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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!