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gin and tonic

St Patrick's Day is probably the biggest day of the year in our Emerald Isle for hitting the stores to buy alcohol.

Let's be real here, we're a nation of drink-connoisseurs; we'll be in the pub all day or at some mad gaff with a keg.

Stores like Aldi have been recently producing some of Ireland's best quality and cheapest gin, but they've only gone and topped themselves with their latest product.

Aldi Ireland has OFFICIALLY announced that it will be selling…wait for it…shamrock infused gin. Just in time for St. Patricks's Day; we know exactly what we'll be polluting ourselves with this year.

Made by Listoke Distillery in Co. Louth, Tower Gin’s 'Shamrock Infused Gin' will be on sale from Thursday, February 28 for a price of €19.99/50cl, so banishing all of those snakes won't break the bank.

Tower Gin’s 'Shamrock Infused Gin' has been distilled in the traditional London Dry style, with all ingredients, including the fresh shamrock, coming from the highways and byways of Co. Louth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The refreshing gin has a mild earthy taste from the shamrock flavour, and has rosehips and sweet orange flavour to match. Oh, and the gin is genuinely green, in honour of St. Paddy himself.

The gin makers have written an adorable poem for it's customers to enjoy;

"We once made a gin by The Tower, distilled with an Irish green power, some citrus and spice, some tonic and ice, from Ireland’s delicate wild shamrock flower!"

Adorable. We're so excited to give this one a try, it would be our honour to drink gin for the sake of our country.

Only one week left until we can get our hands on the gincredibly patriotic alcohol beverage, and 24 days until the biggest day of the Irish calendar. Get down to Aldi before the snakes get their paws on it first.

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Arguably Ireland’s favourite West Cork native, Graham Norton has once again joined forces with SuperValu to launch his very own gin, Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gin, which is available exclusively in SuperValu stores nationwide.

Following on from the success of Graham’s award-winning GN Wine range which includes Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Rosé and Prosecco, the renowned TV presenter has launched his own Irish gin which celebrates the beauty and unique flavours of West Cork.

Partnering with an Irish distillery was very important to Graham and an extensive search led to a distillery near Graham’s West Cork home.

West Cork Distillers have worked with Graham and the team to create the great tasting gin.  Distilled and produced using 100 percent Irish grain Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gin draws its flavour from a combination of 12 botanicals including angelica, fuchsia flowers, orris roots, rose hip, basil and liquorice root – all of which contribute to a Gin which is as unique as the man himself.

John Cooney, Off-Licence Trading Manager for SuperValu said: “We’re still seeing a huge demand for gins and gin sales are constantly on the rise so to have one on our shelves, produced by Graham Norton himself is something we’re incredibly excited about.  The Gin market is experiencing strong growth in the take home gin category with a 44.5% increase in sales over the last year and we believe that Graham Norton’s new gin will certainly add to those figures.”

He added: “The gin itself is best served simply with Indian Tonic Water, ice and fresh lime to garnish. This ensures the consumer tastes the real essence of this very fine blend. The bottle shape and design really stand out from other gins and I’m confident that consumers will give it a big – Sláinte!”

Graham Norton’s Own Gin (RRP €39) is available exclusively from SuperValu stores now. See www.supervalu.ie for more information.

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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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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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We all know that mad b*tch who goes absolutely mad after a few too many gin and tonic. 

Whether she's shifting her friend's ex or just straight up bitching in the corner, there's the negative stereotype of someone going 'psycho' on the drink. 

Now, we shouldn't be throwing mental health terms around like that at all, but a study has shown that people who like a particular tipple are more likely to have sadistic tendencies.

Bitter drink consumers who like the taste of gin are more likely to exhibit antisocial personality traits

The study from Innsbruck University in Austria revealed that these drinkers are more partial to sadism, narcissism and psychoticism. 

In the study almost 1,000 people were given sweet and bitter tasting things and asked to rate them, and were given psychological tests looking for these traits. The results found that people who like bitter drinks like gin are more likely to harbour these tendancies.

'The results of both studies confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy,' study conductors Dr Christian Sagioglou and Dr Tobias Greitemeyer wrote. 

While this may well be a coincedence, we can think of one or two mpeople that this could be true for. 

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This is the best news we've heard all year… no exaggeration. 

Hearth and Heritage, a British gift company, have manufactured a collection of Gin and Tonic scented beauty products.

This thirst quenching collection includes lipbalms, soaps, and bath bombs.

Also included in this wonderful array of gin related items are gorgeous scented candles, which we want to fill our homes with! 

These AMAZING products are definitely at the top of our Christmas lists! 

You know what they say… when life gives you lemons, add gin! 

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So last week we were introduced to the most magical Harry Potter Easter eggs ever. 

And this week, we're taking it up a notch – with the Internet's latest egg-shaped offering. 

Gin and tonic Easter eggs are here, and they genuinely sound divine. 

Finally an Easter Egg for grown ups (yes, we consider ourselves to be grown up, sort of).

Each Easter egg is a white chocolate, hand crafted egg flavoured with gin flavouring and lime tonic. Outrageous.

These divine handcrafted eggs are available on NotOnTheHighstreet for just a tenner – best money you'll ever spend. 

Not a gin fan? Weird. However worry not – the brand are also offering Strawberry and Prosecco Easter Eggs.

We may have to buy both – be rude not to like. 

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If like us, you're a chocolate lover who's partial to the odd tipple, then oh boy, have we got news for you.

Lidl are about to launch a brand new 'Best of Ireland' range next week, which is set to include one of the most delicious treats we've ever laid eyes on – introducing, the gin and tonic chocolate bar.

The Skelligs chocolate bar will come in three mouth-watering flavours including, Irish Honey, Irish Sea Salt and Gin and Tonic, and honestly, we can't wait to get out hands on all three.

Skelligs, the family run, Kerry-based company with some kind of sixth sense when it comes to flavour combinations, had this to say about their latest creation:

"The fresh lively flavours of this sophisticated tipple are recreated by adding crushed juniper berries and lime zest to our rich dark chocolate. Perfectly acceptable at any time of day.”

We couldn't agree more. 

The range will hit Lidl stores across the country on September 11, costing just €1.99, but be quick – these will surely fly off the shelves.  

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There are plenty of things all offices need – Google HQ style nap pods, a fully stocked snack pantry (with free snacks, obvs) and perhaps a tipple of gin from time to time. 

Galwegians are known for their amazing humour and love of the craic, and going out and having a few G&Ts is all part of the Galway charm.

Not one but two Galway businesses have taken it upon themselves to incite joy in the hearts of their employees by installing gin water coolers in their offices. 

Yup, gin water coolers. 

First up we have popular Galway bar An Pucan who are clearly as obsessed with gin as we are with their commitment to the stuff. 

Secondly, the Connacht Hotel is getting in on the action by creating their very own cooler of the delicious spirit. 

It is not known if the guys at both businesses just slapped a Gunpowder label on water gallons or actually took the time to fill them up with gin, but either way, we're inspired. 

We'll be petitioning for one in our office ASAP. 

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Our weekend just got a whole lot better, as we spotted a delightful new event doing the rounds on Facebook.

The Great Gin Fair is kicking off at House Dublin on the August Bank Holiday, and the entire place will be transformed into a 'marvellous gin emporium.'

On August 6, guests will be treated to a menagerie of bespoke pop-up gin bars throughout the stunning location, and the best part about it all?

Entrance is free. 

'Our Great Gin Fair will showcase more than 80 incredible gins from home and abroad for you to choose from,' reads the Facebook event

'Our Great Gin Fair will also boast dozens of bespoke gin pop-up bars, guaranteeing that you’ll find the perfect gin for your tonic!'

'Those who are new to gin need not worry, as each one of our wonderful pop- up bars will be manned by some of the most talented bartenders (and craziest self-confessed gin aficionados) Ireland has to offer, so you can be assured they will happily point you in the right direction.'

Much like Taste of Dublin, the  gin pop bars will be operating with a special currency called Junipers.

These can be purchased in House on the day.

Each measure of gin and tonic, is 7 Junipers, or €7.00

Throughout the day, guests will enjoy live music and entertainment.

This will include a series of innovative revolving talks from gin industry experts, master distillers, and brand ambassadors, as well as fun, interactive blind tastings and gin samplings.

We are so there…

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Gin lovers, listen up, because one very delightful-sounding gin has just been crowned the Best Gin in the UK.

Brighton Gin, handmade in (you guessed it) Brighton, has been given the esteemed accolade, and now we're gasping to get our hands on a bottle. 

The gin received the grand title at The People's Drinks Awards, where the public blind tasted numerous gins and chose the most delicious.

'Brighton is such a creative, pioneering, free-thinking place, with a long-standing heritage of invention and pleasure seeking and a cast of notorious, mould-breaking characters throughout its history,' founder of Brighton Gin, Kathy Caton told Cosmo.

'With Brighton Gin, we wanted to create the absolute top quality spirit this city deserves and we’re ecstatic that people across the UK have voted us as the country’s best gin.'

 

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Brighton Gin is made with 100% British organic wheat spirit, which we re-distill with juniper, fresh orange and lime peel, locally-grown coriander seed and milk thistle. Yum.

The gin is hand crafted in Brighton (duh) but there are more than a few online stockists who can deliver the smooth beverage straight to your door if you don't happen to be visiting the UK anytime soon.

Harvey Nichols, The Gin Box Shop, Vineyards Direct, Gin Festival, the Gin Kiosk, Craft Gins and Gin Parlour all stock the strong stuff, and you can even get it on Amazon.

We'll be waiting for our package in the mail like…

Image result for waiting

Feature image: Instagram 

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Move over chocolate and strawberry, a new ice cream flavour has arrived to steal the top spot on our favourite flavours list.

We love ice cream, and we love gin, so combining the two to create a tasty gelato concoction is the stuff of dreams.

Scoops, located in Ranelagh and on Aungier Street, Dublin, is serving up scoops of the soft stuff laced with Hendricks gin and Fevertree tonic. 

If that wasn't enough, the gelato is also flavoured with cucumber, so it's literally like indulging in a refreshing G&T with all the toppings.

But better, of course, because ice cream. 

They also serve crepes and coffees, so if you have one G&T gelato too many you can sort yourself out with a strong brew and a bit of soakage.

Please, just serve us a vat of the stuff…

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