The global gin trend has caught many by surprise - even more so that it is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.
The widening variety of gin flavours are aided by an increasingly innovative mixer offering to ensure that gin has become a drink for everyone, and the hospitality industry is loving the trend. In its popular gin and tonic form, it is a quick and easy to prepare drink and it now has significantly more markup than before, especially when presented in a large globe glass with a few berries and a sophisticated premium mixer.
We’ve seen some bars and restaurants charging €15 for a G&T. Nice work if you can get it!
It’s estimated that around 50% of classic cocktails contain gin, highlighting its versatility for specialist cocktail bars.
Ireland stands out as a global leader in quality gin production. We have some of the finest producers in the world crafting innovative gins using aromatic herbs and roots, berries, fruits and spices. We should be hugely proud of what this country has achieved in such a short space of time. Some of the finest and most interesting gin offerings that should be gracing the backbar of any establishment include:
The Daddy of Irish gins! This is a very well crafted spirit from the Dingle Whiskey Distillery and it is rightly credited with putting Ireland on the world gin map over six years ago, setting the standard of Irish gins. This classic London dry style of gin is distilled with locally sourced botanicals including rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather, to create a sense of place and provenance. The spirit is crafted using the purest of water drawn from Dingle’s own well located 240 feet below the distillery.
The uniquely Irish botanicals give this spirit a fresh, floral character that perfectly balances the traditional juniper. It is one of the reasons why it has such appeal across all categories of bars, restaurants and hotels around the world.
Having won countless awards, Dingle Gin recently picked up the overall award for World’s Best Gin at the World Gin Awards 2019 in London and deservedly so.
Dingle Gin is available around the world and distributed in Ireland by Barry Fitzwilliam, Classic Drinks, Grand Cru and others. www.dingledistillery.ie.
Míl is an Irish pot still gin, distilled with fragrant Mediterranean botanicals and “bursting with southern sunshine”. Míl is the mythical Spanish warrior whose descendants are said to have populated Ireland, bringing with them the warm flavours of the sun. Míl Gin captures the essence of this expedition, suffusing pure Irish gin with the taste of the sunny Iberian peninsula with a unique flavour of Bergamot orange, basil, gooseberry, juniper, almonds, olive, orris, rosemary and thyme.
It’s part of the ever-interesting portfolio of Alltech Beverages Division Ireland (owners and founders of the Pearse Lyons boutique Distillery in Dublin), which owns a number of Irish brands.
Míl recently launched a brand-new canned ready to drink product, the Míl Gin Spritz with Tonic Water and a Grapefruit Citrus Twist. It actually does taste like a Mediterranean summer! It’s a brilliant new citrus-twist on the RTD drinks scene and is perfectly balanced to be a winner in both the on-trade and off-trade. One to watch!
Distributed in Ireland via Alltech. www.abdibrews.com.
Mór Gin is a small batch gin produced in Tullamore. The brainchild of Eoin Bara, inspired by his grandfather who was a Master Distiller of Irish whiskey, Eoin set to create something he’d be proud of. Produced using Slieve Bloom mountain water, this smartly-crafted little spirit contains traditional gin botanicals, juniper berry, blackberry, cranberry and raspberry! It also features angelica and honeysuckle notes, with coriander and rosemary too.
Following on from their successful Mór Wild Berry Gin, they have created the new Mór Pineapple Gin which has overtones of bergamot, lime and lemongrass tones. It maintains that traditional juniper finish but has a distinct Caribbean meets Ireland flavour. It’s possibly the only (or perhaps the first) Irish gin you would actually consider pairing with coconut milk.
Distributed in the UK by Brand Central, in Northern Ireland by MCM and in Ireland by Classic Drinks. www.moririshgin.com.
Sling Shot Gin
Sling Shot Irish Gin is the new baby from the Lough Ree Distillery company in picturesque Co. Longford. Their gin is all produced by themselves in their 150l micro still off-site while their state of the art whiskey and gin distillery and visitor's centre is completed, but they seem to be onto an early winner.
The distinctive blue glass bottle is eye-catching but the liquid inside is a contemporary craft gin. Using classic botanical distillates as well as three different distillates, this gin comes with notes of fresh mint, citrus and local Irish peat to create an aromatic, earthy, but very fresh spirit.
Sling Shot Distilled Irish Gin is distributed widely through The Celtic Whiskey Shop and other good distributors in Ireland. www.lrd.ie.
Bertha’s Revenge (named after a famous prized cow) is an ingenious example of waste not, want more from the Ballyvolane House Spirits Company in Co. Cork. The company, founded by Justin Green and Antony Jackson, produce their gin from whey, which is a byproduct of cheese making. Traditionally it is discarded or fed to pigs, but these enterprising chaps realised that this liquid could be used to produce gin, and a very fine gin at that.
It has (unsurprisingly) a creamy, full, mouth feel to it but is equally packed with botanicals ranging from peppercorns to liquorice, elderflower and bitter orange which combined, gives this gin a smooth finish. It can be sipped neat or paired with a variety of mixers. www.ballyvolanespirits.ie.