Bartenders brew a new kind of Irish spirits

The Bartender Collective, a group of over 30 bartenders and beverage industry professionals working in Ireland, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the second in a series of premium Irish spirits, in small batches, blended and distilled according to their own recipes.

Its first spirit, Trade Secrets gin, was financed from the collective’s own resources. Distilled for them by Bonac in Co Wicklow, it cost over € 15,000 to bring to market and won the World Gin Award for Best London Dry Gin last year. It is available for purchase online at and costs € 49.50.

The group, founded by Brian Treacy of Trouble Brewing in Co Kildare, and Fabio Ribeiro, who will be opening a new bar, Dockers, on Dublin’s South Docks next month, are now seeking € 10,000 in funding to create and release their second spirit, most likely a rum. The Kickstarter campaign will run until the end of July.

New summer card

With hard-to-find outdoor restaurant reservations and popular restaurants booked weeks in advance, hotels with terraces and green spaces provide an attractive alternative to eating out on the street. The five-star InterContinental in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, has just launched a new summer menu, served in its lush garden terrace.

Dining room in the courtyard of the InterContinental, Dublin.

Executive Chef Alberto Rossi’s summer specials include small plate choices including Dublin Bay shrimp cocktails, Parmesan churros with pesto dip, and Irish beef sliders with brie and mayonnaise at truffle, as well as more substantial seafood platters, cheese and cold cuts platters, salads, burgers and steaks.

A mid-week offer including B&B with upgrade to a junior suite, three-course dinner, spa access, free parking and late check-out, is available for € 395 per room

Peanut butter gets tangy

Evie and Eliza Ward have added three new flavors to their NutShed peanut butter line. Very Crunchy, Chocolate and Harissa Chilli are the three new varieties from the Nenagh-based company, which started as a market stall in 2014 and now supplies more than 260 stores across Ireland, including, since the start of this year, Dunnes Stores.

NutShed Spicy Peanut Butter Harissa Hummus

NutShed Spicy Peanut Butter Harissa Hummus

The sisters came up with a very tasty way to incorporate the spicy flavor of Harissa pepper into a variation of hummus. Mix half a cup of peanut butter with a can of drained chickpeas, half a cup of the liquid from the can, a clove of garlic and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and black pepper and dip in it. They also share a great tip for making your hummus lighter: mix a few ice cubes with the rest of the ingredients.

Limerick Strand redesign

The new River Restaurant and Bar at the Limerick Strand Hotel.

The new River Restaurant and Bar at the Limerick Strand Hotel.

The four-star Limerick Strand has invested € 400,000 in an overhaul of its River bar and restaurant, inspired by the River Shannon which is visible from its floor-to-ceiling windows. The Panoramic Terrace will be open all day for alfresco dining, serving breakfast, lunch or brunch, afternoon tea and dinner. New menus were developed for the relaunch, but Executive Chef Tom Flavin continued to support local farms and dairies.

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