James Joyce’s favourite drink back on the menu of old haunt Davy Byrnes

Michael Collins also enjoyed the drink favoured by Joyce and drank in the same pub

A drink favoured by James Joyce was reintroduced to the menu of a pub the author regularly visited when writing his books, to mark the centenary of the publication of Ulysses on Wednesday.

Duty librarian at UCD’s James Joyce library, Frank Bouchier-Hayes, came up with the idea to present a bottle of a liqueur favoured by the author to the pub where he once penned his works.

Joyce was a regular at Davy Byrnes on Duke Street in Dublin city. The bar was mentioned in his book Dubliners, and the Joycean character most associated with the premises is Leopold Bloom of Ulysses. The pub is referred to in several extracts of the novel.

Mr Bouchier-Hayes came across an Irishman’s Diary piece from October 16th, 1962, which included a “fascinating interview with the barman who served Joyce in Davy Byrnes pub”.

“More interesting again is the detail of the drink that Joyce enjoyed, namely a compound of brandy and orange Curaçao.”

"The piece was written by Pro-Quidnunc, who I presume was Pat Smyllie on that occasion, nephew of the former distinguished editor of this newspaper … It can't be denied that John Power was the man who served James Joyce in that pub," he said.

Michael Collins

John Power retired in 1965, and another article marking the event appeared in the Evening Herald on February 6th of that year in which it was revealed that Michael Collins also enjoyed the drink favoured by Joyce.

Mr Bouchier-Hayes came across the articles “kind of haphazardly while doing other research”, he said.

“Joyce used to drink here while doing his writing and then he’d put down his pen and order that drink, which Collins also enjoyed. And of course they both drank in the same pub,” he said.

“I came up with the idea to bring a bottle of the liqueur to the pub, and now Davy Byrnes are trying to come up with a name for a cocktail to add it to their drinks menu permanently.”

Mr Bouchier-Hayes deliberately chose Giffard’s Orange Curaçao liqueur, as the company was founded in 1885, three years after Joyce was born.

He also presented a bottle of the liqueur to the Merrion Hotel, which has a sculpture of Joyce in its garden courtyard. The hotel is also considering adding the cocktail to its drinks menu.

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