Away with the Fairies: a special cocktail from Irish Bartender of the Year

Linda O’Flynn’s seasonal cocktail can also double as a delicate winter drink

Cask is an extravagantly decorated cocktail bar on MacCurtain Street in Cork. One of its bartenders, Linda O’Flynn, was named Irish Bartender of the Year

Cask is an extravagantly decorated cocktail bar on MacCurtain Street in Cork. One of its bartenders, Linda O’Flynn, was named Irish Bartender of the Year

 

Cask is an extravagantly decorated cocktail bar on MacCurtain Street in Cork. All of the drinks are created from locally produced and foraged ingredients; the cocktail menu changes every 12 weeks with the seasons.

On my last visit there I was served a very tasty Rosehip, that included some smoky peaty Connemara whiskey, fig leaf and rosehip. I could have tried the “lush, juicy” Wood Sorrel made with Glendalough Autumn gin, Banyuls and wood sorrel, or a Blackberry – Teeling Pot Still, Del Maguey Mezcal, Blackberry and Sloe, described as “earthy, feisty”. 

Linda O’Flynn was named Irish Bartender of the Year 2019 by a panel of judges at the Roe & Co distillery in Dublin’s Liberties. This was the third year in a row that Cask won the award, as O’Flynn was preceded by bartender Carl D’Alton in 2018 and Andy Ferreira in 2017. I asked her to give us a seasonal cocktail recipe.

Irish Bartender of the Year Linda O’Flynn’s Away with the Fairies cocktail
Irish Bartender of the Year Linda O’Flynn’s Away with the Fairies cocktail

Away with the Fairies 

50ml Roe & Co Irish Whiskey

15ml dry sherry

20ml Spruce & Burdock root syrup

Soda water

To make the syrup

You’ll need burdock root which you’ll be able to find in any health food shop and some fresh spruce. Keep your eyes peeled for spruce trees. 

Mix one litre of water, 2tbsp burdock root and a handful of spruce in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and add 750g sugar. Bottle and refrigerate.

Method

Add the whiskey, sherry and syrup to a highball glass filled with ice. Top up with soda water and stir gently. Garnish with a piece of fresh spruce. This makes for an earthy yet delicate winter drink.

A non-alcoholic cocktail can be made with the syrup by mixing with soda, tonic or ginger ale. It’s also great over Christmas pudding or ice cream.

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