AS EASTER approaches and spring is in the air, we tend to see different drinking habits within the hospitality industry. Creamy pints of stout are replaced with ice-cold ciders and we are more interested in the weather than the football. Yes folks, it is almost beer garden time, that small window of opportunity between the frequent April showers and the wet Scottish summer, often referred to as ‘late spring.’
Maybe it is because we don’t get the chance to eat or drink al fresco as much as we would like that we go mad for ‘taps aff’ weather, but there is so much more to it than that. Easter normally signals new beginnings, as Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection and many other religions have feasts around the same time. Ireland’s oldest religion, Celtic paganism, celebrated the spring and after the long, dark winters we tend to get in Scotland and Ireland, any sight of the sun puts us in the mood for drinks.
One of the symbols for this pagan festival is the humble egg, representing new life, Christians also use the egg to symbolise new life as they believe it represents the tomb of Jesus, but all I know for sure is that the end of Lent means I can eat chocolate eggs for breakfast! Alcohol is also commonly ‘given up’ for Lent, but I think that is a sacrifice too far for many this year.
It’s also a time when bars and restaurants launch new spring/summer menus. We are no different and I have to say I have enjoyed the time on my hands this year as it has allowed me to experiment with a variety of ideas and ingredients. I am a huge advocate of Irish products and always try to use Irish ingredients where possible. I firmly believe that the Irish drinks market is one of the fastest growing in the world because of the quality of the products, but also the rise of the Irish mixologist is also proving to be an exciting development.
It is always interesting to watch others practise and develop their craft and inspire others to be creative. The Irish coffee is a favourite of mine to make and drink, but I developed a passion for creating dessert cocktails. I have been working on perfecting a few and the one I am discussing today just wasn’t working for me. I was using chocolate syrup and I wasn’t getting the flavours I wanted, but then I happened to see another mixologist—@theirishcocktailguy—use Nutella and suddenly my missing ingredient mystery was solved. So, if you have given up drink, sweets or both for Lent this is a great one to get you back swing of things.
I was struggling with a name for this, so my fiancée named it. This is the Absolutely Minted
—25ml Kahlua or Tia Maria
—50ml Baileys or any other Irish Cream
—25ml Crème De Menthe
—50ml Double Cream
—A square of chocolate
—In a shaker add Kahlua, Baileys, a teaspoon of Nutella and ice
—Shake until the Nutella is mixed
—In a protein shaker with a spring add Crème de Menthe and cream and shake but not too much
—In a coupe glass, strain the chocolate mix in with a spoon
—Layer the cream on top and garnish with grated chocolate
Mickey Mullan is a proud Derryman, an award-winning spirit enthusiast and the Manager of Malones Bar in Glasgow