Special Report
A special report is content that is edited and produced by the special reports unit within The Irish Times Content Studio. It is supported by advertisers who may contribute to the report but do not have editorial control.

Serving up a smile: the best gifts for gin lovers

Exclusive memberships, weekend cocktail sets, gift boxes and more

A bottle of gin always goes down well as a gift, but how about taking it up a notch with a gift that gives the recipient access to an exclusive club?

Part two of All about Gin looks at some of the stories behind Ireland’s most popular gins, with advice from a mixologist on how to achieve the perfect gin and tonic, summer cocktail recipes, the ultimate gin and cocktail accessories and much more.

Sliabh Liag Distillers, in Co Donegal, has an initiative called Ar Muintir – our people – who pay €990 for a 10-year gold membership which allows them access to first bottlings over 10 years, free tours of the distillery, and their name engraved into its 10,000l wash still.

Interest in doing just that was proven last year when Sliabh Liag was one of the top five European food and beverage fundraisers on Crowd Cube, a UK crowd investment platform, where it raised investment of £2.3 million (€2.6 million) to expand.

Or you can simply gift someone its navy strength (57 per cent abv) An Dúlamán Santa Ana Armada Strength Gin, which is barrel aged in a Rioja casks and arrives in a gift tube, for €55.

Poachers, Ireland’s homegrown mixed drink brand, has launched two new offerings, the Poachers Mixers Gift Box and the Poachers Spirits Gift Box, allowing premium spirits lovers an opportunity to taste a selection of its award-winning tonics and mixers in a stylish presentation box.

Its mixers gift box is a showcase of the Poachers collection of flavours that are lower in sugar than some mainstream mixers and made with natural, Irish ingredients.

The pack includes five of its modern Irish mixers including Classic Tonic with Irish Thyme; Citrus Tonic with Irish Rosemary; Wild Tonic with Irish Elderflower; Light Tonic with Irish Rosemary and a Ginger Ale with Irish Apple Soda Water. Its newest release is a Ginger Beer with Irish Chilli. The goods are presented in a colourful tasting box, with a selection of five 200ml drinks priced at €18.

The brand has also partnered with pioneering distillery Stillgarden to offer a Poachers Spirits Gift Box option. This includes a 200ml bottle of Stillgarden Social Gin, made in Dublin 8 from locally sourced botanicals and perfectly complemented by five Poachers Classic Tonics made with Irish Thyme, priced at €30.

Stillgarden itself has a variety of great gift options, including its €55 Boss Lady Gin Gift Box. It was created for International Women’s Day and includes a bottle of its limited release Boss Lady Gin, inspired by Stillgarden’s own Boss Lady, Viki Baird, as well as two premium mixers.

It also includes a Stillgarden greeting card and two garden tour tickets to use at the Stillgarden Distillery – Covid-19 restrictions allowing – at some stage in the future, including a complimentary cocktail on its heated terrace. What is more, €2 from every bottle and €3 from every Boss Lady gift box is donated to Women’s Aid, so it’s a gift that keeps giving.

For the full Irish, how about a little something from The Muff Liquor Company? Its latest gifting box is packed full of home-grown favourites, from Barry's Tea to Tayto Crisps and Cadbury's Dairy Milk, not to mention its own Muff Gin and Muff Vodka. The Taste of Home Box includes crisps, chocolate, Oatfield sweets, a Poachers mixer and a bottle of McDaid's Football special, a soft drink popular "up North", for €30 including Ireland delivery – check with the company for overseas prices.

Alternatively, for those missing their local bar, how about the Muff Liquor Cocktails packs, prepared fresh each week and sent via courier in time for the weekend? Each contains ingredients and instructions to make four Muff cocktails in the comfort of your own home, a great gift idea that can be personalised to include a card or message, from €38.95, including nationwide delivery.

Or how about a seasonal pick-me-up: a gift of the Glendalough Gin Miniature seasonal four pack. It’s a limited batch of tiny seasonal gins with botanicals sustainably hand foraged by a full-time forager, throughout each of the seasons, capturing the taste and scents of Wicklow all year round, with four 50ml bottles – spring, summer, autumn and winter – for €22.

Finally, Giftsdirect. com has a delicious Gunpowder Gin Gift set, including a bottle of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin and a box of Butlers Gunpowder Gin Truffles, all wrapped up in a lovely gift box, for €99, delivered anywhere in the EU and UK.

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell is a contributor to The Irish Times