When I lived in Dublin back in 2008, the closest thing to a cocktail I witnessed was a measure of gin over ice, served alongside a small bottle of tonic water.
Over the last decade, a significant shift has shaken Irish drinking culture. There has been an explosion in the production of Irish craft spirits from gin to whiskey. Cocktail bars — mixing classic cocktails and stirring up individual creations — are easier than ever to find. Bartenders provide a bit of theater behind the bar, flavors from across the globe are finding their way into drinks, and careful attention is being paid to every detail from ice to glassware.
I wrote about this shift in a story for the New York Times: In the Home of Guinness, a Cocktail Boom Takes Hold.
I spoke to bartenders, spirit producers, bar owners, “mixologists”, and brand ambassadors in Dublin and across the island to get their take on the recent changes. Take a look at the story to find out why there’s never been a better time to go looking for a craft cocktail in Ireland.