Over the last decade, gin has become a household-favourite, tipple of choice. Its surge in popularity is complimented by the plethora of flavoured tonics that can now be enjoyed alongside the drink, making this a refreshing choice year-round.
Whether you’ve grabbed a last-minute cruise deal and are looking to explore nearby destinations or are taking to the seas to travel further afield, a cruise provides the perfect opportunity to relax. For many, this will involve heading down to one of the many bars onboard to mingle with other cruisers or, for those visiting a city such as Dublin, making the most of what the local gin scene has to offer.
Dublin is a paradise for gin lovers. With local distilleries popping up across the capital, a trip to Ireland awards you plenty of opportunities to try new flavour combinations, as well as learn a little more about the process behind making your drink of choice. From traditional pubs to dedicated parlours presenting you with the latest flavours, find out where you should head the next time you’re in Dublin.
The best bars in Dublin for gin
On a stroll around Dublin, you’ll never be too far away from a bar. Gaze through the windows to view the city’s offerings, from sultry leather interiors and dimly lit jaunts oozing elegance to friendly neighbourhood joints that are perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up, there are plenty to add to your to-do list.
The earliest versions of gin were created in Holland and known as jenever. This involved steeping botanical flavours such as juniper berries into a pot of the base spirit, which is typically vodka before distilling the liquid. Today, there are many different methods of making your favourite spirit, such as vapour infusion and vacuum distillation, allowing different intensities and flavours to be added to the gin.
Stephen from the website Jar shared his favourite places to visit: “Traditional gin houses like The Gin Palace on Middle Abbey Street once stood alone as the master of fine worldly gins but there now stands clusters of bars for the student of the juniper berry to visit.
“Locals flock to Georges street to revel in the gin experiences on offer in bars like J.T. Pim's, Yamamori Izakaya, NoLita and The Chelsea Drugstore. Around the corner is Fade street with Idlewild, No Name bar, Drury Buildings and Fade Street Social. There are barely a few steps between these bars and on busy nights the crowds can spill out and blend to form a spontaneous street party.
“If you hop and a skip a little further east, then Dawson’s Street offers another congregation of energetic bars with gins to beat the band. There are around 100 Irish gin brands and you’ll find most in pubs around Dawson street. Bars such as the newly refurbished and somewhat epic Cafe en Seine pull in the hip young crowds along with 37 Dawson and Sams bar next door. The smaller Peruke & Periwig is a favourite for a gin or cocktail, but finding a seat can be an enjoyable battle of wits. The upmarket Zozimus Bar is around the corner and nearby is Lemon and Duke, both worthy of a visit for a more relaxing time.”
The best gin events in Dublin
“Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green say Gin is in and it's not going anywhere in a hurry”, shares Julie. “In recent years, a gin phenomenon has swept over Ireland with nearly every region now playing host to its own gin. So much so consumers are spoilt for choice whether they seek traditional London dry styles, local botanical gins, spicy gins, pink gins and much more!”
For those who may fall into the connoisseur category, attending a gin-based event may be the best way to experience Dublin’s gin culture. “Organisers of Whiskey Live Dublin & Gin Experience Dublin, the Celtic Whiskey Shop are delighted to introduce their latest event, Dublin Drinks Mixer — Ireland's largest gin, spirits and cocktail event — on Friday 17th & 18th April at the National Convention Centre, Dublin 1. Sip and sample an eclectic range of gins, spirits, beers and bespoke cocktails from iconic and artisan brands, alongside delicious food pairings and innovative masterclasses under one roof. Tickets are €40 plus booking fee and are available at: www.dublindrinksmixer.com or from Celtic Whiskey Shop, 27 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. A minimum of €10 will be donated to charity partner DEBRA Ireland.”
The best restaurants in Dublin for gin
Although gin has experienced a recent rise in popularity, the UK has praised the spirit since the 17th century and, by 1726, there were 6,287 places where you could purchase the drink in London alone.
The drink is most commonly enjoyed in a bar with friends or loved ones. However, the gin scene in Dublin also boasts restaurants and hotels for you to head to. “A great gin experience can happen in any bar or restaurant in Dublin”, Stephen also informs us. “Gin menus in ‘old man’ bars are not uncommon and can be a joyful surprise. Dublin is a young, dynamic and modern town. The trick to a great gin is just finding a great pub and these are everywhere.