The Best Places to Drink Gin in Dublin

The Bull And Castle
The Bull And Castle | © William Murphy/Flickr
Kate Hawkes

Gin is having its moment in Dublin, with the city’s bars reinventing this staple spirit. Gone are the days when a G&T was the drink elderly aunts would have at wedding receptions – it’s all about craft tonics, inventive flavour combinations and extravagant garnishes. We’ve picked the top spots to order up a gin in Dublin. The choices here will cater to every taste, from the lavish to the laid-back – and there’s only one way to find out which is your favourite…

1. For trying new gins – Gin Palace

Bar, Pub Grub, Wine, Cocktails, Beer, Irish

Gin Palace
© Thomas Brookes/Flickr
Gin Palace, winner of Gin Bar of the Year 2015 and stocked with an astounding 180+ gins, is surely unsurpassed for the range it offers. Unsure where to start? Try the tasting tray, which lets you pick three from their Gin Bible to sample for €12. This old-style bar is just off the main shopping streets – handy if you’ve worn yourself out in town, but often busy.

2. For a bite to eat – The Chelsea Drugstore

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Beer, Wine

Go for a pre-dinner drink at The Chelsea Drugstore, next to the lively South William Street bar area. On the menu are vibrant serves to complement the flavours of each gin, using ingredients from cinnamon and orange to green tea and grapefruit. When hunger sets in, head through the door at the back into Market Bar, their buzzing sister restaurant. Pick a few of their giant tapas plates and get sharing.

3. For a touch of luxury – The Marker Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

The Marker Hotel
© The Marker Hotel / Hotels.com

To indulge yourself at one of the best rooftops in Dublin, take the elevator up to the bar of The Marker Hotel for a generous (if pricey) gin selection, a taste of something different in the G&Ts, and a glimpse of the high life. A word of advice: check before you go that the roof bar is open to the public, as it is sometimes booked out for private events.

5. For craft gins – Coppinger Row

Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Mediterranean, Irish, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Street Food

Coppinger Row offers a selection of lesser-known brands, including small-batch gins distilled in Ireland like Shortcross and Blackwater Strawberry. For something a bit different, try the intriguingly-named Bertha’s Revenge, which is served with orange peel and coriander. You’ll find Coppinger Row in the midst of one of Dublin’s busiest bar areas, so if you can drag yourself away from that cocktail menu the nightlife is all around you.

6. For gin cocktails – The Blind Pig Speakeasy

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Beer, Wine, Cocktails

Be sure to make a booking at the speakeasy-style Blind Pig as this bar is small and sought-after, but if you manage to find your way in through the hidden entrance the effort is worth it. With a jazzy atmosphere and some of the most knowledgeable bartenders in the whole city, settle into a seat at the bar and ask them to make you a custom gin cocktail to suit your tastes. You will not be disappointed.

7. For a gastropub – The Bull and Castle

Gastropub, Steakhouse, Irish, Street Food

The Bull and Castle is a pub, but this pub is a level above. They’re serious about their steaks and their craft beers here, and with nearly 30 types of gin on offer, as well as two tasting trays, they’re serious about their gin too. Despite being just around the corner from Temple Bar, the Bull and Castle is rarely crowded, so sit back and take your time over a drink.

8. For great value – Oscar's Café Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Irish

There are several places in town where the gin and tonics are cheap, but some of them also come with the less appealing addition of sticky floors and plastic cups. The smart choice is Oscar’s Bar in Smithfield where the €5 G&T can be sipped in a comfortable booth, or at one of the outside tables looking over the square if the rain holds off. The enticing price and quiet corners make this an ideal spot for midweek catch-ups.

9. For a complete gin experience – Intercontinental Hotel

Spa Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

Purple and beige suite at InterContinental Dublin
Courtesy of InterContinental Dublin / Hotels.com
What could be better than a delicious gin drink? A delicious gin cake to accompany it, of course. For those occasions that call for something a bit extra (even if ‘those occasions’ are really just an excuse to treat yourself), there is the Intercontinental Hotel’s Gin Afternoon Tea Menu. As well as serving up a gin infusion in a delicate teapot, this boozy tea also includes cakes and desserts flavoured with gin.

10. For something quirky – Peruke & Periwig

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

Interior of Peruke & Periwig, Dublin
© Press Up Entertainment Group

Don’t be fooled by the dark pub on the ground floor of Peruke & Periwig – upstairs is lavishly decked out in velvet and tassels, and the cocktail menu comes as an old-style passport. The flavour combinations in the gin selection are wild, but the team here know what they’re doing, so trust them and pick something unusual. Even the names are unique, with music-themed titles like ‘Nothing Camparis to You’ and ‘Sage Against The Machine’ being personal favourites!

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