Cocktails are a craft that Dublin revels in. The expert mixologists in the city create a range of inventive menus bursting with flavour and locally sourced ingredients. Giving old classics and familiar favourites a distinctly Irish twist, these are the best cocktail bars in Dublin.
Catering to everyone from creatives and revellers to the after-work crowds, Dublin’s Bow Lane is a cocktail bar with a speciality for shaking things up with its unusual and unexpected combinations. Boasting impressive medleys of liquor, it’s best known for its range of chocolate-based cocktails, such as The Katy Perry – a blend of Jameson Irish Whiskey, home-made ganache and white chocolate, served hot with cream and nutmeg. Visit its Drag Brunch, held on the last Sunday of the month, where host Davina Devine dishes up incredible entertainment to go with your eggs royale.
This lively venue on the corner of Aungier Street and South Great George’s Street has been a hotspot for revellers in Dublin’s Creative Quarter since opening in 1999. The open-plan main bar is perfectly designed for mingling and sampling the medley of beverages on the menu. Upstairs, plush chairs and tables create a more intimate space well suited to a romantic evening or small gatherings. The bar’s sparkling wine-based cocktails, such as the Marilyn Monroe (a simple mix of prosecco, apple schnapps and grenadine), add a spritz of luxury to any Dublin night out.
Located in the middle of glamorous Dublin nightlife spot Dawson Street, Sams Bar never disappoints. The front of the bar is framed by a charming conservatory where lounge chairs and hanging ivy form a cosy space for those in search of a quiet place to catch up. Venture farther inside, and discover an upscale party atmosphere, accompanied by an assortment of top-notch cocktails. The Lady Sam is a delicate blend of elderflower cordial and vanilla essence topped off with fresh raspberries – the undeniable star of the menu.
Nestled in a historic building in the Powerscourt Centre, Farrier and Draper is a stylish, intimate venue ideal for anything from after-work drinks to a celebratory night out. Guests can enjoy cocktails in the Georgian Room, a chic, dimly lit space decked out with plush velvet chairs and crystal chandeliers, or while admiring the array of paintings showcased in the Gallery Room. Food is served all day in the La Cucina restaurant on the lower level, but the true draw is the selection of house cocktails. One not to miss is the Mo Ghile Mear, which is made using the traditional Irish spirit poitín.
Since opening in 2014, Drury Buildings’ cocktail bar has established itself as a prime drinking establishment in Dublin. If you need further convincing, the colourful mural art decorating its exterior is bound to impress. The inside of the bar is equally crisp and bright, with simple, classic cocktail offerings. Its speciality Drury Snapper (Opihr spiced gin, Drury spice mix and tomato juice) is a great way to kick-start any night.
Don’t let the unassuming front of Peruke and Periwig fool you; here, it is most definitely what’s on the inside that counts. An excellent choice for fans of fine dining and leisurely sipping, this bar is cosy without being claustrophobic and is a Georgian parlour of delights, with dark wood furnishings, velvet curtains and, in homage to the venue’s past life as a wigmaker’s shop, a display of 17th-century wigs. Though the fine-dining-style dinner menu is on the small side, the cocktail selection more than makes up for it. The bar specialises in re-interpretations of old classics, such as its Cold S’Mores; an indulgent take on a White Russian, this cocktail features Kahlua expertly mixed with marshmallow-infused vodka and crème de cacao.
The Mint Bar at The Westin Dublin has become a popular cocktail spot on its own merit. Housed in an underground vault that once operated as part of the Old Bank on College Green, the bar has an understated sense of elegance and sophistication. With moody lighting and wood furnishings, it’s an ideal spot for a low-key occasion. In addition to its huge selection of cocktails, it has a bespoke GIY (Gin It Yourself) menu that lets you create a personalised G&T to your exact taste.