Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Gallagher's and Beara Distillery combine to present an accomplished taste of the peninsula

Gallagher's and Beara Distillery combine to present an accomplished taste and taoscán of the peninsula.

Delightful pairings a highlight of Cork on a Fork Fest

Beara-Ly Standing, the cocktail that brought the lovely afternoon, part of the annual Cork in a Fork Festival, to a sweet conclusion. Ingredients are Beara Black Cask Whiskey, lemon and red berry sherbet, egg white, crushed almond, meringue. The matching dessert was Lemon Gin infused polenta, mascarpone honey glaze roasted almonds, and mixed berries. Gallaghers and Johnny and Valerie Power all worked together to make this a superb experience. Preparations included a visit to the distillery by Gallaghers staff (hard work?) and lots of experimentation in MacCurtain Street and it all came good last Saturday.

Dee of Babelfís and Myles of Gallaghers got the ball rolling

The four-course meal started with Egg Three Ways described as Asparagus and sun-dried tomato frittata, crispy egg and a potato hash brown, egg bread rouldade, serrano ham and liver paté, Quite a plateful of flavours and texture and all accompanied by the first of the cocktails.

Eggs Three Ways with Royale to the right in the background

It was named the Wild Atlantic Royale made from Beara Pink Gin, mandarin and elderflower balsamic shrub, and topped with prosecco. Oos and aahs all round and the party was definitely on.

Course number two was the really amazing and well-named Salmon Sensation, a delicious combo of Lemon & Lime Beara Gin Cured Salmon, poached cherry tomatoes, sesame seeds, garlic basil, apple celeriac remoulade, samphire and nori seaweed foam. Every bit on the plate played a role; the salmon itself was memorable and those tomatoes were something else. 

And what would sir have with that? Unusual Abundance was the name of the cocktail: Beara Ocean Gin, sugar kelp, nettle and lime cordial, and honey. Kelp is grown in the bay, Johnny told me.

If the second was my favourite plateful, the third proved my favourite cocktail, the appropriately titled El Plato Principal, combining Fat Washed Beara Whiskey, sweet vermouth, black walnut bitters, orange bitters, sugar and Pernod spritz. Amazing with the whiskey getting a chance to shine through. 

Myles explained in some detail (to myself and Johnny), that fat-washed whiskey involves the whiskey, beef fat and the freezer and the technique enhances the flavour of the whiskey and "clears" it making it lighter in colour. Basically, you allow the fat and whiskey to intermingle and then comes a spell in the freezer. The fat goes solid, and all you have to do is drain off your whiskey. Cheers!

The Gallaghers kitchen whizzed off to South America for the matching dish and again came up trumps with the Mexican Tostadas (Corn shell tostadas, black beans & tomato corinader salsa, meatballs topped up with cheese sauce). Loved it, especially the black beans in the salsa.

Dessert. Topped with a fuschia flower!

Number four was next, all for a sweet finish as you can see in the opening paragraph! A terrific afternoon for the punters - live jazz was enjoyed as well as the food and drink. 

A delighted Gallaghers were soon on social media: "It was a very enjoyable afternoon. We were delighted with what the team @gallaghers & @Babelfisbrand put together and with the fantastic support from @BearaDistillery John & Valerie." It was indeed a lovely and memorable occasion.

Quite a few exotic touches in the menu and indeed in Gallaghers' menus in general but they are firm supporters of Irish produce. One hundred per cent of their beef is Irish and other producers supported include Twomey's Butchers Macroom, P. O'Connell and Sons, Ballycotton Seafood, Shellfish Delamare, Traditional Cheese Company, Hegarty Cheese, Pana Bread, and Alternative Bread Company.

More details on the restaurant and menus here. Terrific food and drink and charming staff. And I'm told there is no need at all to avoid their Charmless Man cocktail, as the name is really just a rum sort of joke!

More on the distillery here.

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