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G&T's have become one of the most popular drinks on the market, but how is the spirit evolving? It's sophisticated reputation and delicious flavours create the ideal cocktails, as well as becoming the perfect confidence booster BFF:

"You should go to the dancefloor and show off your hip moves, you're such a great dancer" – as said by Hendricks, overheard in Coppers in October 2018. Hendricks was later proven wrong.

There's no doubt about just how much gin has grown in the world of spirits, with Scottish gin especially undergoing a massive revival.

According to the Irish Times, the on-trade gin market in Ireland is now worth at an all-time high of €50 million. It's image has become transformed from a seemingly 'mother's choice' to a millennial's favourite. 

We've put together a list of gin trends for 2019, so you can prepare your livers for the changes due to come in next year for the gin world. Get yourselves ready for relentless gin puns throughout, you have been warned.

1. GINcredible flavours 

Gin flavours are KILLING the game right now, and they're showing no sign of slowing down.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Botanical delights such as berry pink gin, plum and cinnamon, pomegranate and rose, lemon drizzle, rhubarb and ginger to passionfruit gin liqueurs, salted caramel flavour and even a bubblegum taste, the flavours of gin available are GINfinite (sorry not sorry).

Copeland Spirits, based in Co. Down, specialises in 37.8% flavoured gins. Aldi Ireland stock its GINSANELY good Rhuberry flavour, naturally infused with local fruit, as well as its new, limited-edition infusion Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant.

Founder of Copeland Spirits, Gareth Irvine has recently spoken about the journey which gin flavours is currently on, saying that a shift in what's popular is incoming:

“Flavours to date have been quite seasonal or trend-led and associated solely to summer, or unicorns, or crazy colours and not veer too much away from berries. Over the coming months, we’ll see the flavour ideas get more adventurous incorporating spices, herbs, exotic fruits.

“Often-times, trend-led flavoured gins are of poor quality and are full of syrups, additives or sugar, rather than real fruit. In addition, the volume is generally around 20% and so a liqueur as opposed to a gin."

Hmmm, this is heart-breaking news. Some of our fave flavah's are legit just sugar and syrup…but this is changing. Thank GOD. We get enough sugar as it is.

Gareth predicts that consumers will start to focus more on quality, just like we saw with unflavoured gin and this will catapult flavoured gin into a category all of its own. Noted, Gareth.

2. GIN-vironmentally friendly

With the introduction of plastic-free consumer goals, especially in terms of straws in bars and restaurants, it's no surprise that gin companies are noticing this important trend. The 'waste not/want not' ideology is spreading fast, with bartenders becoming more aware of the value of not throwing away unneccesary food and drink waste.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We’re thinking first and drinking second. We’ve noticed cocktail menus are changing slightly as bartenders consciously look for ways to minimise food waste." according to Gareth.

When it comes to garnishes such as lemon wedges, egg yolks and limes, the amount of fruit that is thrown away or used needlessly purely for the same of appearance is pretty shocking.

Rather than sweeping these used garnishes into to the bin, some bars have making what is becoming known as ‘closed-loop’ cocktails, where excess fruit is used to create natural syrup or saved for pitchers.

Bars becoming conscious about their eco-footprint is imperative, especially since spirit companies rely heavily on the land to create their infused gins.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. GINcrease in gin brands

Wait, you mean… we're going to see even more gin? YAS. 

More brands will be arriving on the scene next year, with supermarket-owned brands such as Aldi helping to increase access to the category.

Gin-lovers in Ireland are a passionate bunch of people, and brands are taking that passion seriously. As more and more brands come on the scene, people will only connect with the ones that have strong values, for example supporting the environment or raising talent through graduate programmes.

Brands will be providing a quality product that is conscious of price and quality. Amen to that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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4. GINnovation

Brands in 2019 hope to focus on some brand new categories, many of our favourite brands which have risen in the last three years didn't exist prior to the gin renaissance. These brands, whose journeys are only really beginning, will be competing to adapt in the long-term industry pool.

Gin and spirit companies will begin experimentation with distilling and flavours which will likely benefit gin, and those who drink it, i.e. us.

We predict that experimentation will lead to some unreal new flavours and tastes, we also volunteer as tribute to test these new tastes. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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For the moment anyway, we're heading straight to Aldi Ireland to grab Copeland’s Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant Gin for just €29.99, see you there gals.

With Christmas around the corner, this new flavour is perfect for winter.

Can someone please le Santa know that a gin advent calendar is on our present list? Just in case he doesn't know…

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It's time to get your sesh cap on.

The bar of the year 2018 has been revealed and we can't wait to give it a try.

Cork is not only Ed Sheeran's favourite place to gig, but now it's home to the best bar in the country.

Cask Cocktail bar in the city was crowned champ, beating out some stiff competition. 

Last night, the bar claimed the top prize as judges assembled in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road to announce all the winners.

For months, a panel have been on an epic nationwide pub crawl, grading and rating bars and pubs in a number of areas – and they seem to be impressed with this year's standard.

Despite the amount of great places, there could only be one winner.

One judge, Rafael Agapito gave Shemazing all the details and it was sickeningly close.

"Picking the winner was definitely the toughest part, the standard has improved so much, we had to return to some venues for re-evaluation.

I can’t disclose the runner up, but it was a matter of one mere point." 

Ah here lads, that's just too close!

That being said, Cask is a worthy winner.

The hospitality consultant said since the bar has opened, they have been "stacking up awards."

"Their talented team led by Andy Ferreira is always innovating and pushing boundaries. What impresses me the most is the attention they give to non alcoholic creations," Rafael said.

Since the bar is renowned for their cocktails, we asked Rafael what cocktail we should try out.

His reply was the Fine and Dandy – and it looks like perfection in a glass. 

Now if cocktails ain't your jam – don't worry.

The judges were marking establishments for a whole host of categories, which include the best bar for gin and craft beer.

For us gin lovers, this is a place you need to put on your list.

Photo credit: Gin Library

So who was the lucky winner, I hear you cry?! – it was the Gin Library at Galgorm Resort & Spa in Antrim that snatched Gin Bar of the Year.

"The library at Galgorm Resort has a great selection, and the bartenders are always at hand to help you pick the best suitable gin for your palate," said Rafael.

Take notes now, as the judge explained that quantity doesn't mean quality.

"When picking a category winner, we look for expertise rather than quantity. The bar with most gins on offer is not necessarily the best gin bar," he added. 

As for the best craft beer, a Galway bar sealed the deal and it's not hard to see why. 

From their Instagram alone, the newly opened bar, Caribou seems to have it sussed.

Commenting on the win, Rafael said:

"Caribou in Galway has also made the craft beer scene more inclusive and exciting, by offering a world class selection of beers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere."

 

Delighted #devitts #devittspub #dublinpubs #baroftheyear2018

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As for the best pub in the capital, Devitts on Camden Street claimed top dog for the scoops.

Now you have no excuse to venture out and try some seriously wonderful Irish pubs and bars.

It's only Tuesday, but we are already living for the weekend to try out these places – Sláinte!

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Those cute little bars of Kinder chocolate are the healthier option, right?

They're so small they must be better than a Moro, or a Snickers, or even just a small bar of Dairy Milk?

Well, turns out they're way worse.

A German food watchdog has called for the bars to be recalled since after testing, it found that the chocolate has dangerous levels described as "likely carcinogens."

The watchdog said that mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons – which comes from oil when it's refined – have been found in the product.

Kinder made a statement to the Mail Online, saying that this isn't actually anything new and "traces of mineral oil exist nearly everywhere and they can be transferred to food in many different ways."

It continued: "Main migration sources are, for example, mineral oil components from printing inks and recycled fibre."

It added that they are trying their best to make sure all mineral oils will not be transferred to its products again.

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It's what a load of international cities have been expertly doing for decades: chic cafes, bars and restaurants nestled amidst the banks of urban canals. 

Tantalising close to home, London and Manchester have some of the fantastic examples – but who can forget Paris, Stockholm, Bruges, Amsterdam, or Hamburg (to name just a few)?

And while the Fair City has previously been rather lacking when it comes to our own offerings, in the last six months a handful of seriously impressive Grand Canal-located eateries have cropped up.

Indeed, here at SHEmazing! we reckon that now is just about the perfect time of year to explore the locale – meaning you'll be armed with invaluable insider knowledge once the warmer summer months roll on around.

That and spending a winter's evening snuggled up warm inside an atmospheric waterside venue tucking into great food and drinks is tough to beat.

Here, we bring you the four absolute best Grand Canal spots that you may not yet know about:

 

1) The Charlemont Bar & Bistro

This just opened its doors last week – but we’re already BIG fans (we’re quick off the mark like that). Featuring oodles of outdoor terraces, it has perfect views of the canal on Charlemont Place. In fact, you’d be hard-pushed to find a nicer outdoor dining space in Dublin.

Rumour has it the new owners have spent more than €1m designing and fitting out the place (seriously, it's gorge)… we say get in now before the crowds follow.

What to eat: Choose from Kilkeel mussels, Chulchoill goat’s cheese and Kilmore Quay scallops. The lunches start at just €12.

What to drink: A dozen wines are available by the glass, with prices from €6.50. Otherwise try the classic €8-a-pop cocktails.

 

2) Angelina’s

Another brand new addition to the Grand Canal scene, this restaurant serves up gorgeous Italian lunches and dinners – not to mention a pretty legendary brunch at the weekends.

Describing itself as “laid back and informal atmosphere,” this Percy Place (just off Baggot St) spot has “perfect people-watching zone,” written all over it.

What to eat: Grilled octopus salad, bruschetta with a twist, or smoked beef brisket. Otherwise you can’t miss out on the handmade pizza, with prices from €12, which is cooked to order in wood-fire ovens.

What to drink: Cocktails include grapefruit fizz and garden smash, or else there are a load of craft beers and wines (bottles from €26) to choose from.

 

3) Canal Club/Lock 6 Cafe

A funky little venue that's as cool as they come. During the day, it's known as the Lock 6 Cafe (think breakfast, lunch, coffee, and snacks). Then at night it REALLY comes alive with the arrival of the Canal Club – complete with live tunes.

Situated right across the road from the always-popular The Barge, since opening its cottage doors over the summer it has rapidly become an established favourite among locals in Rathmines, Ranelagh and Portobello.

What to eat: For €7, O’Flynn’s flame-grilled foot-long sausage is sourced from Cork’s English Market. Otherwise the winter menu offers three incredibly delicious courses for a reasonable €35.

What to drink: Bring your own for a corkage fee – alternatively, glasses of wine are a fiver and bottles (including bubbly) are €20.

 

4) I Monelli

An Italian eatery that earlier this month swapped from its original Rathgar location to Portobello. And it’s already feeling perfectly at home by the leafy waterside.

This is authentic Italian food at its best: simple dishes, cooked well and paired with great wine and expertly-brewed coffee. Patrons are ordinarily seated upstairs too – allowing you to have a decent gawk at the passing canal walkers below.

What to eat: The traditional pasta and bean soup is divine at €7 for a starter. Or for €16, tuck into the paccheri pasta with fresh monkfish, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and white wine in light cherry tomato sauce.

What to drink: Bottles of house red and white are €21, with glasses available too for €6.

 

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Apple pie is a favourite for many. 

Our grannies made them, and our mothers did too – but now we want to have a go!

If you want your apple pie game to be on-point, here a really delicious ways to spice things up a bit:

Apple Pie Pancakes

Whip these amazing apple pie pancakes up for breakfast over the weekend! The smell alone will have everyone rushing to the kitchen.

 

Apple Pie Pizza

We know, this sounds like a weird one! But dessert pizzas are always a good idea – and this apple pie variation is no different!

 

Apple Pie Fries

Another savoury but sweet combination! There's no question though that apple pie fries plus a caramel dip is a match made in dessert heaven. 

 

Mini Apple Pie Cheesecakes

A layer of apple pie is sandwiched between two layers of creamy, fluffy cheesecake in this rendition. Hungry yet?

 

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Now this would be a Halloween treat! These caramel apples are the cutest things to have at any party. 

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Baking the classic apple pie as a bar is so much easier (and tastier!). Just remember to pace yourself!

 

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These tasty granola bars are the perfect healthy mid-morning snack.

Forget those sugary shop-bought kind and bake your own!

What you’ll need:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries, or a mix

What you’ll need to do:

1. Butter and line the base of  a roasting tin and heat oven to around 160C.
2. Mix the oats, seeds and nuts in a roasting tin, then put in the oven for 5-10 minutes to toast.
3. Warm the butter, honey and sugar in a pan, stirring until butter is melted.
4. Add the oat mix and dried fruit, then mix until all the oats are well coated.
5. Tip into the tin, press down lightly, then bake for 30 minutes.
6. Cool in tin, then cut into bars.

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As every single girl knows – it’s a jungle out there. There are so many types of guys that will try it on with you and you have to be able to identify them. Here are the 13 most typical types you may encounter on your night out.

1. The Sloppy Drunk Guy
 He stumbles into you as he’s walking your way, knocks your drink out of your hand and slurs his words as he fumbles around to find napkins. Be prepared to tell him your name a minimum of three times and listen to the same story on loop, or perhaps just a statement of choice, like “you have really nice hair.”

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2. The Guy You’d Never Consider
This is a really unfortunate case of ‘he just doesn’t get it.’ You’re completely out of his league, he’s not your type, and Hell would have to freeze over before you even considered getting with him. You wouldn’t think twice about swiping him on Tinder, but now he’s right in front of you, which is awkward.

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3. The Talker
This guy will introduce himself to you and won’t shut. the. hell. up. Despite the fact that he’s been talking to you (or at you) for 15 minutes while you’re zoning out and playing the movie “Cocktail” in your head, he keeps chatting. And don’t think awkward silences will stop him.

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4. The Guy With The Obnoxious Friends
 It doesn’t matter if you’ve just met Prince Charming, because his friends are enough to drive you away. While he’s striking up a conversation with you, his idiot entourage will likely be doing one of the following: making blowjob gestures behind his back, throwing balls of straw wrappers at his head or yelling out “TAP THAT ASS!” while he tries to ignore them.

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5.The Serial Flirter
 You saw him sashaying his way across the room chatting up every woman with a pulse and he’s finally made it to you. He may have been appealing if he hadn’t just approached every single one of your lady friends… and their friends… and theirs, but don’t bother trying to call him out on his player ways. He will deny it.

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6. The Married Guy
This guy has no shame at all. He’s wearing his wedding ring and is screening calls from “Home” while he’s aggressively flirting with you. He never mentions his personal life in conversation and sidesteps it when you ask him. On the rare chance that you ask about his ring and he admits he’s married, be prepared to hear him say: “What, so I can’t make a new friend?” or “My wife is cool with it.”

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7. The Old Weirdo
He’s the creeper in the bar who everyone notices, but tries to ignore. He’s got at least two decades on the rest of the crowd, and bops his head to the music like he actually knows who Drake is.

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8. The “Too Close For Comfort” Guy:
Touchy-feely guys don’t waste any time getting to know you before they’re throwing an arm around you, putting their sweaty hands on the small of your back (or maybe on your ass) and talking to you from approximately three inches away from your face so you can practically taste the burger they just ate. Sick.

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9. The “Too Cool For You” Guy
You lock eyes from across the room and you KNOW he wants to talk to you, but it’s not that easy. He continues to eye you up as he chats up his buddies, wrangling in other girls and will eventually make his way over to you. But don’t expect him to initiate conversation— he’s way too cool.

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10. The Charmer
He’s personable, super funny and has you and all of your friends hooked in no time. It doesn’t matter what he looks like, because you’ll be too busy hysterically laughing at his impression of Schmidt from “New Girl” that you won’t even care that your vodka just came out of your nose. He’s the ringleader of his friends who loooove going out with him because he effortlessly initiates contact with the ladies for them.

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11. The Uber Suave Guy
 You’re ordering a drink and minding your own when some sly guy comes up behind you and orders one for himself and one for “the pretty lady.” Eventually, he’s bought a round for you and all of your friends and you find yourself admiring his All Saints shoes as he guides you and your pals into the VIP section. He says all the right things, wants to know about your hopes and dreams and doesn’t talk to your boobs.

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12. The Complete Dickhead
“Look, we both know you wanna go home with me so why don’t we cut the shit in between and I can show you what it’s like to experience the serpent.” Chances are he’s a big dude who spends him life in gym. You were mildly attracted to him before he came over and uttered some filth. “No thanks, you’re grand” will be your response, “Suit yourself, slut” will be his. It makes no sense, we know. Walk away.

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via our content partners CT

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