Check Out the Latest from Dublin Before Clinking a Glass or Two of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
I spent several days in Dublin in late February researching the drinks scene.
Actually, we were visited Irish friends celebrating a special occasion.
Here is what I learned:
The Irish drink a lot. By a lot, I mean way more than what most humans can drink.
So when visiting friends in Ireland, you are naturally involved in researching drinking trends.
First, Guinness still rules. Just heard a collective sigh of relief.
The mighty Guinness brewery occupies several city blocks in Dublin and
remains a major tourist attraction.
Btw, when the Irish donate blood in a blood drive, they are given a pint of Guinness to aid recovery. Or so I was told.
Also, the potato famine is definitely over; every main course in Dublin features a pile of mash.
A big pile.
But I digress.
Getting back to drinks, the Temple Bar is a real place with several bars in its interior and every tourist paying too much for a pint of Guinness. Been there; done that.
Now for the blockbuster, the shocking news:
There’s a new, ultra-trendy drink in Dublin that has also made inroads in Scotland: Gin & Tonic.
You heard right: Gin & Tonic.
It is THE drink for the Dublin before-theater crowd and the after theater crowd.
Bars in Dublin have Gin lists. Extensive Gin lists are in every neighborhood bar and restaurant.
Dozens of different Gins are featured on these lists.
There are Gin shops scattered around Dublin. Even an Annual Gin Festival.
Get over it: We are way beyond Bombay and Beefeaters.
To review, Gin is primarily a distilled spirit with juniper as its primary taste. Then a combination of other botanicals are part of an infusion that makes one Gin different from another.
As I learned, Gin producers are playing the hand-crafted, artisan card and special water source that worked so well to promote artisan beers.
Specialty Gins are made by “master distillers.” They are following the playbook developed by winemakers, only they select the botanicals the way winemakers select barrels, yeasts, and clones.
Trendy Gin is served over the rocks in a big, burgundy style glass, with a slice of lemon or lime or whatever. Cucumber Gin has a cucumber slice. Most others have a few juniper berries bobbing around in the glass. Well. I hope that’s what they were.
Then you add the tonic.
Not so fast. Rather, you pick from a list of tonics.
Really, there’s more than one tonic?
I was Schweppes away to hear there’s more than one tonic water.
Designer Tonics are in.
So you can pick the Mediterranean Tonic or the Sicilian Lemon Tonic.
Or any of the other dozen or more tonics listed.
So, come this March 17th, while you all claim to be part Irish and are drinking green beer, I’ll be considering either the Gunpowder Irish Gin, infused with slowly dried Gunpowder tea or another favorite from my research:
One Gin: “a premium hand-crafted Gin produced by”multi award-winning master distiller, Sarah Thompson.” It is doubly distilled and is an infusion of 9 botanicals, with a big dose of sage.”
Then again, I might want to go with “Ginny’s Gin,” made in Northern California and distilled from “grapes and grain.”
Or one of the three offered by a long-time favorite, St. George’s Spirits.
On this St.Patrick’s Day,
“A Big Dose of Sage” is highly recommended.