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Published on January 30th, 2014 | by seanear1ey


Hunger Games: The Craft Cocktail Showdown

alcohol-bar-cocktails-colours-drinks-Favim.com-139421For too long in Celtic Tiger we were plied with watered down mojitos and over-priced cosmos. Presently in Ireland we’re experiencing something of a cocktail renaissance.

Maybe it’s the influence of Mad Men, maybe its a dissatisfaction with the standard Smirnoff Ice / Fat Frog offerings of an audience that’s grown up and matured? Whatever the cause there’s a move from the drinking public to want more of these fancy libations. Before you hit town this weekend with your long-overdue January pay packet consider some of the following mini-reviews on where best to wet your whistle!


Cheap and cheerful with an array of €5 cocktails which feature all from Whiskey Sours to White Russians. These are inoffensive and won’t break the bank. Alcohol content is decent enough to order a few and not feel ripped off either.


Dakota’s Offerings

Liquor Rooms / Vintage Cocktail Club

Totally capitalising on the Craft Cocktail Zeitgeist I’m not convinced on these places. Overhyped, overpriced and way-over syrup content. These sugary bastards will rot the teeth in your head for a fairly hefty price tag too. Expect to pay anything from €13 upwards. That said, if you’re in a gang their rum punch bowls offer better economy and are pretty feckin’ tashty. I’ve also lumped these two in together as their menus don’t have much difference in their offering (being owned by the same group doesn’t come as a surprise).

Fallon & Byrne

You’d better believe it. The dark horse in this race – usually positioned in the upper echelons of Marks & Spencer luxury shopping and fancy occasional dining, the crew’s well kept secret in here is a serious cocktail menu featuring two or three of the best cocktails in Dublin. The Sazerac sadly fell off their list – lads, if you’re feeling a Mad Men buzz this orange tinged whiskey based cocktail is for you, ask for it at the bar and they’ll sort you out. Another notable mention goes to their Jalapeno & Passion Fruit Margarita – fiery hot and sickly sweet all at once. Wicked combination. Sun, Mon and Tues their cocktails are 2 for 1 too, so take a sick day of a Monday and enjoy!


The Exchequer

Purveyor of my favourite cocktail in Dublin, The Exchequer’s Ledger of Liquor is really something else. The ‘Smoked Old Fashioned’ is so spectacular I bought myself a smoke gun just so I could make them for myself at home. Fact.

Smoked Old Fashioned

Smoked Old Fashioned

There’s no skimping on props or theatre with the ‘Zombie’ being sprinkled with powder and set alight in a blaze of glitter (including 12 different types of rum, you’ll soon learn where the name comes from). However, there’s also no skimping on price as these bad boys will set you back a fair few quid. Expect to pay €12-15 per drink.  The helpful folks at
 the Exchequer reliably inform me their most expensive cocktail is actually €12!


The Mint Bar

The hipster of the gang, Mint Bar was lovingly pouring Craft Cocktails long before the rest. From their amazing Easter Seasonal “Creme Egg Cocktail” (the stuff of legend) to their Jam-pot Specials and who could forget their €500 cocktail, complete with gold leaf and souvenir Waterford Crystal glass? Buried away under the Westin Hotel it’s definitely worth making a trip to, if only to check out where it all began in this fair city!


Creme Egg Cocktail

What’s your view on the Craft Cocktail Revolution? Over-inflated prices or some decent sups? Do you have a favourite that’s missing from the list? Let us know in the comments!


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About the Author

Food Writer with @Culch_ie. Putting the 'elation' in Public Relations since 2009. Digital Man (ager) at @SlatteryComms

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