Showing posts with label Cask. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cask. Show all posts

Sunday, September 22, 2019

City Pulls Together in Cork Gourmet Trail 2019


City Pulls Together for Cork Gourmet Trail 2019
On the way. Pic via @corkgourmettrail 

There is great cooperation between the hotels, restaurants and bars in the city. The sentiments of Aaron Mansworth of Trigon Hotels and reiterated by Mags O’Connor of the Cornstore as the Cobh Clams descended on the Bodega and as we spoke about what it takes to put an event like this Cork Gourmet Trail on the road.
Sweet. From Olivo

Better explain, the Cobh Clams were one of five large groups taking part in the 2019 edition of the Trail and the Bodega, where neighbours Cornstore also had a stand, was our first port of call. The other groups that would follow, at intervals, were Bantry Barnacles, Monkstown Mussels, Leap Lobsters, and Shanagarry Scallops.
Gallaghers Gastro Bar

The event, part of the Cork Oyster Festival based at the Metropole (one of the Trigon hotels), began at noon and ended late-ish in the Met and in between visits were made to Cask, Dwyers of Cork, Greenes, The Oyster Tavern, Electric, Soho, Tequila Jacks, The New Yorker Bar & Bistro, Olivo at the Cork Airport Hotel, the Cornstore, Gallaghers, the Bodega and Arthur Maynes. We didn’t walk out to the Airport by the way as both the New Yorker and Olivo were accommodated in the city.

So what can you expect on a Cork Gourmet Trail. Quite a lot and all quite delicious, something for everyone. The Cornstore/Coqbull menu for the event is an excellent illustration. 

Brick Prawns brick pastry & basil wrapped prawns with jalapeno mayo.
Dry Aged Beef Yorkshire puddings stuffed with dry aged roast beef, caramelised white onion, wasabi mash and stuffing.
Mini Moqbull: Mushroom umami burger with vegan truffle mayo vegan cheese and rocket.
Bloody Mary Oyster: natural oyster with bloody mary jelly.
Angels on Horseback: oysters wrapped in Parma ham, deep fried in Japanese tempura batter with lime and courgette chutney.
Tasty, from Gallaghers

Takeout desserts from Cornstore
And the welcome here was warm, a drink (red and white wine and more) offered immediately. A table top full of local and international charcuterie and cheese, including an ultra spicy Spanish blue, while alongside Bodega chef Dave had some beauties including Oysters baked in their own Grainne Ale beer and a delicious Basket Cheese Cake with whiskey among the ingredients! And if you couldn’t sample everything - nobody could! - there were some lovely takeout desserts from the Cornstore.

And that welcome and choice of food and drink set the scene for the long afternoon, replicated all the way. More wine and hospitality on offer at Dwyers in Washington Street where we stuffed ourselves into the various nooks and crannies, every now and then replenishing at the stands of Dwyers itself and the New Yorker. The New Yorker’s Chicken Croquette, home-smoked in Barry’s Tea, was one treat, while one to finish with was the Jameson and Ginger Cheesecake by our hosts.

Bodega's Dave
Next stop was Electric who treated us to oysters and a Kinsale G&T. Kinsale Gin are among the sponsors. Earlier we started as we gathered in the Vance Room in the Met with yes, a G&T and oysters, before being divided up into the various groups and being introduced to our leaders. Our guide was Ray from Trigon and he didn’t lose anyone!

After Electric, we strolled down the Mall to the lovely and lively Tequila Jacks. More wine and also some delicious Tequila based cocktails and more good food, both from our hosts (a superb taco, also delicious Pork Belly) and some savoury and sweet stuff too from Olivo (including some well presented dessert bites).
Electric oysters

MET head chef Stuart Dardis (left)
with out guide Ray Kelleher (Trigon Hotels)
Cask was next on the itinerary and here also we met Gallaghers and the MET Tavern. Gallaghers had a trio of beauties including a Beef Featherblade with a Walnut Chutney. While the Met, with Head Chef Stuart Dardis on hand, had a great selection too including a palate pleasing tuna bite. Cask shone too, supplying the drinks and lots of their interesting tapas including exquisite prawns. And all the way through, it was smiles galore and helpful people even if, by this stage, they must have been explaining their offering for the umpteenth time that afternoon. Pure Cork!

We weren’t finished yet. Next stop was the Oyster Tavern and here we met a couple of stragglers from a previous group. They had stopped to do a bit of shopping in Penneys and were now running late! So we had a chat with that English duo as we had chats all through with whoever we happened to end up with, sometimes friends, sometimes total strangers, but no strangers when the day was through.

Another glass of wine in the Oyster and excellent food also. Soho were here as well and their Pork Belly was so good I called for it twice!

The final round-up was back at the Douglas Vance room in the Metropole but some were saying their goodbyes. We were humming and hawing about it as we strolled down Patrick Street. The rain, which had been intermittent all afternoon, was now pelting down and that, plus the fact that there was a No. 208 conveniently at our bus-stop, made up our minds for us and we headed home after a terrific day in the city. Well done to all behind the Trail, the Oyster Festival itself and to one lady in particular (who we are all thinking of this weekend).



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking.


What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking.
Taste Better Than Previous Efforts. Look Better Too!
NA Cocktail at Hotel Europe

While settling up after a recent lunch at Kingdom 1795 in Killorglin, we began talking to Suzi about non alcoholic drinks. She and chef Damien, who have put so much into this lovely new restaurant, carry a selection including Stonewell NA Cider, Seedlip and Heineken Zero.

Bradley's include
a NA Cava
I first came across Seedlip a couple of weeks back at lunch in the Whale’s Tale Bistro in Clonakilty. This was the Garden version, the company do two others: Spice 94 and Grove 42. 

So where did the name come from? Seedlip: Over three hundred years ago, it was common for physicians to distil herbal remedies using copper stills, harnessing the power of nature & alchemy to solve medical maladies. In 1651, one such physician, John French, published The Art of Distillation documenting these non-alcoholic recipes. At that same time, a family in Lincolnshire had started farming, hand sowing seeds using baskets called ‘seedlips’.

Seedlip in Clon
Today, you can find Seedlip in quite a few places and it does indeed give you a choice. The Whale’s Tail version was a substitute for gin and served in the big fashionable gin glass. I tasted it like that and it did seem a bit “vegetable” - there were a few slices of cucumber in there too. But once the Fever-Tree Elderflower was added, the magic happened and the combination was just excellent, very acceptable indeed.

In Kingdom 1795, I tasted the Spice version neat, very aromatic and you could easily see how it would be the basis for an excellent drink. Again, Suzi suggested the Fever-Tree as an ideal companion. No wonder the Seedlip company reckon they have the solution to the question “what to drink when you’re not drinking” #wtdwynd
Killorglin's Kingdom, well worth a visit

There is a Seedlip rival on the market also, marketed as a non-alcoholic gin and called Ceders. I was talking to Michael Creedon of Bradley’s (North Main Street, Cork), about things non-alcoholic and he says there is a a definite trend in that direction. He has non-alcoholic wines in stock and also the Ceders.


When we departed Kingdom 1795, we went for a superb walk in the sun on the stunning Bray Head (Valentia Island). On the way back, we called to the Glenbeigh Hotel, again looking for a non alcoholic drink. And right in front of us, on the counter of the old bar, there was a card full of suggestions (Coca Cola suggestions, I think). The driver tried one, the South African “Appletiser”, a sparkling fruit drink with carbonated water, and it went down well. We also saw the non alcoholic Cronin’s Cider (bottled in Wexford) but too late!

NA Cocktail at Cask
based on Ceders spirit
We went upmarket later on that night. In the bar of the Europe Hotel - probably the best hotel bar in the country - we checked out the offerings. They have a terrific cocktail list - I can recommend the Brandy Alexander and the Negroni - that includes a choice of non alcoholic offerings including a long and delicious apple based one with ginger and lemongrass (the name escapes me). And we were also offering a zero alcohol wine.

They also carry the Erdinger NA beer, quite a good one too. I also find the Paulaner a handy substitute from time to time. And yes they support local here with normal strength beer on draught from Killarney Brewery and bottles of the NA Cider by Kerry based Cronins.

We also tasted that cider at lunch in Dingle’s Boatyard the following day. It is refreshing, somewhat drier than their regular 4.5% offering, and not bad at all. It does come for some reason in the smaller 330 bottle.
A selection of O'Brien's zero alcohol wines

Back in town, after the Kerry break, we called to O’Brien’s in Douglas. They carry the Seedlip drinks and indeed say the non-alcoholic drinks in general are flying, so much that they have to work hard to keep on. They have quite a few non-alcoholic wines including some from Torres and three that they bring in themselves.
At The Kingsley

Just the other night, we were going through the drinks list in the Springboard Restaurant in the Kingsley Hotel and spotted a trio of non-alcoholic cocktails (not too many places are using “mocktail” these days). They have the Shirley Temple and the Fishers and the Nojito, the latter an amalgam of mint, fresh lime juice, sugar and soda water. 

So there you are. Just a sample of the many alcoholic options out there now. Now you know #wtdwynd. Enjoy.

.


Local Producers Shine as Cask Introduces Weekend Brunch

Local Producers Shine as Cask Introduces Weekend Brunch
French Toast


When Cork’s Cask recently introduced its weekend Brunch, there was no doubt that it would be local and seasonal. Head Chef Bryan McCarthy emphasised it in the notice: “For the brunch menu at Cask we wanted to keep it simple, offering no-frills brunch favourites with the focus firmly on the quality of the ingredients which we’ve sourced from some wonderful local producers. We’re delighted with how it has turned out and we think people are going to love it.

I tried it out this weekend, enjoyed it and delighted too that Killahora Orchards, a producer just about five miles east of the city, figured so much in my choice. I should say choices as there was a cocktail involved as well! Well, it was a late brunch.

The menu is short, with favourites, such as Eggs Benedict featuring. Seated by the window, we ignored the busy street scene outside and studied the options. My choice was the French Toast with the Killahora Apple Syrup and Strawberries (bananas were an alternative).
So what cocktail? You have to smile at the names here but there is something a little more serious behind the one I picked: Bee Positive. Ketel One vodka, Killahora Rare Apple Iced Wine, Suze, Borage and local honey are the ingredients. And it comes with a packet of wildflower seeds to throw and grow! Aside from the needed nod to the bees, the drink itself is delicious, nectar springs to mind! 

In any event, the drink and the superb French Toast went very well together, I’m glad to report. CL meantime was enjoying her substantial plate of Avocado, Bacon, Tomato, Rocket, and Poached Egg on toast. That too was delicious, quite a feed. I know, as we swapped halfway through.

Like an increasing number of places, Cask offer a non alcoholic cocktail. Their Shrub consists of Ceders Non Alcoholic Spirit, Seasonal Shrub, and Poachers Ginger Ale. Tonic and soda are listed as alternatives but Dan, who was looking after us, hinted that the Poachers Ginger ale was just the job and he was talking to the converted as CL had recently enjoyed a cocktail with ginger ale in Kerry. This didn’t look all that spectacular, just the one flowerhead, providing colour, but it tasted very well indeed.

Cheers to the bees
Andy Ferreira, Cask bar manager and chief mixologist. “In recent years brunch as a concept has really taken off so we were excited to introduce it to Cask, but making sure to put our own unique spin on things. We’ve combined delicious food and a fun and intriguing drinks menu with the great craic that we’ve become known for - a killer combination!”

Having been asked to put it to the test, we can endorse that! Also on the menu are Eggs Benedict on Toasted Honey Spelt Bread; Potato, Black Pudding and Beef Hash with Baked Eggs. Lighter dining options include Granola with Natural Yogurt and Berry Compote, and Smoked Salmon with Scrambled Eggs and Chives.

Brunch is available here from 10:00am - 3:00pm every Saturday and Sunday. Cask is also open daily for lunch and dinner from 12:30pm - 10:00pm. 

48 MacCurtain Street
Cork
Tel:  (021) 450 0011



Thursday, February 21, 2019

Crucible's Cutting Edge Cocktails at Cask


Crucible's Cutting Edge Cocktails at Cask
My top two: Totally Mad Wae It (left) and L’Apostrophe 

Andy Ferreira’s team at Cask are always willing to enhance their already formidable cocktail skills and that was one of the reasons they had London’s Crucible show their paces at the Cork venue last Wednesday evening.

Led by Romeo, in the unavoidable absence of director Stu Bale, Crucible served up four impressive cocktails. Crucible is a member’s club, co-working space and creative hub for bartenders. Its community is a veritable melting pot of world class mixologists, drinks industry heavyweights and flavour experts. For instance, whiskey writer Dave Broom (you might remember him from Ballymaloe’s Lit-Fest) is one of the talented crew at Crucible.
Cask on Wednesday

Crucible’s in-house laboratory boasts an impressive range of equipment including  dehydrators, ice-cream makers, thermomixers, centrifuge (great for producing clear ingredients, or concentrated flavours), Carbonation Rig, and more, giving bartenders complete creative freedom in bringing their most exciting ideas to life. 

Creativity and science combine - “they take it right down to molecular levels” Andy told us -  and drinks producers, both large and small, have recognised the amazing possibilities of this “drinks lab”. Indeed, Wednesday’s Crucible takeover was sponsored by Irish Distillers Pernod-Ricard’s Affinity Brand Company, whose portfolio comprises luxury brands such as Midleton Very Rare, Redbreast, Green Spot, Method and Madness, Monkey 47, Lillet and CEDER’S.
Cutting edge!

Pacific Oisin
Science  (the original Latin word means knowledge) may be key at Crucible but they and Cask know how to have some fun too, illustrated with the names of the drinks on Wednesday. We started with Pacific Oisin, named for a well-known Irish operator in the Irish drinks space. 

The cocktail consisted of Monkey 47 gin, Yellow Spot Tasty Juice, Tiki Things, possibly including (but not exclusively) Pineapples, papaya, guava, nutmeg, coconuts, sand, and regret. Lots of ice too but no regret here though, just a long smooth drink with the spirits rounded and a sweetness provided by the fruits. Perhaps too smooth! Very easy drinking indeed.

Nial, another of their friends, had the distinction of featuring in the next one: Nial in the Coffin (Havana Club Seleccion. Malibu. Indestructible chemical acid with lime flavouring!). Not too much colour here but nicely balanced.

Nial in the Coffin
Next up was L’Apostrophe, a title tribute to Carl D’, an ace in the Cask team. And it was a beauty, a combination of Jameson, Foraged stuff (not too sure what that was, possibly the tip of a nettle!) and Perriet-Jouet Rosé champagne. “Pure buzzing” was the sub-text here and it was different class. Power and intense bubbles, firm fist in a velvet glove, a knockout.

It was more or less matched by another whiskey mix, again with no ice. Indeed, the two with no ice were my favourites on the night. This last one was called Totally Mad Wae It and ingredients were Method and Madness Irish Whiskey, Buckto and Ultrasonic. 

The description didn’t quite get my attention at the start of the evening. Apparently this got a “wash” of ultrasonic waves. Don’t ask! The result though is quite magnificent, with the Midleton-made whiskey the out and out star of the drink. When you finish, be sure and suck that strip of orange peel that has been giving you a lovely aroma all the way through.  

My Rankings:
1 - L’Apostrophe
      Totally Mad Wae It
3 - Pacific Oisin
4 - Nial in the Coffin



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cask Launch for Monkey 47 Sloe Gin. A Quartet of Delicious Drinks from Cocktails HQ

Cask Cork Launch for Monkey 47 Sloe Gin

 A Quartet of Delicious Drinks from Cocktail HQ

Monkey 47 is a German gin from the Black Forest and the 47 bit gets in because they use an amazing 47 hand-picked herbal ingredients to make it. The Sloe gin was launched at Cask last Monday and, yes, the sloes came from the famous forest as did the spruce tips which are added later and there were a few on display in McCurtain Street. 

Andrew Dickey, Brand Specialist at Irish Distillers, welcomed us and introduced us to the Monkey 47 story and the Sloe gin, the star of the evening. Cask's Andy Ferreira was given the task of constructing the menu and, as ever, he did it very well with a suite of four cocktails. He also had a simple gin and tonic in a solid Monkey mug and warned us to try that too before leaving.

Andy praised the sloe gin as being "very adaptable" as he introduced the first drink, King Louie's Punch (Monkey 47 Sloe, Italicus, Myrtle leaf sherbet, Jasmine, and Prosecco. Thought I was getting something to warm me up (it had very cold outside) but this was a cold drink, a big piece of ice in the middle of the bowl. Cold and dry but very nice indeed, served in a china cup.

Cask
The generous folks at Cask were now dishing out nibbles and small (some not so small) bites and we were enthusiastically tucking in, while not forgetting to try those cocktails. Our second one was a tall glass of Pear of Cheetahs (Monkey 47 Sloe gin, Monkey 47, Verjus, Spruce and Pears Soda). The gentle introduction continued here, easy sipping.

The next one was more arresting though. Coffee Mr. Nilsson? consisted of Monkey 47 Sloe, Green coffee, and Lustau Vermouth and had a kick from the coffee, also a bit peppery. One to note.

My favourite soon followed. It was titled Final Call Miss Baker! (Monkey 47 Sloe, White Port, Ancho Reyes, Sweet Cicely Tincture). I had been looking forward to that and it didn't disappoint at all, very enjoyable indeed. And, of course, we finished with that gin and tonic in that big mug! There are some suggestions for more cocktails in the press release below. Cheers!

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN MONKEY MADNESS WITH MONKEY 47 SLOE GIN

From the makers of the botanically-curious Monkey 47 gin, comes a new instalment, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin. Monkey 47’s practically obsessive quest for quality meets myth and legend in Monkey 47 Sloe Gin, which is as versatile as it is quaffable.
 
Final Call Miss Baker!
Aromatic and complex, with huge fruit and juniper notes, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin uses blackthorns or sloe berries, which are harvested after the first frost and macerated for four weeks to let the sediment settle to the bottom. The hydropress process, which protects the berries, then takes place, with the results filtered several times before being put back into the original macerate. Water is added and then in just six weeks, Monkey 47 Sloe Gin is ready to be enjoyed in whatever tipple you fancy, either hot or cold.

The liquid’s mix of earthy, tangy juniper, with rich sweet red berries, and hints of almond delivers Monkey 47’s penchant for exceptional taste, especially when presented in the signature serve; in a hi-ball glass filled with ice, topped with bitter lemon or Sicilian lemonade and garnished with a lemon wheel.
 
G&T in a mug!
Be transported to the Black Forest in winter with Monkey 47 Sloe Gin hot serve, which fuses this nutty and tart gin with Crème de Cassis, cranberry juice, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and hot water, bringing exceptional pleasure to the palate. Or relish Monkey 47 Sloe Gin in Sloe and Sherry Win the Race cocktail, complete with Fino sherry, Cherry Heering, lemon juice and sugar topped with bitter lemon or Sicilian lemonade, served over ice in a highball glass.

Monkey 47 Sloe Gin is versatile, masterfully handcrafted and distilled in small batches. This liquid is the result of the alchemistic art of distillation that Monkey 47 is renowned for, and is available from leading bars and off licences nationwide, RRP €55. Share your experience on Facebook, follow the black monkey on Instagram or express your joy in 140 characters or less on Twitter.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summertime Lift-off at Cask. Cocktail Champ. Music. Food. New Elevator


Summertime Lift-off at Cask
Cocktail Champ. Music. Food. New Elevator
A cup of punch to welcome the sun.

The start of the summer season in Cork’s leading cocktail venue, Cask, was well celebrated in the McCurtain Street venue on Wednesday evening. Guests galore were on hand for the evening. And the sun came too!


Owner Richard Evans and Arthur Little made us all feel welcome. And the biggest welcome, well the biggest applause, was reserved for Carl d’Alton who, earlier the week, was crowned the Irish World Class Cocktail Champion in Dublin, taking over the title from Andy Ferreira, his mentor in Cask.

Cask, as you probably know, is situated across the lane-cum-courtyard from its big sister Greene's and their hotel Isaac’s. Arthur is MD of the busy complex and had another reason to be happy on Wednesday as their new outdoor lift was unveiled for the first time. The glass walled structure has quite a low visual impact on the old architecture of the place and I’m told there is a quite a view from the top.

With the short speeches over, it was time for Karen Underwood (right) and her talented backing musicians and they played long and played well as the food came in waves. No shortage of drinks either. Cask were launching their summertime menu under both headings and again renewed their commitment to local and seasonal. 

Sustainability in bars is about a lot more than paper straws and using up your manky lime wedges. It’s about creating an environment where every possible product you use is produced close to you, or at least the majority of them. 

The reality is though in a world where everyone claims to have ‘small batch, artisan’ products, you still need to be super fussy about what you use. In Cask, if we’re putting an ingredient in our cocktail, it’s because we believe it’s the best possible option to make the drink absolutely banging!”

So if you want Beet, Black & Blue, then this is the cocktail for you: Jameson Black Barrel, Beetroot, Ardbeg, PX sherry, and Orange bitters.

Fancy the Ball ’N Chain? The mix here is Beefeater, Elderflower Pisco, Pine-berry Shrub, Apple water, and Poachers Wild Tonic. Driving tonight? Check out the Fine & Dandy made with Dandelion Jam, Spent Citrus Sherbet, Lilac Soda, Raspberry and Elderflower Sorbet.
A bao, with chicken

Like the titles? I do. Here are a few more: The Whole Shebang, The Udder Wan, Made in Mayfield, Cheeky Sheri’s Cherry Sherry. No shortage of other drinks of course, including sparkling wines, and quite a selection of whites and reds (including a few organic) and all available by the glass. 

And Cask has been getting excellent notices about its food offering, under the wing of top chef Bryan McCarthy (the head chef at Green’s). Start with the Light. About six choices including House Marinated Olives with garlic parsley and also Guacamole, sour cream, Tomato salsa, Lime, Mexican crackers.
World Class Carl

Feel like something from the More. A Tuna Ceviche sounds good to me. Maybe the Salad Caprese? And then there’s the Ballyhoura Mushrooms on toast. And more.

Speaking of more, there’s even A Little More, everything from crispy aromatic Peking Duck to Philly Steak Sandwich to Nordic Bread Pizza. And there are cheese and charcuterie boards to share. Even desserts.

No shortage of choices in Cask. And there is another one. You may dine and drink inside in the bar or outside in the courtyard under the waterfall. And you can be sure that the outside space will be even more popular in summertime. Have a happy one!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ornabrak, a ‘distinctive and rare’ Single Malt Gin


Origin Spirits launches a ‘distinctive and rare’ Single Malt Gin 

100% Irish Malted Barley | Five botanicals | Five times pot distilled | 43% Alc.


Ornabrak is the name of the new Irish gin launched at Cask on Monday evening by creator Patrick Shelly. The name ‘Ornabrak’ is derived from the Gaelic ‘Eorna Braiche’ meaning Malted Barley. And the malted barley is a major key here.

Patrick, creator of the successful Kalak vodka, admitted to initially being "not keen to do gin", his personal preferences tending towards whiskey or wine. But then he began to think: "What can we do with it? Most gins have a base spirit of 95% alcohol, a highly industrialised one." 

Patrick and his company, Origin Spirts, were determined to make their own base spirit and so they turned to Irish malted barley, explaining that Ireland is one of the best places in the world for malted barley. They had followed much the same approach with the Kalak vodka, "bringing bright flavours and terroir. It is now one of top ten vodkas in the world so we must be doing something right."

The gin base of 100% Irish Malted Barley is copper pot distilled no less than four times. Then the botanicals are added and it is distilled again, all at the West Cork Distillery in Skibbereen. "Very few drinks are distilled five times," said Patrick.

"So we had this beautiful base spirit. How do we get botanicals to match? We started with a palate of 30 and gradually narrowed it down to five, chosen to complement rather than overpower."

The process was meticulously carried out over 36 distillation trials over 12 months, and with input from some of the world’s best bartenders. And the five selected to create a complex and floral single malt gin were Juniper Berry, Douglas Fir Needles, Garden Angelica Root, Lemon Verbena Leaf and Lemon Peel(a little). The pine needles come from West Cork and are used instead of the more normal coriander.


Now Patrick is happy with his gin:, “Ornabrak is one of very few Single Malt Gin’s being produced around the world and its creation was slightly more complex as we needed the malted barley’s richness and creaminess to shine through, while creating a harmonious balance with the botanicals .  

Well that was the talk. Time now to walk the walk. In truth, we had been appreciating the new gin even before the talk, thanks to Andy and his team at Cask. Patrick reminded us that "a lot of our markets like it neat. It’s not G&T everywhere".

I did sample it neat but mostly we were mixing, and mixing with the best, staying Irish as the tonic was the Classic Poachers. Oisin was there on behalf of the County Wexford company who have established themselves as a leading tonic (other mixers too) in a short space of time. "I love your gin,” he said to Patrick. "And have been fortunate to work on your cocktails since you presented your single malt approach to gin and the execution has been excellent." 

Vesper time
And I think we all agreed as we enjoyed the smooth and complex flavours, the long and persistent finish. And we weren't quite finished as the Kalak Vodka and the Ornabrack made a joint appearance in a James Bond style Martini. You can make your own Vesper, recipe below. Well worth the effort as it is a stunning combination, just sip and enjoy the aromas and flavours.

 Cocktail: The Single Malt Vesper

An Irish take on the Classic Vesper Martini

40ml Ornabrak Single Malt Gin,
10ml Kalak Single Malt Vodka,
5ml Lillet Blanc

Stir with ice and garnish with a lemon peel swirl.


The Bottle
The Ornabrak bottle was inspired by vintage apothecary and perfume bottles, and the label by Victorian botanical illustrations. Each botanical was custom illustrated for Ornabrak by one of Ireland’s leading botanical artists, Lynn Stringer. Lynn is a former gold medal winner at Bloom, has exhibited her works at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Botanical Art show in London and has provided illustrations to the acclaimed Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. Lynn is currently chair of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists

About Origin Spirits

Origin Spirits was founded by Patrick Shelley in 2013 and its has since launched Kalak Single Malt Vodka and Kalak Peat Cask Single Malt Vodka. Ornabrak is the first gin produced by the company. Patrick previously worked in the international luxury goods market, holding senior positions with LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) in France, UK, Germany, Austria, South East Asia, and Russia where he had the opportunity to represent some of the world’s top wine & spirits brands, such as Hennessy, Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Krug, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg and Belvedere.


To Buy
Ornabrak Single Malt Gin (43% alc.) will be available in independent off licences throughout Ireland from 28th May. RSP: ca. 49€.