Dublin was an absolute haven for imbibing, and the locals did take advantage of the scene. No longer is there an early cut-of time, these pubs and bars stayed open fairly late. There was only one night where we encountered one bar after the other at closing time, but that’s because it was a Sunday night. This friendly city is made for walking, exploring, and stopping in for a nip whenever the mood arises.
AHHH… The Shelbourne. I believe we visited every single day we were in Dublin—we just could not get enough. The space exuded class, but not in a pompous or showy way. The hotel features two bars, plus a restaurant for formal dining, and a room reserved for afternoon tea, which starts serving at 1pm. Next time I go to Dublin, I will stay at this hotel for sure. Its location is prime, right across the street from St Stephens Green, on a street with lots of high-end places to enjoy. theshelbourne.com
(photo at the top of this post) This gentleman says it all with his beaming smile. Right, wine at The Horseshoe Bar at which we luckily snagged a table just as a group was leaving.
View of The Horseshoe Bar. Right, I like when soda is served in a dainty bottle, feels so fresh.
On another visit to the hotel, at the main bar, we enjoyed watching the bartenders mix a few concoctions. This bartender kind of poo-pooed the idea of making an Irish coffee, but made it beautiful nonetheless. Right, proudly representing the bar’s signature Old Fashioneds.
Since this was our first drink foray in Dublin, I thought it would be appropriate to visit one of the city’s oldest pubs to soak up the vibe. Since 1803, this place has been serving the locals done-up in traditional Victorian style. It was friendly, and seemed to house a civilized crowd just out to chat and sip. Nothing rowdy (at least at that hour, 7ish). kehoesdublin.ie
Note: along the bar were dividers, known as snugs, which created more private spaces, and a support to lean against. This was seen in many of the older pubs, and I felt it was a thoughtful touch. Right, straight out of central casting, the Irish barman!
I’m so excited to get the night started, and that we found the perfect spot to kick-off Dublin night life. Right, the bar from the outside. Note barrels in the front of the bar which act as tables. That was a standard pub fixture.
There were little rooms for those who wanted to set off in a quieter, more intimate setting. Right, an original copper spigot on the wall amongst memorabilia.
The Lower Depths
This place was quite a find. Located in the basement of Fallon & Byrne, the local gourmet shop, it offered a selection of hundreds of bottles of wine, any of which you could choose to drink for just a 10 euro corkage fee. We stopped in to enjoy only a single glass of wine before dinner, but when I return to Dublin, I should like to try the menu of bar bites and charcuterie. They also offer a full menu. Sweet spot. fallonandbyrne.com
A small sampling of their wine selection which covered a 20 foot wall on both sides of the space. Right, our charming server posing by the no-corkage selection of bottles.
High-tops were barrels with fitted tabletop surfaces. Right, a collection of vintage posters graces all the structural columns in the space.
Peruke & Periwig
This space caught our eye as we walked down Dawson Street, which had a collection of restaurants, bars, wine bars, and nightclubs. You could just spend your whole vacation visiting each venue on this street. Peruke & Periwig is a cocktail bar supreme, along the lines of The Dead Rabbit in NYC. Similarly, the ground floor is for walk-ins, but the floors upstairs are reserved for those who want to experience a myriad of creative cocktails. This place’s drinks were named and inspired by musical genres: Pop, Soul, Blues, Rock & Roll, Alternative, Ballads, Trad, Jazz, and Golden Oldies. Names of drinks are super clever: Hit The Road Jack, a daiquiri with pineapple rum, lime, pineapple cordial, maraschino. And, Born To Rum made with Pampero Especial, Bénédictine, apricot brandy, Punt e Mes, plum shrub, and Peychaud’s. I felt we hit the jackpot coming across this spot and we did enjoy a couple of cocktails, and came back the following night to try some more. peruke.ie
The bar from the outside shows a quaint style with mysterious vibe. Right, upstairs awaiting our drinks. The space was chock-full of portraits and other antique touches.
I believe this was Bellini Bottom Blues with Pampero Especial, Mango Cordial, Orange, Lemon, Peach & Bubbles. Drink garnish in Ireland was a focused art and lovingly done. Right, James took great care of us, thank you for all the tips!
Tequila Me Softly made with Talisker, Altos Bianco, Aperol, Honey, Lemon, Pineapple, Peychaud’s bitters, Strawberry. Right, portraits galore on the stairway.
Trend: flame-throwing is a common sport among the Irish mixologists, and definitely an attention-getter. Many drinks added flame as a final touch. Right, the final drink, which had been ordered by a neighboring table.
On our second visit, we hung out at the downstairs bar and witnessed a series of spectacular drinks by Oisín. This one, as yet unnamed, featured a fresh taste of ginger in the mix. We tried to contribute to the naming but could not come up with anything clever enough with a musical reference!
The downstairs room, cozy and fun. Right, putting the final touches on The Key Lime Pie drinks ordered by two lovely young ladies behind us.
Torching fruit and cream to great effect.
We stopped in here for one round on our walk down St Stephens Green, one of our favorite streets to walk down. It was another subterranean spot, which seems to be common. The design gave the appearance of an old supper club. peploes.com
Shaking up a drink. Right, the finished cocktail: made with a rhubarb vodka was quite sweet, putting it in the category of a dessert drink. Note the painstaking garnish.
The rhubarb vodka, which I think added the extra sweetness. Right, Bob at seated at the petite bar, with comfy stools.
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