Hennessy’s in Cognac have a room that they call Paradise as it contains much of their very old brandies. I reckon the title could easily be applied to Bradley’s Off License in North Main Street. Here, they stock virtually every drink you can call for and, besides, are great supporters of the local craft brewing movement.
Take cider for instance. They are one of the few, if not the only store, to stock the relatively new Stonewell Cider which has taken off very well indeed. The Stonewell is made by Daniel Emerson in Novohal and now has a rival from Mallow, from William O’Callaghan of Longueville House.
I’ll let apple expert Con Traas, owner of the Cahir Apple Farm, talk on the subject he knows so well. “Both make excellent ciders. William’s is full of traditional cider apples, which makes it a real West Country type cider, as it would be known in the UK. Daniel’s is less tannic, but also excellent. If you get the chance to try either, I would highly recommend them.”
And if it is beer that you’re after, then Bradley’s is the place. There is a wall of beer here, over one hundred craft beers from these islands and further afield, including local notables such as Eight Degrees Brewing and Dungarvan Brewing and sometimes including the limited run specials (such as that fantastic Shandon Century Extra Stout) from the Franciscan Well just across the river.
All kinds of wines on sale here also and you are sure to find something you like. Maybe the NV Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato, the low alcohol wine that is taking Australia by storm. If you fancy a sherry, I can recommend the Lustau range, everything from Amontillado to Oloroso to PX.
And then there are the spirits. No, the place is not haunted, though it was established in 1850. I was in there recently, looking for a gin. I was shown quite a few but, in the end, settled for Bombay Sapphire, my old reliable.
And here’s a neat one. After purchasing the gin, I was presented with a tonic, made especially for gin and containing some of the same botanicals as the spirit. The jury is out as far as I am concerned but if you want to try it, it is called Fentiman’s, available in Bradley’s. Of course!
There is something of a study on the best tonic for gin here.