Urchin at the Cliff Townhouse is like a white and pastel coloured Summer hangout. Serving seafood and cocktails to a backdrop of cool tunes. I had missed the opening night but the lovely PR team behind it sent me a voucher to try out some cocktails and small plates as a guest. Continue reading
Iv’e been to Harrys on the Green many times and am always impressed by the quality of their cocktails. I’ve also had a chat with one of the barman who makes them and he told me about spending 3-4 hours making ginger juice to add to cocktails. A slow time consuming process but fresh from the source and tastes so much better he told me. Continue reading
They were launching their new Around the World in 80 Cocktails menu and selected some lucky people to trial some of the creations over a few different evenings. 80 cocktails might sound like a large menu, it Is, however they have taken 40 ‘known’ cocktails and put their own unique twist on them, essentially doubling the menu. So for example you could have The Grapes of Wrath which is a twist on the Vesper Martini or you can have just as is.
Now unless you are involved in the service industry, it’s likely you probably don’t realise how much work, time and effort goes into creating the liquid fantasy that fills your glass. The behind the scenes work is not all just sitting around mixing alochol with fruit juice, although there is a little bit of that, for research purposes of course! There are late nights making syrups and juices and trial and error and tasting and retasting and all kinds of innovation including ingredients like smoke and digestive biscuits. They even infuse their own vodkas (including marshmallow infused) and create their own chilli sugar.
The menu itself also includes a quote to accompany each cocktail. I’ve added them to the pictures below. The attention to details is second to none.
On the night of the event myself and my friend Carolann were treated to the ultimate in intimate cocktail evenings. There were four of us at the table being treated to a journey of cocktails across the globe. Our tour guide for the night was cocktail maker extraordinaire Rob. I’ll give you a run down of what was on offer. As my pictures were just not up to scratch and don’t at all show you how elegant each cocktail looked when served I have also put in some proper photographs beside mine. Believe me when I tell you, they were all served perfectly.
A twist on the Gimlet, the Key Lime Pie is dessert in a glass. Absolut Citron, Absolut Vanilla, lemon, tarte citron, sicilian lemondae, meringue foam and a biscuit rim. Every sip let you enjoy the taste of the meringue foam and I kept twisting my glass to make sure every bit of biscuit was licked off the glass. For me out of 5, this was a 4.5, only losing a half mark because it wasn’t served in a large bucket. It was that good.
Next stop was the aptly named Hoptimus Prime. A variation on a Screwdriver. Hop infused Absolut Vodka, mango shrub (P&P made), honey, guava and pineapple. You can really taste the hops in it so the beer drinkers will certainly like it. For me it was 4 out of 5 but the presentation was top notch. Thats a slice of dehydrated pineapple on top which was sweet and chewy.
A French inspired delicacy was next. The Nom de Plume. Similar to a Clover Club. A mix of Beefeater 24, elderflower, rose water (which I’m told is very expensive), pomegranate, lemon and sugar whites. It’s topped with edible rose buds. A classy looking cocktail with a refreshing taste. I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5.
Peruke have a brunch menu now, and guess whats on it? The Walking Dead cocktail. A variation on a Zombie. Being on a brunch menu essentially makes it a breakfast food. It’s made with Havana Especial, Oakheart (rum with flavours and spices), Kraken (more rum), Maraschino, Falernum (rum with lime juice), Apricot Brandy, orange, pineapple, lime and sugar. Now thats a long list of ingredients and a lot of rum and I suspect after about five of them you would be the walking dead but I also suspect it will cure a hangover too. Taste, superb. Thats my 5 out of 5.
Off to Wonderland we went next with The Mad Hatter. A take on the Collins. Served in a teapot for two, or as I like to call it, a teapot full just for me.
Chamomile, grapefruit, lemon, pepper, cucumber and mint infused Beefeater gin, tonic bitters, boston bittahs and dry ice. Yes dry ice. If you look at the picture below you will actaully see the dry ice coming off it. It’s a spectacular cocktail to have arrive on your table. It’s pure theatre. While tasty, for me it was 4 out of 5 but thats a personal preference.
Yes that is actual dry ice coming off the teapot and you can watch the video of it here
The Corner of Bow St. & St. James’ Gate, which was served with a plate of Guinness fudge. Jameson Irish Whiskey, Guinness, aromatic bitters and sugar. Served on rocks like it’s counter part the Old Fashioned. Classic, simple, STRONG!!! 3 out of 5 for me but I’m not a fan of Whiskey or Guinness.
Below we have the Harry Houdini. Based on a Sazerac. Woodford Reserve, Hennessy Fine de Cognac, Peychaud’s bitters, honey, smoke and an absinthe rinse. If it will play for you, check out the Video of it all being put together. That is actually smoke filling the glass and it’s quite impressive. 4 out 5.
To finish off on a sweet note I had The Ministry of Silly Drinks. An explosion of sweetness. Absolut Peach, Kwai Feh Leychee, Creme de Cassis, P&P mango shrub, orange bitters, cranberry bitters, lemon, whites and popping candy. It’s like being smacked in the face with a bag of skittles but oh so delicious. In saying that I would only manage one of these due to sweetness overload. 3.5 out of 5.
The last creation in my run down is the South of the Border or French Martini as some know it. Olmeca Reposado, Creme de Cassis, P&P blackberry shrub, pineapple and sugar served with frensh blackberries. Alas I didn’t get to taste this but it looked great and Carolann says she would ‘inhale’ it.
This is a glowing review of Peruke & Periwig and it’s deserved. It was an extra special night and we were treated to impeccable service, tantalising drinks and Rob our cocktail maker, not only took us on a liquid journey, he took us on a literary one too. He knew the quotes. He knew who quoted them. For every drink there was a story to go with it, and with the story there was a piece of history and with that a nugget of information we took away with us. I left Peruke & Periwig that night enlightened or light headed, or maybe it was both.
I was already a fan of Peruke & Periwig so had no need to be converted. I like the style of their bar and restaurant and I like the fact that they don’t churn out the same old cocktails as everywhere else. I also like the fact they cater for different moods. You can just nip in to the ground floor level for a pint or upstairs for a cocktail in more sumptuous surroundings.
Right now in Dublin there is an incredible array of bars and restaurants offering us more options than ever before. While there is great choice, there is also an element of ‘sameness’ about quite a lot of places. Bar and restaurant owners need to strive ever more to stand out of from the crowd. The prompt behind this post is a really clever piece of marketing aimed at helping Peruke & Periwig stand out. I was quite impressed with it and decided to give it a mention. To celebrate the launch of their new cocktail venture ‘Around the World in 80 Cocktails’ Peruke & Periwig have sent some lucky folks a very impressive invite to try out their new range of cocktails.
A courier arrived at my door to deliver an invite that would certainly peek the interest of Phileas Fogg himself. Not the usual piece of card stuffed in an envelope. The marketing team had gone all out and produced this captivating invite. An old style chest with leather straps covered in travel stamps.
Inside there was an invite to take a food and cocktail trip.
The level of detail contained in the box was superb. There was a compass built into the inside of the lid.
A passport containing a list of cocktails which would be on offer on the night.
And no cocktail party invite would be complete without an actual cocktail included in it.
The cocktail entitled ‘Fashioned by Age’ is made of Irish Whiskey, maple syrup, still water, bitters and smoke! Peruke & Periwig have gone to a considerable amount of effort and I’d imagine cost too, to launch their new cocktail menu, so I’m very much looking forward to trying it out and reporting back.
Dylan McGrath has recently expanded his ‘wining and dining’ empire and opened a cocktail bar above his Rustic Stone restaurant.
The interior is essentially split by the stair case into two areas. The right has a classy luxurious feel with dark wood tables, black leather seats and exposed brick work. The bar is also on the right towards the back.
The left side, to me, feels a little more cut off from the feel of the cocktail bar and more corridor like. It also has more booth type seating. My preference would be a table on the right.
Cocktails range in price from €8.50 to €11.00 which by city standards seems very reasonable to me. I do have to say however some of the ones I tried did seem a little shallow in the glass, but I suppose that is reflective of the price.
Rhubarb liqueur, Glendalough Poitin, honey syrup, marmalade and lemon juice served over crushed ice (€10).
Martin Millers gin shaken with gingerbread liqueur, blackberry jam, lemon juice, apple syrup, with egg white and served in a glass with a gingerbread rim (€10).
Grand Mariner, caramel liqueur, lemon juice and egg white with a pinch of rock salt (€9.50).
All of the cocktails were excellent I have to say. The service did seem a little slow, but I suspect that is down to the staff using good fresh ingredients, which takes longer to produce a quality end result so I can’t complain about that.
The only downside was the smell of the restaurant below was quite strong. Usually that’s not a bad thing but everything smelled of burgers which was less tantalizing and more unpleasant. No doubt it will become a popular place and is of course perfect for a pre or post dinner cocktails.
I seem to be drinking a lot of cocktails lately. Thats no bad thing I suppose. There are just so many to choose from. On a Tuesday after work I found myself sitting at the bar in Dandelion with my buddy R. We had a couple of groupon vouchers for three cocktails each to use up.
They have quite a decent cocktail menu I have to say. As it wasn’t that busy we had the pleasure of talking to two of the loveliest bar staff I’ve ever met. Eveleen and Darragh. She was Polish and he was Irish and they had a great bit of banter trying to out do each other making us cocktails. I’d return just for them alone.
The Classic Martini (€10) was first. A classy drink which is pretty much just pure alochol and some olives. Apparently a ‘dirty’ Martini is made with adding a little of the juice the olives are resting in. I never knew that. It was a bit strong for me but R wolfed it down.
The more refreshing Rosy Cooler (€10) was next. Vodka muddled with strawberries, fresh mint leaves, lime wedges, syrup and topped with apple cider. Now that was a tasty cocktail I have to say. Full of fruit from the strawberry and a nice little tang off the apple cider.
The big girl in me ordered the Skittle Martini (€5) next. Made with Skittle infused vodka, orange liqueur shaken with orange juice and topped with Grenadine in a Martini glass. Delicious but a little sweet. I’d probably only be able to drink about three of these in a row !
R opted for the more manly Whiskey Sour (€8) next. Made from, as you can guess Whiskey, fresh lemon juice and egg white. I’m not usually a fan of Whiskey based cocktails but this one was an exception. Quite a kick but very drinkable.
To finish off we both went for a Honey Comb (€8). Baileys and Mickey Finns butterscotch, fresh cream, milk and finished with sprinkled chocolate flakes. Our lovely bar girl also threw in a bit of fruit and the chocolate flakes in a heart and star shape. Sinfully good but like the Skittle Martini I wouldn’t be able to manage too many these. It’s like drinking a box of chocolates. Overall a great visit I have to say.
I’m a big fan of cocktails and I have to say I’m never let down when I visit Fire for an after work cocktail. Great location, great service and great choice. The most recent visit for pre dinner cocktails included the following.
Toast and Jam. Chivas Regal, Martini and homemade strawberry shrub. It had quite a kick. Buried inside that glass is a booze soaked cherry that will make your eyes widen.
I like gin based cocktails and was recommended the Rubicon as a light and refreshing pre dinner drink. Green Chartreuse, Beefeater 24 Gin, lemon juice, maraschino (comes from cherries) and a sprig of Rosemary. It didn’t last long in the glass and I think it would be a great post dinner cocktail too.
This creamy looking snack is the Monks Milkshake. Vanilla ice-cream and raspberry sorbet with frangelico and Havana rum topped with an Oreo. Perfect alternative to cookies and milk before bed!
This one was a heavy hitter in terms of alcohol kick. The Fashioned by Fire. Rum, Hennessey Cognac, Makers Mark Bourbon, Angostura bitters, orange bitters and bourbon syrup. Lets just say it was strong!
You can never go wrong with a glass of Prosecco with a plump fresh strawberry bathing in it.
We also got chatting to Amy and Stuart, two of the staff from Fire. Staurt looks after all things beverage related. They are actually in the middle of redoing their cocktail menu with some interesting choices coming up.
I have to say after talking to Stuart I have a new found appreciation for the behind the scenes work that goes into creating a cocktail and sourcing the right ingredients for it. It’s not just a case of popping down to the wholesalers and picking up various bottles of booze and some mixers.
Stuart was telling me all about visiting some of London’s top hotels and working with world renowned cocktail makers to get their new cocktail menu just right.
The unassuming looking cocktail below is actually Fire’s new take on the classic Bloody Mary. As you can see not a stick of celery in sight. The celery element is that wonderful frothy head of celery foam which ensures you get a kick of celery with every mouthful. The tomato juice I’m told (if I remember correctly) is sourced from an Austrian company who in turn get it from Italy. Now that’s a lot of effort gone into creating a bloody mary. I’m told that will be on the new cocktail menu they are launching soon.
I managed to get a quick sneak peak at the listing and I look forward to trying some (all) of them. The new menu also has pictures of their actual bar staff shaking and stirring things up which is nice to see and adds a personal touch.