Bars across Northern Ireland are to celebrate Ireland’s finest gins with special serves and events for the 2017 Irish Gin & Tonic Fest.
Running from June 25 to July 1, the celebration is now in its second year, organised by Great Irish Beverages, featuring bars, restaurants and hotels in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
This year, it will also include a party in London on July 1 at Bootyard, home to 40FT Brewery and Cold & Blac coffee liqueur, which is hosted by Great Irish Beverages with drinks consultancy All About the Cocktail, headed by Charlie McCarthy.
Any licensed bar, restaurant or hotel in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland can get involved in the festival by showcasing one of the participating Irish gins served with a tonic of their choice for the week.
As soon as the festival starts, the public will be asked to vote for their favourite Irish gin and tonic of the festival by using the hashtag #IrishGnT on Twitter or via the Facebook page. Last year’s competition was won by Davy Mac’s Bar in Waterford.
Supported by Fáilte Ireland, the festival will see each of the participating brands host a special event which will be promoted online and via social media. Click here for a list of the gins involved.
The party at Bootyard in east London will run from midday to 10pm on July 1. Wristbands are available to buy online through DesignMyNight for £10, or on the door for £15. This will give guests access to samples of all of the gins being showcased, along with one free All Irish G&T served with Poacher’s Tonic. 40FT beer will also be available from the Tap Room.
A dedicated G&T bar will be serving up gin and tonics throughout the day, pairing the Irish gins on show with Poacher’s Tonic, a craft Irish brand currently making waves in the tonic market. Ireland’s only producer of premium, low sugar, natural mixers, Poacher’s citrus tonic water features Florida orange and Irish rosemary, while its classic tonic water is more quinine forward with a tiny sprinkling of Irish thyme.
Renowned Irish Chef Simon Lamont, host of TV show The Lazy Chef, will be cooking up barbecue food. Other expert guests will be on hand throughout the day including “Gin Monkey” Emma Stokes, organiser of World Gin Day.
Gins representing every province in Ireland will be in attendance, along with a chance to meet the people behind the brands to learn more about their story and how they are made.
They will include Boatyard Gin from Ulster, which is made with wild bog myrtle from the family farm in Fermanagh. It has been nicknamed a “double gin” for the two distillations for each bottling.
From Leinster in County Wicklow, Bonac 24 was initially inspired by time spent working in the Hamptons in New York, also known to the locals there as Bonac. It took the Clifford family 24 attempts to get their gin formula right, hence the name Bonac 24.
From Munster in County Kerry, Dingle Gin is a rich spirit infused with eastern European spices and local flowers, created by the same team as The Porterhouse Brewery.
From Connaught, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin is made in the only distillery in Leitrim. It is named after the famous Chinese green tea and also features Irish ingredients such as dried meadowsweet.