Will here to give you your Christmas Cocktail – how to without too much fuss.

There’s enough to be worrying about this Christmas! So drinks at home should be the last of them. Beer, wine and bubbly are all wonderful but serving up a well-made cocktail is guaranteed to get you some flattery.

 

Whatever your tipple of choice is, scaling them up can be pretty straight forward. You spend all that time prepping and chopping veg and basting and stuffing the turkey. So putting even a small bit of that energy into your drinks this year can make all the difference.

You also don’t want to be stood in the kitchen all night stirring or shaking until your arms fall off. The solution? Batching cocktails!! This makes serving drinks quick and easy, as well as making sure that each and every one same as the last, delicious. There are plenty of online resources for cocktails, with Difford’s Guide being one of my personal go-tos for classic recipes.

WHAT YOU”LL NEED TO USE

You’ll need to clear some room in the fridge, maybe give a few of those empty wine bottles you’ve been hoarding a rinse and dry. A measuring jug should do just fine for building your batch and you can’t go wrong with a mesh strainer for catching any unwanted bits of extra pulp. Batching is pretty simple, just figure out how many drinks you want to make and multiply it out, just make sure you’ve enough bottles to put it into when it’s done.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The alcohol content plays a big part here in preserving your cocktail. If you go with a booze-led Old Fashioned for example, that bad boy may even outlive you, but there’s a good chance it won’t make it past St. Stephen’s Day. A fresher fruit forward cocktail like a Pornstar Martini should keep for a couple of days at best. When making sours or anything that involves lime/lemon/orange juice a good tip is to balance out the citrus with honey rather than sugar. Honey is a preservative in itself and can elevate drinks by bringing in a longer lasting, heavier taste on your palate. Another little note is to be careful with bitters, sometimes scaling up can really affect the flavour so good practice is to add in the bitters afterwards as you’re serving.

For your batch, I’d suggest starting simple or taking a classic cocktail such as a Negroni and putting your own festive spin on it. An easy way to bring in different flavours is by infusing your base spirit with fruit or spices. So, take a bottle of your chosen spirit and leave some cranberries and cinnamon in for a day and then strain out, boom you’ve got a Christmas spirit to play with. If that sounds like too much effort, there are plenty of delicious syrups, liqueurs and spirits out there that can make your life easier or you can find our pre-batched cocktails on our website. We have 3 to choose from: Cosmo, Spent-Spresso Martini and a Raspberry Soiree (Collins). Here are 2 drinks I’ll be serving up at mine this year:

Christmas (Xmas) Negroni

1 part Stillgarden Xmas Cake Gin
1 part Stillgarden O’MARO Irish Amaro
1 part Campari

Batched and chilled in the fridge. Served over ice with an orange peel.

Tipperary

1 1/2 part Irish Whiskey
1/2 part Green Chartreuse
1 part Stillgarden O’MARO Irish Amaro
1/3 part water

Batched and chilled in the fridge. Served straight up with a cocktail cherry.

 

Thanks for reading.

Will

The Green Bartender

 

Distillery Garden Goldenbridge

Distillery Garden Goldenbridge

Tucked quietly away from Tyrconnell road, you will find a bustling little hub called Goldenbridge Estate. Where you not only will you find Stillgarden Distillery but other artisan vendors, artists and arguably the best pizza and craft beer in Dublin. What makes this estate so much more impressive is that all of these businesses either opened or expanded during a global pandemic!!!

Rascals Brewing

Rascals Brewing was founded in 2014 by Emma Devlin and Cathal O’Donoghue. The pair were living and working in New Zealand and developed a taste and passion for the booming Kiwi craft beer industry. Since launching in 2014 Rascals brewing company have gone from strength to strength. Opening their taproom and pizza restaurant in Inchicore, and this year have expanded their offering by opening an off licence on site. View their full range here.

BapCafe Inchicore

Opening their hatch on November 11th 2020 Bap Cafe Inchicore is already a firm lunch time favourite amongst us at Stillgarden. Full breakfast baps to gourmet lamb burgers; these convenient takeaway meals are outstanding. Trust us and don’t forget to add sweet potato fries!! They are open 10:00am to 7:00pm Wednesday to Saturday. What makes these fast meals even more convenient you can call & collect 01 524 0783. Check out their Facebook page to see their full menu.

Ed’s Bread

Self proclaimed guerilla bakery Ed’s bread is another example of a superb community collaboration amongst our neighbours. Using the residual heat from Rascals pizza ovens overnight Ed bakes his signature “star of Inchicore” sourdough bread which is absolutely glorious. It will take all your willpower not to eat the whole loaf in one sitting!! Opening his hatch from Rascals takeaway window: Tues – Sat: 9:00am to 12:30pm. You can pre order and collect here.

 

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Skinvibes Tattoo Ireland

Skinvibes Tattoo have just opened their brand new private studio in Goldenbridge Estate and specialise in black and grey, colour infused black and grey custom tattoos – find out more via their social media channels Facebook and Instagram . 

 

So next time you find yourself in Inchicore take a wander into Goldenbridge Estate. 

 

Hey folks, my name is Alan, and I am a new distiller here at Stillgarden Distillery. BTW I f$*king love Juniper!!!

Alan in Still at Distillery

I’ve also been tasked with writing something of interest every-so-often for the blog. I’ve decided to go down the route of in depth analysis of the different botanicals that make up the backbone of Gin Distillation initially so that when you hear people throwing out all these different terms at dinner parties you can nod your head with actual acknowledgement and maybe even respond with something worldly sounding. 

What is Juniper?

There is no better way to begin than with Juniper. The heart and soul of the Gin Production since its inception and still widely misunderstood or unknown. Take a second now to try and picture what Juniper shrub/tree/plant looks like. A lot of us would struggle to envision one.  For all its use on this planet of ours its existence, beyond providing berries for distillation, is relatively uncelebrated.

The plant itself is interesting for several reasons, firstly it is dioecious i.e. individual plants are either male or female, unlike a lot of tree species where both male and female flowers occur on the same tree. The Male flowers appear as wee yellow blossoms at the tip of the twigs releasing pollen in Springtime which is spread by the wind. The Female flowers form in small clusters of scales and after pollination grow to become berry-like cones. These berries start green but after 18 or so months take on the dark, blue-purple colour that signifies its readiness for use in gin, amongst other things.

Juniper is a low maintenance plant to grow and whilst they generally prefer a high acidity soil it is a tough ol’ bastard and will grow in most soil types, if at a slower rate. They are drought tolerant (not a problem in this country generally) and can provide help against soil erosion and weeds amongst rock gardens (that’s a hot tip right there, please grow Juniper and then give it to me). Juniper doesn’t require much pruning if at all, it is just awesome like that also. It will probably come as no surprise to you that there is a huge array of different varieties (50-67) of Juniper and most countries within the Northern hemisphere possess some of those at this point. 

Juniper Heart

Why Juniper for Gin?

Juniper is an incredibly important component of Gin distillation in so far as it needs to be the predominant flavour in anything wishing to attain the title of Gin by law. It’s a good thing it tastes so God damn delicious. In its infancy possessing a rich, woody piney character which is somewhat conveniently called Pinene (an organic compound of the terpene class, one of two isomers of pinene. It is an alkene, and it contains a reactive four-membered ring. It is found in the oils of many species of many coniferous trees, notably the pine.) and as they mature a distinct fresh citric character will form. A bit like those smelly things that hang in cabs/taxis that are shaped like coniferous trees, I guess.

The most famous gins in the world you can care to think of all use Juniper as their backbone and often most of their botanical recipe. The name Gin itself is derived from Juniper either through the French ‘Genievre’ or the Dutch ‘Jenever’ both meaning, you guessed it, Juniper.

I mean if you’re not onboard by now I don’t know what else to say.

Distillers Edition Gin

Except: Here at Stillgarden we use Juniper Communis from Macedonia which is extremely rich in the oils. These oils contain the Alpha-Pinene character that helps us create a formidable backbone for all of our Gins. If reading this has left you salivating for Juniper-heavy Gin our Distillers Edition is packed full of this glorious berry. 

As a side note due to the addition Liquorice for its inherent sweetness in our Distillers Edition it can sometimes louche when tonic or a mixer is added (a slight hazing or cloudiness) this is caused by Anethole (an organic compound often found in essential oils) falling out of solution upon dilution and is nothing to be feared, in fact it should be revered for it is living proof that our product is bursting at the seams with as much rich flavour as we can muster.

Alright, that’s probably enough of me for now. I’ll leave you with this excerpt from the Gin Foundry:

If aroma can form such a large impact on our perception of taste, and that a trace within an individual botanical can vary and alter our impressions of the overall composition – just imagine the endless possibilities when you start interchanging the strain of botanicals or where they came from.”

With that in mind I’d like to point to the future! and the ways in which we are looking at formulating new recipes. We are reinventing the way ingredients thought common can be repurposed.  Through exploring different terroirs and strains of plant life or through different methods of distillation. To instill a new era of flavour extraction that we can all explore together.

 

All the best,

 

Al x

 

Sustainable Spentspresso Cocktail
Reduce, reuse, recycle. The familiar adage is one we often try to live by, but what are sustainable cocktails? and what goes into them?

Luke O'MearaI’m Luke, the Brand Ambassador here at Stillgarden and I would like to share with you what sustainability means to us when it comes to booze.

In recent years bars and venues have been increasingly interested in sustainable drinks, which is great news! This way of creating cocktails helps find harmony with our natural resources and reduces waste. It also has the added potential to save money for bars and restaurants, and by its very nature, support local and small businesses too.

What you might consider to be waste, I consider ingredients to make a delicious sustainable cocktail. Meaning fruit peels, cores, pits, brine, pulp or grounds are used to create the libations you find in your glass or nowadays bottled cocktail.

Creating an infusion is one of the most common uses for leftover ingredients. A great example of this is citrus peel. Packed with flavour and oils you can make something truly delicious with a citrus peel by infusing it with sugar or even a spirit.

An example of one of our own conscientious cocktail at the distillery is our spent coffee Espresso Martini (which I’ve affectionately nicknamed the Spent-Spresso).

Sustainable Spentspresso Cocktail

 

We got in touch with our neighbour Craig, owner of BOOM Coffee, Inchicore. Craig kindly gives us his spent coffee grinds and we used it to create a unique spent coffee spirit. The spent coffee grinds also finds a home in our community garden as fertilizer. Not only are we reducing Craig’s and our own waste, but we also get to support local and help our lovely plants to grow.

Bar 1661

O1661 doing sustainable cocktailsne great example can be found at Dublin based bar, Bar 1661.  They are purveyors of both conscientious drinks and  support the local movement. A great example of this is their cocktail, Fontenoy Street. It’s namesake gives nod to the area of Phibsboro/Broadstone where Joyce once resided, but also to where the bar team gets their urban foraged sweet woodruff. This whiskey based cocktail also boasts locally sourced fresh ingredients from the independent markets of Dublin 7. To top it off, they re-use their oxidised and leftover serving wines to create their own in-house sparkling and aromatized wine.

Closing the loop on drinks isn’t always straightforward or obvious, but once you start you quickly get into the mindset and things really open up. Here’s to conscientious concoctions!

Luke

 

Groans and moans have been heard drifting from the Stillgarden community garden this month.

Not from the undead, but from yours truly, as I get the place prepped for winter. We were lucky enough a lot of hedging gifted to us by a member of the Social Botanists group. The hedging, along with the kind offer of some bark chips from a local hall, has the place looking shipshape and weed free. Hooray!

 

 

As it is approaching Samhain, my favourite time of the year. I’ve decorated the garden with all manner of scary editions, hopefully they will keep the crows away from our strawberries. Our Social Gin went on general sale last week, and the staff at the Distillery are extremely proud to have it hit the shelves. Produced in conjunction with our Social Botanist group. Sourcing ingredients directly from the garden, chosen by our Social Botanists, and sampled to create a drink that they, and hopefully you, will enjoy.

Community Sourced Social Gin

When it comes to a scary Garden, it’s a wonder that I even dare venture into it. It’s a potential horror story waiting to happen when the moon is full, what with the amount of lethal poisonous plants, the horrific insects and possible hedge clipper accidents that could befall me. In reality there is very little to be afraid of in our little oasis in Inchicore other than getting a nettle sting.

Here are a few plants that actually are a bit freaky!

‘Bleeding Tooth(Hydnellum peckii)

This beneficial fungus actually “bleeds” bright red juices when it’s young. It grows throughout North America but can be found all over the world.

‘Black Bat Flower’ (Tacca chantrieri)
This nearly pitch-black plant definitely has one of the more chilling appearances. There aren’t many plants that have ears and whiskers, but the bat flower ….does.

‘Doll’s Eyes(Actaea pachypoda)
This eastern North America perennial, also called white baneberry, has berries that look (too much) like “eyes”, or an alien from a 1950s sci-fi movie. Walking through a forest full of these wouldn’t exactly be a welcoming sight on a fall evening.

 Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)
The Venus Flytrap is probably the best known insect eating plant in the world. In fact, this carnivorous plant’s features are so unique and distinct, they’ve even starred in some horror movies…and it’s my favourite spooky plant!

So until next time, don’t walk through the old graveyard, don’t go into the attic, and most importantly, prune well to reduce competing branches that may reduce yield and block sunlight.

To find out more about who are Social Botanists are or to become a Stillgarden Social Botanist check out the Instagram Page

Keep rockin

Neal

The Journey of Stillgarden’s Social Media Intern

Hi everyone, 

If you’ve ever seen someone outside Stillgarden running around like a weird person trying to capture an “aesthetic” image of a Stillgarden spirit for social media, you’ve probably just spotted me or our brand manager, Aideen. My name is Sandhya Ganesan and I am the person behind Stillgarden’s social media along with the help of Aideen Hannigan. 

sandhya social media intern

A year ago, I moved to Ireland to pursue my Masters from a city in the south of India called Chennai. I know people always have different questions about India as it is very culturally diverse. It is very heartwarming to see Irish people being interested in my culture. India has 28 states and 22 official languages. I come from a state called Tamil Nadu where we speak a language called Tamil. It is said to be the oldest language in the world and is widely spoken in countries like Srilanka, Malaysia and India. And as you must have heard, we really value our spices. I came to Ireland with more spices than clothes!

Idli and Dosa     

My hometown Chennai is known for its tropical weather and its rich fusion of culture. The people in Chennai are simple, traditional but are very warm and welcoming. The city has around 7 beaches and is known for its temples. The most prominent one is the Kapaleeshwar temple which was built over 300 years ago. Chennai is also buzzing with varieties of south indian street food like idli (rice cake) and dosa (a crispy, savoury version of a crepe). If you’re ever in Chennai, your trip is incomplete without trying these 2 delicacies.

When I moved to Dublin, I was a continent away from my home country and I did not know a single person in the city. However, not once did I feel completely alone as the people are always friendly and full of life. Coming from a city that only has 3 seasons; hot, hotter and hottest, Dublin was a complete 180 for me. I’m the person who wears a jacket even when the temperature hits 22 degrees. But this city always finds a way to enjoy every moment despite the weather. 

My time in Stillgarden has been so rewarding. I learnt so much about spirits, botanicals and the process behind growing a distillery. Big shoutout to the team and especially Viki and Aideen for making me feel so welcome. While it saddens me to leave the team, I truly believe Stillgarden will change the world of spirits for the better. I wish them much success and I will be back to try their Academy Sessions soon 😉

Will Lynch Stillgarden Distillery

You celebrate the highs together and are there for support during the tough times. Always with the eyes on the prize.

Hi I’m Will, the Sales Manager at Stillgarden Distillery.

Will Lynch Stillgarden Distillery

I’ve worked in the drinks industry for over 17 years and have been lucky enough to have worked in some amazing teams, with Stillgarden being one of the best. From pubs to clubs, music arenas and festivals to cosy cocktail bars, one of the most important things for me has been the people I’ve worked alongside – learning from them and passing on my own experience and knowledge.

I like to think of working in a team kind of like being on a football pitch, another thing I’m super passionate about. You’ve got your manager that’s overseeing the work being done and giving you instructions to help you win; your coaches helping you learn, develop and improve; the captain on the pitch that you can always lean on when things aren’t going to plan and leads the team by example. Everyone in your team working hard to try and keep the ball going forward and trying to hit those goals.

You celebrate the highs together and are there for support during the tough times. Always with the eyes on the prize.

I’ve taken this mindset back into my passion, football. Within the drinks industry I’ve been hard at work setting up an actual team of my own: Bartenders FC. Over the past 2 years with the amazing help of the passionate people around me, we now have clubs in Dublin, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The collective goal being to promote positive physical and mental health for people who work in the drinks industry through football. Supporting each other on and off the pitch.

Bartenders FC Team photo

The bar industry is in itself a very close community and is definitely in a league of its own. At Stillgarden we are another team in this ever-expanding championship, but with the support of our community, we can go on to achieve some great things and maybe take home a medal or two along the way. Always working hard as a team to bring you new and exciting spirits. We’ll be kicking-off soon with Social Gin, but make sure watch this space as we’ve some serious spirit talent coming through the ranks, ready to shine on a global stage.

Neal in community garden
LATEST UPDATES FROM THE STILLGARDEN COMMUNITY GARDEN

Neal in community garden

Summer is almost over and we’re prepping the community garden in Inchicore for the autumn!  All of the crew at Stillgarden have been keeping themselves busy with our all new, all singing and dancing drinks. The botanicals in the garden provided us with the much needed inspiration for our new spirits. The EIGHT:01 mint cocktail and Early Harvest Vodka with rhubarb. They are available from our online shop or to buy in person from our Distillery here in Inchicore.

Early Harvest Rhubarb from GardenCocktails From the garden

We have welcomed two new staff to the team over the past month, Luke and Dave, both of whom have vast experience in the drinks industry and are thoroughly decent spuds indeed, it’s great to have them on board.

Having returned from a holiday break, its back to the gardening gloves and pruning shears for me. Weeds are a relentless foe and the battle is real. I’ve been attacking an invasive chancer called ‘Lambsquarters’ that has been trying to take over the garden, but was no match for the first Cromags album in my earbuds, and the cavalier wielding of my trowel of destruction.

weeds in the garden

Last week, Luke accompanied a hardy bunch of our social Botanists on a foraging hunt around Blackhorse Park to seek out fruits and plants to be used in the distilling process. The driving rain didn’t discourage, and they returned after a few hours with bags full of wonderful ingredients and a few nettle stings. We will be continuing these trips over the next months and hope to see some more of you there.

In the next few weeks we will be preparing for the autumn and charting out the garden for next year. Autumn is the time to root, temperatures cool and top growth slows, ideal conditions for fruit trees and roses. I will keep an area specifically with our social botanists in mind.  I’ll fill the bare
areas with a perennial that will provide colour and coverage to these spots.

In music related news, the TV show ‘Mythbusters’ recently carried out a test on plants to see how they reacted to sound and if different genres had an effect. Sadly metal and punk don’t seem to increase germination or seeding more than pop music or jazz. It turns out that flowers are not music
snobs like myself, and respond to all sounds equally.

Anyway, as always, stay well, stay safe and most importantly keep rockin’.

Neal

Viki Being a Bosslady

Hi I’m Viki Baird and I am the Bosslady of Stillgarden Distillery. Let me tell you how I got here!

Viki Being a Bosslady

My career has certainly been varied to say the least. Being a Bosslady is not easy. After college I went straight into retail management, this taught me how to motivate the people and to encourage them to their strengths.

After spending eight wonderful years in retail I decided a change was needed. I wanted an adventure so I packed my bags, crossed the pond and landed in Dublin. Why Dublin? Well I had always spent a good bit of time travelling back and forth visiting friends and there was always that charm that drew me in. It always felt like home. 

When I look back I can certainly see I kept my options open  I knew management was for me but I was interested in lots of avenues. I started off in a historical research company, then worked on the newsdesk of The Irish Times, after that I took on the role as General Manager of an energy company. This role certainly lent itself to my more adventurous side as it required lots of international travel, which maybe in hindsight gave me courage to take on more thrilling challenges later on in my life (and maybe a little bit of encouragement from my now husband Pat).  

Soon thereafter I started running a clinic with a large team. Together with my experience in different industries donning multiple roles I knew I was ready. Just as you think you know where your life is going, there is always something around the corner that can just change it, for me that was Pat.

In 2011, I met Pat O’Brien (who is co-founder of Stillgarden Distillery). He was a keen outdoor adventurer. At first, I was completely flabbergasted by larger than life appetite for adventure. Soon I went from high heels to high hills, he pushed me to face my fears. He even managed to get me rock climbing.

For many years we had discussed the idea of doing something completely unique to a distillery space. So after our honeymoon in 2019 we knew that was the right time to take the leap.

With my new found adventurous spirit and Pats determination we started the Stillgarden project in August of last year. However throughout the year we weren’t short of obstacles, even having to learn to adapt through a pandemic. We still managed to launch our first product, the Distillers Edition Gin in April. Then finally opened the doors with much delight in July.

We’re both amazed by what we have achieved to date. We’ve been very fortunate to have built a great team to bring the project to fruition. The future looks bright and we are really looking forward to it. It will be hard work, we know that but we feel we have really created something fun and special linking Science, Community and Nature.

Viki Baird x

Pat in the Garden

We absolutely love to recycle, up-cycle and repurpose here at Stillgarden Distillery.

Pat in the Garden

Whiskey barrels have been repurposed to planters, old building doors into desks that we use, and yes the planter you see sitting in front of our distillery was created from leftover scrap wood. The passionate creator behind these projects is none other that one of our founders Pat O’Brien. Pat had tried using it as a mobile land kayak, we felt it was suited better to as a home to some lively greenery.

Pat loves to recycle  Pat Recycle wood Recycling

Today Pat has kindly shared his tips and tricks on how to build your very own front garden planter otherwise known as as land kayak. There is even a video to go with it! But before you can go ahead with creating this wonderful front garden showstopper, there are some bits you will need to get organised.

What you will need:

8 lengths 4×2 treated @ 16 foot.
2 lengths 6×2 treated @ 16 foot.
2 lengths 4×1 treated @ 16 foot.
1 sheet marine ply 12mm.
4 heavy duty castors.

Next:

Cut 6×2 to any length that takes your fancy.
Cut the 4×2 into shorter bits.
Cut sheet of ply into a corresponding width.

After:

Label your longer planks of wood A and C and your shorter pieces B and D.
Screw part A to shorter part B using the screws provided
Repeat for part C and D
Now screw AB to CD

Well Done, You now have the structural frame.

Finally:

Screw the cut sheet of ply to ABCD
Line three sides of your structure with the 4 x 2 pieces
Turnover and fix castors to underside

Jump in and paddle off.

To learn more about our community projects drop up a line at info@stillgardendistillery.com