Ireland may be best known for the Game of Thrones tours and a cheeky pint of Guinness, but the Emerald Isle offers far more than those side quests.
Gin bars to be exact. Glorious gin bars, complete with stacks of bottled luxury you can consume on a leisurely evening. Here are our picks for the finest.
Gin Palace, Dublin
Boasting the “largest selection of gin in Dublin” is the Gin Palace on Abbey Street. Its plush Victorian-era style decor is a comfortable getaway stop from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Let’s not get diverted away from what’s important, however. Over 200 gins are for sale and knowledgeable staff will guide you through the very best to try.
Gin Palace, 42 Middle Street, Dublin Rated 4.5
The Dingle Whisky Bar, Dublin
Admittedly, the name doesn’t suggest a place to sample the finest gins but Dingle Whisky Bar actually has an impressive range to choose from. Be sure to taste the gin cocktails for a little taste of heaven.
Dingle Whisky Bar, Nassau Street, Dublin Rated 4.5
Muriel’s Café Bar, Belfast
Don’t be fooled by the ‘café’ in the name, this place is a little piece of gin paradise with over 100 gins to choose from. The locally produced Jawbox gin with honeycomb and ginger is a particular favourite, plus adventurous gin lovers can be part of their Juniper Club and ‘travel’ the world in 80 gins, all from the comfort of one of their very comfy couches. It puts a whole new meaning to sofa Saturdays.
Davy Macs, Waterford
When you claim you have the best gin and tonic in town, boy, do you need to deliver. Fortunately, this isn’t just a triumphant gloat, it was given this accolade by the Irish public. This fact, however, seems to pale in comparison to knowing Davy Macs has its very own Hendrick’s Tea Party – complete with Alice in Wonderland setting and “Eat Me” cupcakes.
Another girl after our own hearts is Rita’s. Stacked in her glittering shelves is a full cabinet of curiosities for gin lovers, including Daffy’s, Monkey 47, and personal favourite, Death’s Door. For those with deep pockets, there’s also the gorgeously decadent vintage selection. One of the ‘conditions of carriage’ at Rita’s (a full list can be found on the website) is that ladies let their hair down. With such an excellent selection, it’d be rude not to.
Rita’s, 44 Franklin Street, Belfast Rated 4/5
57 The Headline
One bar a gin lover may miss on their journey is 57 The Headline. The reason being it sells itself as a craft beer and gourmet food joint. You’d be silly not to enter, however, as it’s interiors are entirely befitting of a gin palace. Crucially, there’s a huge selection of gin and tonic.
57 The Headline, 56/7 Lwr Clanbrassil St, Dublin Rated 4.5/5
The Perch, Belfast
What’s better than gin, we ask? Stay with us, folks. The answer is: gin on a beautiful rooftop bar in the sunshine. While we can’t guarantee the sunshine, we can guarantee a wide selection of gorgeous gins, including this beauty – Brockman’s gin garnished with raspberries and served with Merchant’s heart hibiscus tonic. Plus, their cocktail game is pretty impressive for those people who don’t like gin.
Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena
Follow the rainbow off the beaten track to the town of Ballymena in County Antrim and you will be rewarded. Not with pots of gold, but with gin – so altogether better then.
The Grouse combines gorgeous fireplaces with a stellar gin selection, all in a lovely relaxed atmosphere, and you simply MUST stop by the Galgorm Resort & Spa. The staff (especially a lovely young chap named Matthew) really know their stuff and even host regular gin evenings. And, well… there over 300 gins to choose from. Enjoy.
The Bull & Castle, Dublin
Located in the historic area of Christchurch, The Bull & Castle has a warm and welcoming feel. Lucky for us, it also has an entire page of gins in its menu and tasting trays available for when you just don’t know what to drink. Don’t mind if we do…
Jenny Watts, Bangor
Jenny’s is Bangor’s oldest public establishment and is a proper, traditional Irish pub with live music, vintage memorabilia, real fires, and little corner snugs. It also has a healthy gin menu, making it the perfect place to relax an unwind after a hard day of coastal walks and castle tours. Boutique hotel, The Salty Dog, is also definitely worth a taking a peek at. It’s not shy about its extensive list of gins, and is also handily being placed overlooking Bangor’s lovely marina.
Jenny Watts, 41 High Street, Bangor Rated 4.5
Located between The Grand Canal and St Stephen’s Green is House, a stunning Georgian-style venue with an equally impressive bar. It boasts a vast collection of gins from around the world and uses them to great effect. Step back in time with one of many gin cocktails dated around the 19th and early 20th century.
House, 27 Lower Leeson Street Rated 4/5