Great Irish Beverages is all about celebrating and promoting Irish made drinks. This takes us all round the world and across the island of Ireland. The type of work we do varies from concentrated advocacy for bartenders and media, to mass experiential. One week can see us conducting cocktail training for Jameson bartenders in Japan, to following that up with running the Irish Gin & Tonic Fest with hundreds of venues around Ireland.
Director and founder Oisin Davis, has 25 years of hospitality and drinks industry experience. He’s had lots of job titles in those sectors – from bouncer to brand owner! In addition to Great Irish Beverages, he’s also co founder of Poacher’s Premium Irish Mixers and the first non alcohol bar in Europe, The Virgin Mary. In between client projects, he loves to do a wee bit of writing for Food & Wine Ireland and Food For Thought.
Our last national festival was Irish Cocktail Fest and it ran in October 2018. There was a public vote for #BestIrishCocktail and it was won by The Grand Hotel Fermoy in Cork.
Their spirited creation “Bee Right With You” is an incredible celebration of all things local. To begin with, seeing as they’re located right by the Blackwater river, it would have been rude not to work with the lovely gin from Blackwater Distillery! This is mixed with house made Fermoy honey bitters and a crystallised calendula flower petals from Botanica Fermoy before being set alight. It is then mixed with more of the Fermoy honey, lime, lemon, a pinch of cinnamon, a splash of premium tonic water and egg white. After being shaken, it’s then strained into an ice cold martini glass and garnished with a honey tuile and some more calendula petals.
The man responsible for this delicious delight is The Grand Hotel‘s leading cocktail whizkid, John Coleman. He has been there for 8 years and his inspiration for the cocktail was a direct result of attending the summer festival, Taste of Fermoy. It was here that he met the good folk from S Bees and Botanica Fermoy who would supply him with the key ingredients from the area for his drink. As the man says himself, ‘I see cocktail creations not just bringing together ingredients, but businesses as well, both big and small. My ethos is to always use Irish spirits and mixers as your base, and look to your locality for other ingredients, be it the farmer’s market, orchard or fruit farm, bee keeper, herbalist or any other businesses.”
We could not agree more John! This is exactly what our festivals are all about, celebrating Irish spirits and Irish produce. Should you be anywhere near Fermoy in the coming hours, days or weeks, pay them a visit and ask for a “Bee Right With You” at the bar, the #BestIrishCocktail of 2018. Sláinte!
As part of the festival, there were lots of events on including some that we hosted ourselves.
We ran Irish Cocktail Parties on October 13th and 20th in Dublin Bar Academy. For just €25 including booking fee, you could pick up four cocktails made with Irish spirits. Plus there was a special tasting room where you could taste the gorgeous spirits on their own so that you could all learn about what you’re drinking!
OTHER FESTIVAL EVENTS
Crafted from an old recipe handed down by the Mitchell & Son family of wine merchants, with records dating back to the early...