The art of crafting luxury goes beyond the simple skill of assembling expensive raw materials. Just as a diamond in the rough yearns for a experienced hand that turns it into a true jewel, a fine spirit will long for a sorcerer worthy or turning it into a potion of real magic and as such, it will perform its strongest enchantments when imbibed in the ideal surroundings.
A luxurious cocktail experience is a work of alchemy; a fusion of the material liquids, herbs and powders and the ethereal energies we call atmosphere and passion. When it all converges at the top, we can’t but stand bewitched as we witness and savour its power.
Allow yourself to fall under the spell of some of the finest cocktails you can sip across Ireland, taste exquisite blends, and signature spirits in splendid surroundings and behold its flawless presentation. Here are some of the most luxurious cocktails and drinking experiences you can enjoy in Ireland.
This Side Car cocktail is the ultimate extravagance: Its base is an incredibly rare Hennessy Cognac of which only 6 bottles exist (a blend of aged Eau De Vie from Grand Champagne 1996, Petite Champagne 1999 and Fins Bois 2002, barrel aged for 12 months in new French oak). This is mixed with Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar.
The gorgeous art deco bar is named after the drink, which has been synonymous with opulence since its creation in the 20’s. Bartender Daniel Savan proudly points out that all the utensils, glassware and other elements that make the experience are vintage or vintage-styled, and that anyone who enjoys a drink at The Side Car will be surrounded by luxury.
You could also order The Sidecar Signature Cocktail, combining Hennessy Fine de Cognac, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Frugal only in comparison to its opulent menu companion. The bill arrives at €150 for the Privileged or €15 for The Side Car Signature.
Where: The Westbury Hotel, 2 Balfe Street, Dublin 2
More information: doylecollection.com
In a place in which one stunning whiskey after another share shelf space, a cocktail has to be pretty impressive not to be deemed a lesser choice. Fortunately at this venue the bar is set as high for the mixed drinks as it is for the numerous Irish whiskeys on offer.
Their flavourful Ginger Snap combines the renown whiskey Writers Tears Redhead with Martini Rosso, lemon juice, syrup, chocolate bitters and Angostura bitters. The result is a gorgeous harmony of sweetness, acidity and a balancing bitter shadow. This carefully crafted sip is priced at only €8.95, making it one of the best values for quality at an Irish bar.
Where: 93 New St, Killarney, Kerry
More information: celticwhiskeybar.com
This gorgeous creation combines lemongrass-infused vodka and limoncello with freshly squeezed lemon juice and egg whites. It’s subtly sweetened with simple syrup and wears a delicate flower tiara.
You will be forgiven if your eyes wonder even when facing this beauty, as the bar’s walls are surrounded by exceptional works of art from The Merrion’s private collection. From floor to ceilings, this bar offers the comfort and ease that characterises true luxury. The Cello is priced at €14.50.
Where: The Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
More information: merrionhotel.com
Enjoying a premium G&T in this gorgeous 19th century building will make you feel like a character inside a period film. Choose the tipple that entices your palate from their dedicated G&T menu and delight in the fact that each particular gin is accompanied by a garnish chosen carefully to highlight its botanical wonders.
They are served with Poacher’s Well Tonic in glossy signature G&T glasses. Gins include Shortcross Gin, Dingle Gin, Gunpowder Gin and more Irish and international favourites. Prices start at €10 and vary depending on the gin.
Where: Ashford Castle Estate, Cong, Co. Mayo
More information: ashfordcastle.com
This sleek new bar is already making waves for its enticing cocktails, which you can enjoy in surroundings wrapped in luxurious textures or velvet, polished wood and leather.
Look up and admire their bespoke glass ceiling, look down and encounter this cocktail that merges premium gin Monkey 47, Lillet Blanc and Roberta’s Green Spot Bitters, made in-house for a unique touch. Roberta’s Martini 47 is priced at €13.
Where: 1 Essex Street East, Temple Bar
More information: robertas.ie
When Lemuel’s head bartender Alan More was creating the menu for this sleek and sophisticated bar inspired in the work of author Jonathan Swift he struggled to find the right angle for this cocktail but eventually he managed to turn his “writer’s block” into this exciting drink, which is served inside a hollowed book, offering quite an interactive experience. The whiskey of choice is Writer’s Tears, mixed with homemade beer syrup and orange bitters. The bill for it is €12.
Where: 2 Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin
More information: lemuelsdublin.com
A twist on the iconic whiskey cocktail, that you can enjoy in these stunning surroundings. This version of the Old-Fashioned is made with Bulleit Bourbon, Angostura bitters, orange bitters and maple syrup. It is smoked and served on a rustic natural wooden board. It’s glossy glass dome is lifted in front of you just in time for the spectacle.
Where: Powerscourt Hotel, Powerscourt, Co.Wicklow
More information: powerscourthotel.com
This chic cocktail bar is located within one of Kerry’s finest hotels and once you enter it, its bright and cheerful elegance will put you in the mood for either of its two specialties: Champagne and gin. In this case we’ve chosen their Signature Ross Gin & Tonic it’s a unique gin you’ll only find here.
Botanicals include juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia, grains of paradise, grapefruit, bay leafs, rose and honeysuckle and it was created in conjunction with prestigious Listoke Distillery. Depending on the gin and the tonic, G&Ts at The Ross start from €8.
Where: The Ross, Town Centre, Killarney, County Kerry
More information: theross.ie
You might miss this sophisticated cocktail bar if you walk by it as its modest exterior won’t prepare you for the wealth of indulgence within. Enter and try one of their creative cocktails, inspired in music genres. Pass the Dutchie is one of the finest items on the list, a smoked rendition of the Margarita made with sage infused tequila, Earl Grey infused Cointreau, lime, honey, Kummel Wolfschmidt, Bitters & Basil Salt. Priced at €13.
Where: 31 Dawson St, Dublin 2
More information: powerscourthotel.com
This classic cocktail can be enjoyed in the majestic surroundings of the Knight’s Bar inside Cork’s five-star resort. On a sunny day, you can sip it while enjoying picturesque views over the croquet lawn and Gardens. It’s a combination of gin, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice which you can enjoy topped with Champagne for €21 or with Prosecco for €15.50.
Where: Castlemartyr Resort, Co. Cork, Ireland
More information: castlemartyrresort.ie
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.