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St. Patrick's Day is this weekend and you know what that means, Irish or not?

Yes, getting locked. 

Apparently, more than 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide as we celebrate St Paddy himself.

When Irish women were asked who they wound most like to have an aul pint with on the day, their response wasn't too shocking. 

Image result for st patricks day gif

Love Irish Tours surveyed 1,000 Irish people and they chose…Amy Huberman.

Possibly the soundest woman on the planet and we deffo agree.

So who else made the list?

Image result for amy huberman drinking gif

We have other Irish gems like Saoirse Ronan, the O'Donovan brothers and Blindboy.

If you can overlook Saorise God-awful accent, then go right ahead.

Rather surprisingly, Conor McGregor was chosen by some people before the likes of interesting political figures like former President Mary Robinson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.    

For us, it's a toss up between the RIDES that are Pierce Brosnan, Robert Sheehan and Colin Farrell. 

Who would you have chosen? 

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If you find yourself in Cork this May, you should see the hybrid festival of food and design, which will be taking place from May 17-19.

Design POP is set to merge innovative design with local and international food and drink experiences in a collaborative pop up festival with events and exhibits taking place in various iconic locations across the city.

We like the sound of that. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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If you're a fan of design, you'll love that Design POP will see six of Ireland’s leading designers working closely with six top local food producers to create bespoke installations.

These will be strewn across Cork city centre throughout the festival.

It will be a three-day event that will also engage the public through a program of pop-up events in venues around the city through workshops, showcases, exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations.

So there's something for everyone – see you there, yeah? 

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BYOB is usually something you associate with a pre drinks party, but one Dublin bar is putting a twist on the concept that we absolutely love. 

Drop Dead Twice, which began as a pop-up back in October, has been made a permanent feature at its location at The Stage 19 on Francis Street, Dublin.

The bar invites guests to openly bring their own alcohol (not sneakily stashed in your clutch) and have a selection of bespoke cocktails made using the spirit of their choice.

 

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Whether you choose to bring vodka, gin or whiskey, Drop Dead Twice mixologists are well able to get creative when it comes to concocting the perfect cocktails.

The team draw on their expertise to come up with original and unique beverages, using a wide range of fresh and homemade ingredients.

 

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The premise is simple, just book in for a two or three hour session and bring your booze to the bar.

If you are booked in for two hours, Drop Dead Twice recommends bringing a naggin per person, which will get you four cocktails.

If you are booked in for 3 hours they recommend bringing a shoulder per person, which will get you six or seven creative drinks.

The fee is pretty damn reasonable, at €25.00 per person for 2 hours and €30.00 per person for 3 hours.

The team talks you through what you like and what you don’t like before whipping up a selection of cocktails for you and the gals.

It's definitely a brilliant and boozy way to spend an evening. 

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Ah, day drinking.

It's usually associated with long summer days but nothing much beats a few drinks during the day at any time of the year.

It feels better…probably because it feels like you shouldn't be doing it. 

And because you're usually hammered by 5pm, it often leads to hook-ups.

A study has revealed the most common drink that is the cause of these liaisons. 

Can you guess what it is?

Rum.

Yep, that cheeky Barcardi you knock back or he Captain Morgans you order is what's getting you lucky.

So, what are the top picks during the day when it comes to the booze we're drinking? 

Top four beverages of choice are Champagne, beer, vodka, and tequila.

Day drinking seems to unleash a lot of hormones in people as they were 20% more likely to hook up with a friend while day drinking. 

When it comes to who we were getting locked with, most people were with friends while a high number of 34% were knocking them back with a stranger.

Women are four times more likely to hook up with a coworker during the day, can you believe it?

When you're out having a few during the day and wanna get with that hot colleague/mate you fancy, order two large rums and thank us later.

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If you're currently twiddling your thumbs, desperately trying to decide what presents to get your relatives or friends (or yourself…), we've found the shop for you.

It's got all the answers to your alcohol questions, and even does FREE ENGRAVING…yes, you read that right. Frengraving.

The Jameson Black Barrel shop has opened just in time for Christmas, and is ready for your last minute personalised gifting requests. 

Ireland's leading whiskey is our new Christmas BFF; their newest pop-up is located on South William Street in Dublin until December 24.

The Jameson Black Barrel shop has free engraving on all bought bottles from the pop-up for a personalised touch at the price of €48, so it won't break the bank.

It doesn't even end there, for whiskey lovers galore they've also got hip flask gift sets with a whiskey glass and small bottle of Jameson Black Barrel for 25 quid, we are GAGGIN' for one of those.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The store opens from Monday to Saturday from 11am until 9pm, and Sunday from 12:30pm until 6pm.

Get yourselves over there and beat the queues, we've already abandoned the office to head down…we won't tell if you won't?

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Buying a gift for your friends or family can be difficult enough when they don't possess 'notions.'

What are notions, you ask? Well, it's essentially when a person has grandiose elements of extravagance; whether in terms of fashion, style, food & drink, décor or just in their everyday life.

They drink non-fat, no-foam, five-shot half-caffeine pumpkin spice latte in a special cup at a certain temperature and will refuse to do most activities due to footwear, except yogalates.

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You'd never catch them drinking cans, especially not Tesco lager; they're most likely only drinking a craft beer that no one has heard of or a slimline tonic with lime cordial and a shot of vodka on the side.

Plebs such as us probably would take a taxi or public transport to a club, whereas someone with 'notions' might take a large limousine with white doves as their accessories.

According to the Urban Dictionary definition:

…You get the idea. It's luxurious hipster-ism.

So, how does one buy a present for someone who are that little bit too big for their boots? It's hard, but not impossible.

Here are our top 20 gifts for those with notions.. proceed with monetary caution.

1. Candlelight Prosecco snowglobe

ASOS, €12.44

2. A rose gold cocktail set

Littlewoods Ireland, €39.99

3. Topshop Flo Marabou shoulder bag  

Topshop, was €44.00 now €35.20

4. Whiskey stones

Sagaform, €21.00

5. Avoca sea-salt chocolate

Avoca sea-salt chocolate, €4.75

6. Huggable Avocado Cooling & Heating Pad

Urban Outfitters, €25.00

7. Charlotte Tilbury, Charlotte's beauty universe

Charlotte Tilbury, Charlotte’s beauty universe, €185

8. Scented Diffuser

Urban Apocethary, Oudh Geranium Scented Diffuser, €32.00

9. Pink Marble iPhone 6/6s/7/8 Case

LuMee, €95.00

10. Bicycle Leather Wine Holder

Urban Outfitters, was €49.00 now €29.00

11. Soirée wine aerator

Designist, €28.50

12. Crosley Cruiser Pink and Gold Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player

Urban Outfitters, was €119.00, now €83.00

13. Metal straws

Designist, €20

14. Fujifilm Instax™ Mini 9 Smokey White Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax™, was €159.00, now €111.00

15. JO MALONE LONDON Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne 100ml

JO MALONE LONDON, €109.00

16. Popcorn Maker

Urban Outfitters,was €35.00 now €29.00

17. G&Tea set

ASOS, Root 7 G & Tea Set, €41.48

18.Topshop petite luxe fur coat

Topshop, was €110.00, now €76.00

19. Grow your own indoor garden

Click and Grow, €200

20. Personalised hip-flask

T Shirt Studio, 17.25€
 

There you have it, ladies.

The ultimate gift guide for those in your life who are just that little bit EXTRA, or who think that litle bit highly of themselves.

If they already have some of these gifts, well then I'm afraid they have too many notions for their own good, and this quest is totally futile…

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cocktail Society  (@aboutdrinksandbars) on

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Copeland Gin (@copeland_gin) on

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gin Lovers (@gin_lovers) on

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bethany gale (@bybethanygale) on

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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Gin and tonic has been having a prolonged moment, but there is another up-and-coming drink angling for the top spot.

The Aperol Spritz is here to conquer summer, with everyone from Ireland's foodie influencers to the ladies who brunch enjoying a sip of the stuff. 

The drink has been around for years, but summer 2017 is set to be the season of the spritz, and we're ready for a change. 

 

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According to new Google Trend data, the Aperol Spritz is currently leading the way in the trendiness charts for Irish summer drinkers.

The drink is at peak popularity, just ahead of gin, and has seen a meteoric rise to fame, as did it's juniper-blended nemesis. 

The distinctive orange drink first became popular back in the 1950s after the aperitif was imported from Italy. 

Vogue has dubbed the drink as the one to watch this summer, but what is in the beverage exactly? 

Well, the distinctive drink is made up of three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part sparkling water.

The advised garnishings include orange wedges and green olives. 

The beverage has been enjoyed on the continent for years, with 200,000 gallons of the orange aperitif being consumed in France in 2015, according to World Crunch, so Ireland is slightly behind the times when it comes to the latest Aperol popularity surge, but hey, we've got all summer to catch up.

 Irish style influencer and Head of Digital, Global Retail at Dior, trend expert Ashley McDonnell is based in Paris, and knows exactly why the drink is so popular across the channel. 

'Everyone knows we love wine in France. In the winter it's hearty reds, in spring a chilled white, and summer is all about a glass of rosé by the Seine,' she explained to SHEmazing

 

A post shared by Ashley McDonnell (@thestylescruple) on

'However, over the last few years our Italian neighbours have been providing us with their own take on a cocktail that involves a good grape but in the form of the unmistakable orange cocktail: Aperol Spritz.' 

'The perfect marriage of Prosecco, soda, a slice of orange and Aperol to top it all off is taking over in Paris.'

'It’s quickly becoming the beverage of choice especially as the city heats up again, bringing some of the Italian Dolce Vita to the City of Lights, a much welcomed freshness to the long hot summer ahead,' she finished. 

Aperol Spritz at the So Prosecco pop-up at Taste of Dublin

The drink even made an appearance at So Prosecco at Taste of Dublin, where the city's finest eateries congregated to showcase their trendiest and tastiest wares last weekend. 

As Well + Good put it, it's about the 'desire to get buzzed—not blitzed,' and with a summer of outdoor brunching and beer garden get-togethers ahead, we couldn't be more ready for the season of spritz. 

Drinks anyone? 

Feature image: Instagram / solomia.mika

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Gin and tonic has become the go-to drink for practically half the country. The popular beverage has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and we’re not surprised.

As much as we love a G&T, we have to admit that we feel quite overwhelmed when we go to order one at the bar. What gin should I ask for? What type of tonic am I in the mood for? Will they add fruit? Or glitter?

We are spoiled for choice these days, but picking the perfect drink is tricky. Luckily, the Irish Gin and Tonic Fest is here to help.

They have just released Ireland’s best gin and tonic, which is bound to make your nights out that little bit easier.

This year’s festival ran across the 32 counties of Ireland with a total of 132 venues taking part and 16 GIN events throughout the country.

The 2018 edition featured 26 Irish gins that hail from every province in Ireland and are made with a huge variety of both farmed and wild Irish ingredients.

The festival asked the public to vote for their favorite #IrishGnT on Twitter and Instagram or by posting on the Great Irish Beverages Facebook page, and the results are in.

Ireland’s best gin & tonic in 2018 is…

Russell's Saloon & Gin Emporium, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Bar manager of Russell’s, Jean McGuinness was thrilled with the result: “Everybody is so curious about Irish gin these days and they were excited to meet the distiller of our festival gin.”

“Our choice of using fresh pear with the blueberries went down a storm with our customers as they said the garnish really brought out the fruit in the gin and the bitterness in the Fever Tree tonic."

We love the sound of Russell’s pear and blueberry gin. We’ll certainly have to visit them this summer!

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It's Friday ladies, and we cannot wait to cheer to the weekend with our friends with a nice G&T or a tasty glass of Prosecco.

But this week, we will make it extra special thanks to the help of one of Ireland’s best-loved chefs, Kevin Dundon. 

When we talked to the SuperValu ambassador this week and asked him about a nice summer drink, let's say that Kevin delivered.

"Get some strawberries, or use the ones you have that are getting bruised, take the stems off, place into a blender with a sprig of fresh tarragon, a little bit of honey, and pulse until you get a lovely puree. You can use it with gin, place a little bit of that puree at the bottom of your glass, add ice, some gin, tonic, and garnish with a strawberry. You can use that same puree with Prosecco, it’s gorgeous!"

For those who don't want alcohol, the chef recommends to add some vanilla ice cream and a little bit of milk to the puree to get a lovely strawberry shake.

And now we are drooling. 

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The heatwave is in full blast and we can't repeat it enough: hydration is key!

As a nice refreshment or as a festive drink if you want to stay away from alcohol, these fruity mocktails can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Sláinte!

1. Sparkling pomegranate margarita mocktail

2. Blackberry ginger mocktail

3. Mango ginger mocktail

4. Blueberry margarita mocktail

5. Blood orange turmeric mocktail

6. Cucumber-lemonade mocktail

7. Rosemary grapefruit mocktail

8. Watermelon mojito kombucha mocktail

 

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When it comes to gin and tonic, we can't get enough of the damn stuff.

And the more variations of it that are produced, the better.

So, when we heard Fortnum & Mason had launched gin and tonic tea bags, we thoughts all our mid-morning breaks had come at once.

But before you begin thinking your tea break will leave you with a raging hangover, let us fill you in.

The predominant ingredient in Tea for Tonic is green tea, but the luxury retailer has piqued the senses of G&T aficionados by also including a mixture of juniper berries, coriander, fennel, lemon balm and dried cucumber and lime

If you want to 'enjoy a G&T without the consequences' as the retailer perfectly puts it, you can order your box of 15 teabags right here.

And ladies if they're sold out by the time you get around to ordering them, you'll know who to blame.

(That'd be us.)
 

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