The gin tide is still high and by the look of things, the spirit can expect yet another summer of smooth sailing as its popularity keeps reaching record-breaking heights. It’s a perfect storm, really: it needs no ageing so it can be produced and sold in a short period of time; distillers can infuse their products with a cornucopia of botanicals which translates in great diversity and versatility, and the fact that the Gin & Tonic is a virtually fool-proof cocktail that can be assembled by the rookiest of rookies, all add to the spirit’s streak of success.
Besides sipping summery G&Ts from a gleaming globe glass on a terrace, there are several ways to dip your toes in the sea of gin, so get ready to enjoy its depths as we share with you some of the best gin experiences across Ireland.
Listoke Distillery & Gin School is located in a 200 year old stable in the heart of the Boyne Valley on the outskirts of Drogheda, Co. Louth. In this unique place, not only do they produce top quality Irish gin, but visitors can craft their own with the guidance of experts.
Their Gin School Experience includes a tour in which you’ll discover the history of the Listoke Estate, followed by a visit to the distillery and then a workshop in which you’ll be able to design your personal gin using the different available botanicals. You’ll get to bottle and label your gin, and of course, take it home! Tickets are €95 per person.
Where: Listoke, Drogheda, Ireland
More information: listokedistillery.ie/gin-school
If the union between the words “gin” and “cruise” is not enough to cause a pavlovian reaction, then we give up. Ireland’s first gin cruise opened last spring to grand fanfare and the tour has delivered on its promise of beautiful landscapes and flawless gin cocktails with many of the best bottles out there.
Keep an eye for upcoming dates and book in advance, as spaces for this fun experience tend to fly. The next available dates include July 15th and 22nd, and August 19th 2017. Tickets are €45 and include the 90 minutes cruise plus a gin masterclass on board, a tasting of 4 premium gins served with their perfect garnish and, on return to land, canapes and a gin cocktail.
Where: Departs from Flanagan’s on the Lake Killaloe/Balina
More information: facebook.com/loughderggincruise
This recently launched trail was born out of the vision of publicans and entrepreneurs in Castlebar, Co Mayo, who aim to make the town known as the Gin Capital of Ireland. The trail is ideal for both gin aficionados and newbies who are curious and eager to enjoy the popular tipple and have fun.
Dozens of homegrown and international gins are available on the trail, and each participating pub specialises in one particular gin, served with carefully chosen garnishes to highlight its specific flavour profile.
Where: Castlebar in Co Mayo
More information: facebook.com/pg/CastlebarGinTrail
Kerry’s Dingle Distillery produces gin, vodka and whiskey. During their visit, guests can experience a tour of the facilities and learn about the entire production process of all the spirits. Tastings of gin and vodka are included, and coming soon, whiskey. The tour is €10 per person including the guide and the sampling.
Where: Farranredmond, Dingle, Co. Kerry
More information: dingledistillery.ie/tours
The Mint Bar at The Westin Dublin hosts its fabulous “Cool as a Cucumber Friday Nights” from 10:00 pm until late. Enjoy skillfully made Gin & Tonics as well as other classic cocktails in this stylish surroundings, while listening to funky soul vibes and soaking up the glamour.
Where: The Westin Dublin, College Green, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2
More information: themintbar.ie
Great Irish Beverages and Fáilte Ireland have joined forces to create this celebration of the G&T. Over a dozen Irish gin brands and numerous restaurants, bars and hotels take part in the yearly festivities. In 2017 it ran from June 25th to the 1st of July and it was accompanied by a London Irish Gin & Tonic party. Details for future festivals will be revealed by the organiser closer to the date.
Where: Numerous venues
More information: facebook.com/pg/GreatIrishBeverages
Named after Nora Barnacle, wife and muse of James Joyce, this intimate venue is a must-visit spot in Galway for the gin aficionado. With over 120 gins in stock, it probably boasts the largest gin selection in the country. Enjoy its old-school charm, soft lightning and wooden interiors as much as you will delight in their fine gins and cocktails, including, of course, one of the best Gin & Tonics in Ireland.
Where: 8 Cross Street, Galway, Ireland
More information: tighnoragalway.com
The Gaslight Bar & Brasserie, within Galway’s Hotel Meyrick offers a gin tasting experience designed to showcase the distinctiveness of Irish gin and allows you to explore it in comparison with gins from other countries known for the quality of their spirit. Their expert team will guide you through a flight of three very different premium gins in a fun and didactic experience.
Where: Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square, Galway
More information: hotelmeyrick.ie/gin-tastings
What started out as a once off experimental flavour to be served during the June bank holiday weekend, became so popular that they decided to keep making it for the whole summer. Scoop’s Gin & Tonic gelato is a creamy and boozy creation that merges two of the best summer must-tastes: ice cream and a chilled G&T, what’s not to love? Available for over 18’s only.
Where: Ranelagh and Aungier Street, Dublin
More information: scoopgelato.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.