The bartenders brewing up a new type of Irish spirit

Food File: Trade Secrets of the bar world, outdoor dining gets a revamp and peanut butter goes spicy

Brian Treacy, Deilson Cerqueira, Josh Leahy, Tanja Masic, Eszter Thomka, Peter McGettigan, Fabio Ribeiro, Sam Williamson and Thiago T Lopes of Bartenders Collective. Photograph: Kamyla Abreu

Brian Treacy, Deilson Cerqueira, Josh Leahy, Tanja Masic, Eszter Thomka, Peter McGettigan, Fabio Ribeiro, Sam Williamson and Thiago T Lopes of Bartenders Collective. Photograph: Kamyla Abreu

 

The Bartender Collective, a group of more than 30 bartenders and drinks industry professionals working in Ireland, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the second in a series of premium, small batch Irish spirits, blended and distilled to their own recipes.

Its first spirit, Trade Secrets gin, was financed through the collective’s own resources. Distilled for them by Bonac in Co Wicklow, it cost in excess of €15,000 to bring to market and won the World Gin Award for best London Dry Gin last year. It is available to purchase online at thebartendercollective.com and costs €49.50.

The group, founded by Brian Treacy of Trouble Brewing in Co Kildare, and Fabio Ribeiro, who will open a new bar, Dockers, on Dublin’s south quays next month, is now seeking funding of €10,000 to create and release their second spirit, most likely a rum. The Kickstarter campaign will run until the end of July.

New summer menu

With outdoor dining reservations very hard to come by and popular restaurants booked up weeks in advance, hotels with terraces and garden spaces are providing an attractive alternative to on-street dining. The five-star InterContinental in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, has just launched a new summer menu, served in its lushly planted garden terrace.

Courtyard dining at the InterContinental, Dublin.
Courtyard dining at the InterContinental, Dublin.

Executive head chef Alberto Rossi’s summer specials include small plate choices including Dublin Bay prawn cocktails, Parmesan churros with pesto dip and Irish beef sliders with brie cheese and truffle mayonnaise, as well as more substantial seafood platters, cheese and charcuterie platters, salads, burgers and steaks.

A midweek deal including B&B with an upgrade to a junior suite, three-course dinner, spa access, complimentary car parking and late check out, is available for €395 per room

Peanut butter gets spicy

Evie and Eliza Ward have added three new flavours to their NutShed peanut butter range. Very Crunchy, Chocolate, and Harissa Chilli are the three new varieties from the Nenagh-based company, which started out as a market stall in 2014 and now supplies more than 260 shops across Ireland, including, since the beginning of this year, Dunnes Stores.

Harissa hummus made with NutShed spicy peanut butter
Harissa hummus made with NutShed spicy peanut butter

The sisters have devised a very tasty way of incorporating the spicy Harissa Chilli flavour into a twist on hummus. Blend a half cup of the peanut butter with a can of drained chickpeas, half a cup of the liquid from the tin, a clove of garlic and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and black pepper and dip in. They also share a great tip to make your hummus lighter – blend a couple of ice cubes in with the rest of the ingredients.

Limerick Strand revamp

Limerick Strand Hotel’s new River restaurant and bar.
Limerick Strand Hotel’s new River restaurant and bar.

The four-star Limerick Strand Hotel has invested €400,000 in a revamp of its River bar and restaurant, inspired by the river Shannon which is visible from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The wraparound terrace will be open all day for outdoor dining, serving breakfast, lunch or brunch, afternoon tea and dinner. New menus have been drawn up for the relaunch but executive chef Tom Flavin has continued his support for local farms and dairies.

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