Our nation is somewhat economically banjaxed at the moment and any body with half a brain knows that we cannot rely on members of the Dáil to help repair things. One particular group of individuals who go under the name of Hireland, are actively trying to find employers who can afford to bring on just one new staff member. No matter how you view this project, it’s a good thing. An initiative such as that should certainly be applauded and similar measures ought to be taken on elsewhere by anyone thinks they can help. But there is very little that a seasoned degenerate such as my dear self could ever hope to offer his country. I can’t speak Irish. I hate 99.9% of all politicians. I don’t ever vote for any of our wannabe boil in the bag celebrities when they’re entered into talent contests and reality shows. And I don’t even drink tea.
Should there ever be a state sponsored academic master’s course in: Having The Absolute Craic and Not Giving A Bollix About Anything, then there’d be no better buachaill – I could teach that shit no bother. Having said all that, in all my years of becoming a Professor of Craicology, I have managed to learn a thing or two about the auld gargoyle. I have even managed somehow to pick up some handy info on how to mix drinks with as much Irish in them as possible. In fact, in true neurotic form, I have become somewhat obsessed with my search for using Irish ingredients to imbibe with and I have already built up quite a catalog.
In even further neurotic form, I have convinced myself that I can show others how positively delightful Irish made cocktails truly are and how easy they can be rolled out, either at home or within various sectors of the service industry. We are well into a food awakening here in Ireland. Our citizens no longer just want to eat to live, more and more of us are realizing that food can bring tremendous pleasure. Simultaneously, we are also realizing the health benefits of eating proper grub and not Findus Fucking Pancakes. And on a different end of the scale, Irish people are starting to feel more confident about the quality of what we can produce within the food and drink sector, which is in fact, one of the very few growth industries we actually have here.
Food exports are kicking ass and more locals are starting to think locally when it comes to what they eat and drink with. Irish made craft beers are rocking in every bar they’re sold in. I reckon something similar can be done with cocktails and that’s why I set up the facebook page: Irish Made Cocktails. It will serve as a general board of communication and info for cocktails that are made with Irish spirits & liqueurs or produce. I also hope to use it as a platform to dispel certain myths about cocktails, such as: they do not need to cost that much, they do not need little umbrellas on them, they do not require “flairing “, ie poseur wankbag bartenders who spend more time showing off than putting money in the till, etc, etc….
So basically, since last summer I’ve mixed a shitload of Irish juices, fruits, vegetables and herbs with a shitload of different types of drinks. I’ve also spent a lot of time messing around with homegrown spirits like Jameson, Cork Dry Gin and Bunratty Mead. If I can get the right support, I reckon I can write up a seasonal menu and programme of a good sized list of Irish made cocktails. I see no reason on Earth, why every Irish restaurant, bar, club, venue, theatre, festival and hotel should not be able to mix at least 3 Irish made cocktails. I see no reason on Earth, why we shouldn’t be known internationally as a nation who can create and embrace their own cocktail culture – fuck knows we’ve embraced every other bit of gargoyle.
Irish made cocktails can take on all shapes, sizes and flavours. My bar manager in The Sugar Club came up with this exceptionally simple but perfectly pimped out Cork Dry Gin & Tonic by adding a sugar syrup that was made with locally grown thyme + lemongrass.
These badboys here are jellyshots. They were made with Jameson Whiskey, Crabapples from Kildare and Lavender from Wicklow.
You can lash out a very simple dessert cocktail such as The Irish Mocha Martini – a modern take on the Irish Coffee. Or you can go slightly mad and use a hand smoking device and smoke some whiskey. This is what I did with one the other day, click here. This was Jameson whiskey that I infused back in November with wild hawthorn berries and jelly, I realize that’s not something that a lot of people are gonna do but it’s just to show yez how mad you can go if you want. Anyhoo, I smoked with it that smoker with some applewood chips and mixed 1 shot of it with 1 shot of freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 shot of Wexford Honey syrup and a few dashes of orange bitters to create this hunk of Paddy Love here:
SMOKED JAMESON & WILD HAWTHORN
It ticks all the right flavour boxes – sweet, sour, heat from the spirit and then an extra vibe that comes from the applewood smoke. We’ll be lashing them out at The Sugar Club this weekend at €7.50 a pop.
When you drink Bailey’s, you’re supporting Irish dairy farmers. When you drink Jameson, you’re supporting Irish grain farmers. When you drink a mojito made with mint grown in Ireland, you’re supporting a local herb grower. The more we support local trade, the better off our economy can become. Extending our spending power to include Irish made cocktails is something that could benefit a lot of people. Best of all, knowing all of this while consuming an Irish made cocktail will give you a smug feel-good-glow. What’s not to like about that?
If anyone would like to contribute any ideas, recipes or photos to Irish Made Cocktails – you can like the page and leave something there or hit me up with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org