This is the first year of Dublin’s Gin & Tonic Fest celebrating Irish gins, from three different provinces, who all use local wild botanics to create their produce.
Irish whiskey is certainly having a re-birth, with Teeling distilleries opening a new tourist center in the Liberties and the launch of the Irish Whiskey Museum as proof but gin is fast on its heels with confident Irish spirit companies on the rise. Gin is really taking flight.
The three Irish distillers chosen by the Fest are as follows:
Glendalough Distillery will feature their ‘Glendalough Wild Spring Botanical’ seasonal gin. It’s seasonal as each bottle differs from the previous season’s batch.
Throughout the year the good folks from Glendalough Distillery journey into the wilds of the Wicklow mountains and forage with botanist Geraldine Kavanagh from Wild Wicklow Foods. They pick the best of what grows and distill the ingredients immediately.
The end result is “the garden of Ireland” (the nickname given to County Wicklow) in a bottle.
The Dingle Whiskey Distillery, County Kerry
Dingle Gin, from the Dingle Whiskey Distillery, is a classic dry style gin is created in small batches of 500 liters. Traditional gin botanicals including juniper, coriander and nutmeg are steeped overnight in spirit before being distilled in a customized pot still called an "Oisín." The resulting vapors pass through a flavor basket which is filled with a secret blend of Celtic botanicals such as rowan berry and hawthorn.
Shortcross Gin, County Down
Shortcross Gin is distilled at Rademon Estate Distillery, County Down (Ulster’s first award-winning craft distillery). Their small batch philosophy ensures that every aspect of the gin meets their exacting vision. Shortcross Gin have created a classical gin with a unique twist which is best described as floral meadows, wild berries and grassy notes. Some of their local botanicals include clover, elderflower and green apples.
What a treat these drinks are and the knowledge from those at the festival really shone. At the launch visitors were treated to a gin and tonic with a twist of rosemary and black pepper. A wonderful treat for a summer’s evening.
What’s certain is that you should keep your shop shelves peels for these Irish gins that are certainly making a big and botanic splash.
For more on the Dublin Gin & Tonic Fest visit www.greatirishbeverages.com.