AS THE summer kicks in, I love to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun. Like everything about me I’m a walking stereotype, I drink Guinness and listen to Irish music.
There are two songs that stick in my mind with regards to summer drinking. One is Song for Ireland and, in particular, the line ‘Drinking all the day in old pubs where pipes and fiddlers play.’ It instantly makes me think of The Rusty Mackerel in Donegal, sitting by the fire, listening to great traditional music tanning pints to beat of the band. The other is Summer in Dublin. The late, great Liam Reilly sadly passed away this year, but left us with some great songs that have been sung in Irish bars from Tralee to Timbuktu. Liam gave us The Streets of New York, Second Violin, Flight of the Earls, Boston Rose as well as many others. Like many Irish songwriters, his songs are about emigration and how it has affected our homeland. All great songs, but for me, Summer in Dublin is the most memorable for me, even if it’s one I can’t directly relate to.
As a kid, I spent many summer in Dublin, but I didn’t take the bus to Dún Laoghaire. I did take the Dart there, however, but that’s as far as that song goes for similarities. Maybe it’s because he lived there and seen ‘moderation’ destroying the soul of the city, but when I visit Dublin I see a modern European city with that Dublin heart still there bating underneath, and I love that.
If you are heading to Ireland on a staycation this year, I would recommend a weekend in Dublin. St James Gate is an absolute must—great Guinness—and Bow Street for the Jamesons, but some of the new distilleries are great places to visit. The famous Liberties is home to DLD and Teelings, but one of the most unique Distilleries is Pearse Lyons. It’s situated in an old church and for sure, you can get more than the Holy Spirit in this place! As well as great whiskey, this place makes some fantastic gin. The one I discovered lately was Ha’penny Rhubarb gin. The Ha’Penny Bridge is a Dublin icon and I’m sure this gin will become an icon too some day. I’ve had a great play with this one and made a cocktail to match. I’ve called it Summer in Dublin.
SUMMER IN DUBLIN
—25ml Ha’Penny Rhubarb Gin
—25ml Coole Swan
—10ml Tia Maria
—25ml Strawberry purée
—10ml Sugar syrup
—In a shaker add all the ingredients
—Shake with ice until it turns pink
—Double strain into coup glass
—Garnish with strawberry purée
Mickey Mullan is a proud Derryman, an award-winning spirit enthusiast and the Manager of Malones Bar in Glasgow