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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 26 August, 2019

7 hidden gems around the country to have a cocktail in over the long weekend

You’ve probably walked past a few of these…

Image: Facebook/Andres Poveda Photography

FOR THE FIRST time in what feels like forever (how was Saint Patrick’s Day only four weeks ago?) we’ve a luxuriously long weekend stretching out ahead of us. So, what have you got planned with your time off?

To celebrate the four days off in style, why not wander further afield from your local and try a cocktail in one of the best hidden gems around the country?

Here’s some inspiration for the perfect backdrop to enjoy great company and a delicious cocktail in this Easter weekend.

1. Blake’s Bar, Eglinton Street, Galway

1 Source: Blake's Bar Galway/Facebook

Situated in the heart of Galway city only minutes from Eyre Square lies Blake’s Corner Bar, which is an official stop on the Galway Whiskey Trail.

Along with being part of an award-winning brasserie, they offer a vast selection of Irish-produced gins such as Nora’s Irish Dry Gin. Keep an eye on their Facebook for a flavour of the cocktails they serve.

2. Cask, MacCurtain Street, Cork

2 Source: Cask/Facebook

Unlike any other cocktail bar in Ireland, every twelve weeks Cask produces a brand new cocktail menu according to the seasons and which ingredients are available from their artisan suppliers.

Expect Irish-inspired cocktails such as ‘Pea’, made with Connemara-peated whiskey and sugar snap peas and ‘Kombu’, made with Dingle vodka and strawberry wine, all enjoyed in a gorgeous, old Victorian building.

3. The Harbour Bar, Bray, Co Wicklow

3 Source: The Harbour Bar/Facebook

Known affectionately to locals as ‘The Harbour’, you may have been inside one area of what Lonely Planet once called ‘The Best Bar in the World’ but there are always additional hidden gems within this pub to discover.

Host of Ireland’s first ever ‘Toastie Festival’, the bar contains a converted attic area covered in Pope memorabilia along with the trad-filled snug. It once even had a room dedicated to Stranger Things (where nowadays you can find their feline residents snoozing by the fire).

 4. Luna, Drury Street, Dublin 2

4 Source: Luna/Facebook

You may walk by it everyday but lying just metres under your feet is a stylish, subterranean bar inspired by 1960s Italian-American restaurants. Here you’ll find low ceilings and dark booths, and a dedicated Campari bar. Luna is part of John Farrell’s culinary portfolio which also includes Dublin restaurants 777 and Dillinger’s.

Hidden just below the spot that used to house Super Miss Sue, their impressive cocktail menu includes the likes of Campari Spritz and even encompasses rosemary and cucumber non-alcoholic cocktails.

5. Maisies Bar, Dungarvan, Co Waterford

5 Source: Maisies Dungarvan

You won’t be short of options at Maisies Bar, with over 30 whiskeys and 75 gins, including delicious gins such as Drumshambo Gunpowder Irish Gin, ShortCross Gin and Blackwater No.5, in their arsenal. 

Inside, you can expect charming wallpaper and exposed brick and they even host an old-school games night every Friday, so get your competitive side ready.

6. Mulligan & Haines, Dame Street, Dublin 2

main Source: Facebook/Andres Poveda Photography

Housed over three stylish floors in what used to be Dublin’s Bread Company and in what would have been the site of a scene from chapter 10 in Ulysses, all of the drinks in Mulligan & Haines are named after Ulysses characters or ideals.

Expect shelves of old books, vintage photos, leather seats and fresh twists on martinis and whiskey sours in a completely refurbished version of what what was formerly Sweeney’s of Dame Lane.

7. Unicorn, Merrion Court, Dublin 2

7 Source: Unicorn/Facebook

Tucked away from the bustle of Merrion Row is the elegant Unicorn, which offers a number of different, Italian-inspired cocktails such as the Amalfi Martini (limoncello, lemon and vodka). 

It’s been the scene of candlelit dinners for the likes of Liam Neeson, Lionel Richie and Bono and has been operating for more than 80 years, claiming to be Dublin’s oldest Italian restaurant – so it’s the perfect place for a quiet Aperol Spritz.

Wherever you end up popping into over the long weekend, treat yourself to a refreshing drink with Schweppes’ Classics. Including tonic, slimline tonic, soda water, bitter lemon and ginger ale, there’s a classic mixer to suit everyone’s tastes.

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