative method. 

McPherson was recently announced as Innovator of the Year 2020 by Imbibe Magazine for his invention and implementation of the ‘switching’ technique.

“I like to keep moving, and once I have mastered something and integrated it into my cocktail menus, then I am on to the next thing. I think it ultimately comes from a root of curiosity.”

Iain is no stranger to grabbing curious opportunity when it comes his way. In 2018 he partnered with Hollywood director Joe Russo in the opening of LA’s Duello. The pair met by chance during the Edinburgh filming of “The Avenger’s”, after Russo fell in love with Ian’s vision and drinks, even hosting the wrap party at Hoot the Redeemer. 

Travelling over 5,000 miles to work on both his LA and Edinburgh bars, Iain strives to champion the drinks industry worldwide. With his bid to keep the scene fresh and disruptive, he is revolutionising the norm with his unique vision and techniques. 

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Notes to Editor:

Panda & Sons will be closed until further notice in compliance with government guidelines.

79 Queen St,


Social Channels – @pandaandsons

Media Enquiries:

For images, further information or to arrange an interview with Ian McPherson please contact:

Claire Cunningham at claire@wonderhousecreative.com or on 07807215174.


Panda & Sons opened in November 2013 by Panda and his family. The foundation the bar was built on was to create a place where all ages and all people would feel welcome whether it would be for the deliciously creative cocktails, wide range of craft beers or our extensive wine list.

Panda & Sons is a hidden bar fusing the classic Prohibition style Speakeasy with a nod to the Vintage style Barbershop. All they say is that, “if you find a Barbershop with some foreign currency you have made it to the Libation Destination!”

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