Sunflower

One of the nice things about autumn is that I no longer have to spend every spare moment weeding and watering (albeit admittedly I’m not quite free of these duties just yet). Instead, I can shift my efforts onto harvesting the fruits of our labour in the community garden, indulging in autumn’s bounty of produce.

Blackberries foraging Harvest

Us Social Botanists have also been busy these last few weeks in nature’s larder, foraging alexanders seeds, rowan berries, blackberries, elderberries, sloes, rosehips, and even water mint. Not only has this provided more ingredients for Alan and Luke to experiment with for upcoming, inevitably delicious drinks, but some of these are also used in our existing products as well. Rowan berries feature in the bottled Cosmo, as well as in our Distillers Edition Gin, and blackberries are a key ingredient in the Berrissimo aperitif. Additionally, visitors to our Academy Sessions have therefore been treated to seasonal and locally foraged botanicals over the past month to build the flavour of their unique spirit.

In the garden we’ve been harvesting blueberries, rhubarb, fennel seeds, potatoes, and nettle, as well as saving the seeds of our annual wildflowers (cornflowers, poppies, knapweed, yarrow, marigolds, burdock, oxeye daisy) to ensure that we get another striking wildflower patch for our pollinators next year. The seed harvest has been extensive, so we’ll be able to share some Stillgarden wildflower seeds throughout the community, further increasing Dublin’s biodiversity and broadening integral pollinator corridors.

Harvest There is more harvesting still to be done, with our stevia, burdock, dandelion, community carrots, potatoes, squash, and corn needing a little more time before they’re ready to fledge their roots. Not all of our foraged treats are for consumption either, as I’ve collected some of the seeds from the elderberries, wild rose, cherries, and rowan to hopefully raise in the garden next year. Some water mint is (hopefully) rooting on our sunny windowsill, and we were kindly given some rosemary and spearmint cuttings by two members of our community that will set us off running next year.

Autumn’s harvest can sometimes feel like it’s all take, take, take from our wild spaces and gardens. Whilst this is perhaps a refreshing change from the seemingly perpetual energy expended on weeding and plant care over the summer, it’s important to prepare ourselves and our landscapes for the next season of growth once the frosts have passed. Gardening may be tiring at times, but is there a better focal point to direct your energy at than helping something to grow into a beautiful flower? Especially when that flower is delicious? I’m yet to be proven otherwise.

Don’t forget to give your sunflowers a hug goodbye.

 

Con

Gin

Old Tom

Throughout history, vice has been the mother of humanity’s greatest inventions. May we present the Puss & Mew – the world’s first ever alcohol vending machine! In this particular case, the vice was gin, the tipple of choice of the early 18th century.

England’s Gin Act of 1736 had made it much harder to sell alcohol, with licenses costing £50 (over £7,000 / €8,000 in today’s value). Paid informers would buy illegal gin, report it to the police, and pocket the fine.

To get around this, an enterprising man by the name of Captain Dudley Bradstreet came up with a hack to sell gin: the Puss & Mew, also known as Bradstreet’s Cat or Old Tom.

After scrutinising the Gin Act, he realized that it gave the police no authority to enter a building, relying instead on informers to catch a gin seller. He enlisted a lawyer friend to rent a house, then mounted a statue of a cat on an outside wall.

An aspiring drinker would ask the statue “Puss, do you have any gin?” The statue would meow, and a small drawer would open in its mouth where the drinker would insert coins. The gin would then flow out of a pipe in the cat’s paw.

There were no mechanics involved, but rather Bradstreet would stand concealed behind the cat, taking the money and pouring the gin down the pipe. Informers could not see who had sold them the gin. When the police questioned the lawyer, he refused to reveal the identity of the mysterious occupant, claiming it was part of an ongoing court case.

Driven by an ambition to do things differently, Co Founder of Stillgarden Distillery Pat O’Brien spent four months creating Old Tom from recycled mahogany. We can finally introduce our own Old Tom, the newest addition to Stillgarden Distillery. This exact recreation is currently the only working model known to exist in the world. You can now take a trip back in time and for €6 you can enjoy the thrill of a tipple from the Old Tom’s paw.

 

Now available from the distillery during opening hours with the option to relax with your G&T on our covered terrace at a Garden Session.

Bar Kit

With the rise in at-home drinking and companies looking to make a profit off the back of it, there is a good chance that it is fairly overwhelming going online to shop for equipment for your home bar. After all, all you wanted to make was a martini/whiskey sour and now you’re sat there with an ultrasonic diffuser spitting bubble gum essence into the air and a three-piece French shaker that you can’t open no matter how many times you dry your hands on the kitchen towel.

It is something we get asked a lot here at the distillery when people swing buy to purchase their booze. We thought we’d throw down a few notes on the essentials to get you through that dinner party you said you would love to host and is now actually two days away and you’re in trouble.

 

1. A Barspoon

 

Cheap, necessary and so handy. Please enjoy this video of the incorrigible Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo in New York finally giving this wee scrap of metal its due diligence in around 3 minutes flat. Watching this is guaranteed to up your gin and tonic game.

 

 

2. Two Piece Shaker (Tin on Tin)

Not always extremely aesthetically pleasing but a hardy piece of kit that will never let up.

Often people tend to shimmy toward the Boston glass kit but this way madness lies, dropping it after your eighth Espresso Martini of the evening will lead to glass shards littering your floor and infiltrating your socks for many weeks afterwards, it’s not worth it. Trust.

Extremely simple to use and capable of surviving whatever poor treatment it will no doubt endure during its lifetime the humble Tin on Tin is a must have for any blossoming home bar. The large tin also doubles as a mixing glass. To use you simply need to add ice, your ingredients and smash the tins together. Releasing the tins requires a quick slap to the side of the top tin. Which leads me to my next essential piece of kit for an ice-chip free drink.

 

3. Hawthorne Cocktail Strainer & Fine Strainer

 

 

Crystal clear drinks are exactly that: free of ice crystals. Using your Hawthorne strainer in your freshly shaken tin and the fine strainer above your glass will prevent unnecessary shards/muddled ingredients getting in the way of your final presentation and the funnel-like shape of the fine strainer allows for easier pouring into narrower glassware.

 

4. A Sharp Knife

 

For the love of God please treat yourself to a sharp knife and spare yourself nightmarish times trying to cut wedges/twists/etc with a blunt dinner knife. The trusty Victorinox serrated knives never go astray as a handy do all. You’ll be staggered by the precision you can achieve with a sharp knife.

 

5. Graduated Jigger

 

Cocktail recipes often come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, a graduated jigger with both oz and mls will take so much of the pain out of the process and also allow you to accurately build your drink in your tin/glass. It might look miserly in bars when the staff are using jiggers to pour your drink but they are the only thing that keeps things consistent and your favourite drink tasting the same every time.

 

With minimal cost and more importantly minimal effort you can collect this small kit to get you started making great drinks at home with delicious spirits you buy from coughLOCALcough spirits companies. As always if you have any further questions or want to swing by Stillgarden Distillery and get an in person run down on how to use all the above mentioned equipment we are happy to help.

 

Looking to up your cocktail game even further? Book a Cocktail Masterclass and learn how to craft some of our ground-breaking cocktails with one of our liquid experts. First you can enjoy an complimentary welcome drink, then you’ll get to create two signature drinks, learn the history of distillation and see a demonstration of the state of the art equipment used within the distillery. After the tour, feel free to relax on our covered terrace with the beautiful drinks you’ve created!

 

Here’s to the weekend,

 

Al xo

Social Botanists

There has been lots of new life in the garden this past month. Ladybird larvae have become their adult form; damselflies dart across the air like neon lights; bees have been buzzing, foraging, and snoozing; wild poppies have bloomed, their petals floating away with the slightest rise of wind. With outdoor service and Garden Sessions restarting, we’ve been able to see first-hand the joy the garden brings to the community, and to our pollinator friends.

Some of our garden botanicals became ready to harvest too. Anise was first up. Its large seed pods can be found to the left of the Stillgarden sign, underneath mustard seeds, and above some English lavender. Aniseeds will go into the Distillery for the Distilling Academy for people to make their own spirits with this produce from the garden.

Caraway was next, and with four caraway plants in the garden, there were plenty of seeds to collect. The seeds can be used as a dry ingredient in gin, so we’ll certainly be putting them to good use!

Our lavender bank is now in full bloom, and it’s also the time of year that mint starts to flower. Whilst very pretty, mint loses some of its essential, fragrant oils when it flowers, so I’ll be pinching them off when they appear. These two quintessential ingredients to our Social Gin are nearing their peak growth, so we will soon be harvesting them for the next batch. We have lavender farther up the garden too, and one member of the community recently asked me if the type growing was “super lavender.” Stillgarden Super Lavender has a nice ring to it.

We’ve also harvested some dandelion root and strawberries, and I personally have been using the spinach and rocket as salad leaves for my lunches. There is plenty more floral activity in the garden beyond being tasty in a bagel, with cornflower, chrysanthemum, vetch, fumitory, ox-eye daisy, nasturtium, lemon thyme, and many different types of poppies all in bloom. Our Social Botanists have been hard at work with weeding and planting, so there will be something new growing every time you visit.

Further afield from Stillgarden Distillery, the Social Botanists and I met for a foraging morning at Landsdowne Valley Park where we collected quite the array of goodies. Blackberry leaf, blackberry flowers and buds, meadowsweet, limeflower and cherries are among some of the treasures we found last Saturday. We’re loving the turnout at Social Gardening Hours every Saturday, if you’re looking to join our community of Social Botanists, click here to sign up, we’d love to have you growing and foraging with us!

Your friendly neighbourhood forager and gardener,

Connor

Social Gin

First there was Genever, the juniper-based national spirit of the Netherlands from which Gin gets its name.

Genever still exists today in young and old forms and is delicious unto itself. Gin first exploded in popularity during the Gin Craze in the first half of the 18th century, not because it was delicious, but rather it was affordable and accessible. Nowadays, and since the turn of the century, Gin has found new heights with spirits producers exploring and introducing more exciting and exotic flavours.

 

With Gin comes juniper, and is a must for gin to be… well gin. The most familiar and popular style is London Dry, with Juniper leading the charge and in the driver’s seat – a piney, tangy, and often a little citrusy style that most associate as the synonymous profile of modern gin. With the renewed interest and exploration of the category, producers began pushing the boundaries, with some producers even moving away from juniper to lead with other flavours.

Inevitably, with the coming of what is essentially Gin Craze part 2, other white spirit producers have turned to the enormous range of aromatic and flavourful botanicals and now you can find botanical vodkas, rums and even non-alcoholic beverages in your local off-license.

Defying the Category

 

So what other botanical spirits are out there and what’s new?

Well botanicals are nothing new to booze. In fact, the advent of botanical alcohol began as medicinal concoctions. The sex-glutted nobles of ancient Rome steeped their fruits and herbs in wine for restorative properties, and later the monks of the middle ages began using spirits instead of wine, sometimes using upwards of 130 herbs and spices! Some of these have stood the test of time, albeit modernly refined, like Benedictine and Chartreuse and even mulled wine and sangria.

We’re at a turning point where gin has re-exposed an appetite for botanical booze, but not necessarily the Juniper-led spirit we’ve all come to know and love. Now we have cross-category defying botanical spirits leading the charge. No/Low Alcohol botanical spirits, like our Give & Take, experimental koji spirits, botanical poitín, and exotic native spirits are just some of what we’re seeing today. 

Exciting times lie ahead for botanical boozers. It seems that juniper may have found a new place in the back seat but it’s gin we have to thank.

That’s all from me on Gin. Looking forward to seeing you all at Garden Sessions this Saturday to celebrate World Gin Day, where you can taste all of Stillgarden’s botanical and fruitful gins. You’ll even find a limited release gin made exclusively for the occasion!

 

Luke

 

Interested in making your own unique botanical spirt? Visit our Distilling Academy and design your own personal recipe with over 120 botanicals to choose from ranging from the traditional to the obscure. You’ll leave with a your own bottle of spirit (full strength but you can also make a low or no abv) distilled by you!

 

Social Botanists

Hi there, Connor here. I’m delighted to share that I’ve been promoted from Social Botanist and Friendly Neighbourhood Forager to the new Gardener in Residence here at Stillgarden. It’s been great to have more time to get involved with the Community Garden, get my hands covered in soil and meet some new social botanists so our delicious botanicals can flourish.

Social Botanists

Our Community Garden in Inchicore, Dublin 8 is filled with different species of cultivated and wild flowers, herbs and trees and is visited by a variety of pollinators and wildlife daily. Since we celebrated National Biodiversity Week last week, I thought I’d share with you what you can expect to see when you visit Stillgarden Distillery

 

The top of the garden by Tyrconnell Road remains a wildflower haven, making sure that there is plenty of choice for our pollinators beyond what we humans like in our drinks. Creeping Buttercup is a pretty flower, but unfortunately has an invasive root system that likes to dominate the more delicate roots of herbs. It is still important for pollination, so up here is where it can plantspread. Our Calendula, otherwise known as marigolds, are in sunny bloom, recognisable as large daisies that look like they’ve been stained orange. They’re surrounded by a delicate bed of Speedwell, which are small blue flowers from the Veronica genus. They make quite the couple.

We also have plenty of wild mustard, flowering brassicas and dandelion. Dandelion is often seen as a weed, but in addition to its roots being great for a yummy, caffeine-free coffee replacement, pollinators love the flowers too! Blowing the seeds away from a dandelion clock grants wishes (allegedly) and those tasty roots also greatly improve soil quality. What a team player!

 

In addition to providing a habitat for botanicals to grow in a former area of wasteland in Goldenbridge Industrial Estate, we also work with Clever Honey Ireland to provide a safe home for bees on the distillery’s rooftop. We have introduced the native black honey bee to the distillery grounds and love having them on site to help naturally pollinate the local area and our garden.

As a few of us were working away in the garden over the weekend, we were visited by a mason bee, a solitary but efficient pollinator. Along with bumblebees, hoverflies, our native black honey bee residents, and of course our social botanists, we have quite the team of pollinators hard at work.  Now’s the perfect time to visit our garden as we begin to plant what has been cultivated at home by our social botanists. Book your Garden Session now if you would like a guided garden tour along with a refreshing Stillgarden libation on our terrace afterward. 

If you have anything you’d like to contribute to our garden, we’d be delighted to have you growing with us (and so will those happy bees)!

Your new Gardener in Residence, 

Connor

 

To learn more or sign up to become a Social Botanists click here. Don’t forget to keep up with the latest happenings in the Community Garden – follow our Social Botanists on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Of all of the botanicals used in Gin distillation few come with the infamy and in fact necessity of Coriander Seed. It has a contentious history from a mention in the Old Testament (great read if you haven’t got around to it) right the way through to being splayed across Billboards over the world as soapy, evil bullshit as a result of a bizarre genetic trait that some of us possess to pick up on aldehydes. Put simply, it is about as confusing a plant as the decision for Kanye West to run for American president.

What is Coriander?

For starters, the name itself is derived from its smell (apparently) rather than its medicinal value or flavour. Coming from the word Koros (insect) or Koriannon (bug) in Greek. At times we struggle to come up with names for products here in the distillery but this is really a stretch. What insect delights the nostrils with that citrus and spice heavy blend that is released when you crush a coriander seed because we want to try it.

Rare it is that you try a gin from anywhere in the world and it does not possess this humble seed, the staple of many of the world’s most famous London Dry styles alongside Juniper, the complexity and depth of its oils and esters are incredibly useful tool for highlighting citrus or rounding out savoury recipes.

To get a wee bit geeky about it the second major component of the seed is a thing called alpha-pinene which we spoke about before being heavily prominent in Juniper; making them excellent bedfellows. The vast majority of the rest of its structure is linalool (sometimes up to 70% it is a floral and spicy terpene alcohol. It is found in over 200 plants such as citrus fruits and lavender. Concentrations of linalool above 20 ppb have been shown to give a fruity hoppy aroma to beer) and also gamma-terpinene (about 10%) which gives that prominent and pleasing lemon-y flavour.

Coriander and Our Gin

Coriander

All of our gin at Stillgarden Distillery possess this plucky little botanical that could in some shape or fashion but none more so than our Distiller’s Edition which champions it alongside Juniper and Citrus peel for that slightly more traditional Gin feel and flavour and don’t worry, it’s not going to be like rinsing your mouth out with soap as often that really only comes from the leaf of the plant.

To set you at ease we found one of our Social Botanists Kate who has the aforementioned gene and asked for a quote. Don’t worry she didn’t even sign up to the newsletter so she won’t read this. We’ve even had her drink some of our products that contain Coriander and she didn’t notice but when brought face to face with a salad containing fresh leaves she said “this just tastes like soap.”

So fret not and don’t let a fear of aldehyde-laden gin prevent you from going softly into that good night.

All the best,

Al x

Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes are Bullshit. Your palate knows you better than anyone could. This is a pretty sensationalist title but what difference between that and companies shouting at you that their whiskey is the smoothest, their gin that can inspire moments of tropical havens or their vodka tasting like an iceberg. What good are these errant thoughts of marketing companies designed to play on wishful thinking or ideal living when you are stuck with the palate that you are born with and have trained to like certain things through simple repetition and experience.

The truth is that tasting notes are a necessary evil to give people an idea of what they are getting themselves into but the heavy skew towards disruptive flavour notes and memory based recollection has led ultimately to the alienation of many people who would otherwise investigate the burgeoning category of ‘craft’ spirits or drinks, in general. All of us can recall a time at a bar overhearing some person attempt to melt either a first date or a bartender’s ear about their vast ability to detect minute impressions and notes held so secretly by their New Zealand Savvy B, hated that person and looked down on your flavourless beer and breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Friends, it doesn’t have to be this way. I promise. Let’s look a little closer at how your body generally perceives flavours and then tie that back to why tasting notes exist in the first place as a means to guide rather than overcomplicate the whole process of having a drink with friends. Let’s discuss taste first. 

TASTE

What is generally categorized as “taste” is basically a bundle of different sensations: it is not only the qualities of taste perceived by the tongue, but also the smell, texture and temperature of a meal/drink that are important. The “colouring” of a taste happens through the nose. Only after taste is combined with smell is a food’s flavour produced. If the sense of smell is impaired, by a stuffy nose for instance, perception of taste is usually dulled as well. Try eating or drinking something you are extremely familiar with whilst holding your nose and a lot of the enjoyment is going to be diminished.

Like taste, our sense of smell is also closely linked to our emotions. This is because both senses are connected to the involuntary nervous system. That is why a bad taste or odour can bring about vomiting or nausea. And flavours that are appetizing increase the production of saliva and gastric juices, making them truly mouth watering. Mouth watering maybe but not sexy definitely. People who have an aversion to the smell of Parmesan Cheese often can’t explain it but it’s potentially because it shares many of the same properties as vomit/baby sick and the recollection of such traumatic events veers your brain away from wanting more of it. I mean, I get it.

Now that we are on board with the idea of emotion, experience and flavours you have come into contact with in the past adjusting how you perceive liquid in a glass or food on a plate; we can at least understand why brands often lead with these grandiose experiences of sipping cocktails on beaches in the sun or guffawing your way through pints of the black stuff in quiet pubs with your nearest and dearest. It’s a not so subtle attempt to arouse desire in your proverbial loins. Ooooh.

At a base level what is it we taste then:

Based on the information that is transported from the tongue to the brain, there are thought to be at least five basic qualities of taste. The basic tastes are:

Sweet

What we perceive as sweetness is usually caused by sugar and its derivatives such as fructose or lactose. But other types of substances can also activate the sensory cells that respond to sweetness. These include, for example, some protein building blocks like amino acids, and also alcohols in fruit juices or alcoholic drinks. Caraway is an interesting botanical that is found in Stillgarden Social Gin. Once distilled it imparts an inherent sweetness into spirit even though sugar does not make it through the distillation process.

Sour

It is mostly acidic solutions like lemon juice or organic acids that taste sour. This sensation is caused by hydrogen ions split off by an acid dissolved in a watery solution. Fermentation can also often have a souring effect, think Sauerkraut or yogurt (Lactic Acid). As you can see the world of alcohol creation is pretty romantic in its terminology.

Salty

Food containing table salt is mainly what we taste or recognise as salty. The chemical basis of this taste is salt crystal, which consists of sodium and chloride. Mineral salts like the salts of potassium or magnesium can also cause a sensation of saltiness.

Bitter

Bitter taste is brought about by many fundamentally different substances. In total there are about 35 different proteins in the sensory cells that respond to bitter substances. From an evolutionary standpoint, this can be explained by the many different bitter species of plants, some of which were poisonous. Recognizing which ones were indeed poisonous was a matter of survival. The evolution of the food and drink world has taken an odd turn in that people now hunt out this feeling at often obscene levels massively Hoppy IPAs or Insane Hot Sauces with Scoville’s in the millions are prime examples. 

Savoury

The “umami” taste, which is somewhat similar to the taste of a meat broth, is usually caused by glutamic acid or aspartic acid. These two amino acids are part of many different proteins found in food, and also in some plants. Ripe tomatoes, meat and cheese all contain a lot of glutamic acid. Asparagus, for example, contains aspartic acid. Chinese cuisine uses glutamate, the glutamic acid salt, as flavour enhancers. This is done to make the savoury taste of foods more intense. This is basically the reason that once you pop you can’t stop with Pringles: MSG. If you like truffle cheese chips try throwing some MSG on top of them and prepare yourself for an uninterrupted trip to flavour town.

 

Tasting Notes

 

God love you if you have read this far and I suppose you’re going to want a summation of what it all means to you. The premise of all of this is that the weight people put in tasting notes being what they SHOULD find is a beyond broken ideal, sure you might find orange peel or juniper in that gin but the first rains of spring are going to be really hard to decipher if you’ve grown up in Dubai. In essence, it’s fine to explore food/drinks and not be in line with the perception of so called experts’ tasting notes as long as the product resonates with you. Knowing a little more about how all these factors influence your ability to dissect flavour might help you have a little more faith in yourself when you like a Gin for reasons your friends can’t understand — it’s because none of us experience life the same way.

 

All the best,

 

Al

 

Interesting stuff:

Taste benefited early humans by indicating which foods were safe for consumption. Sweetness signalled foods with calories for energy, while sourness could indicate the presence of vitamin C; bitter foods were potentially poisonous, whereas salty foods contain important minerals and other nutrients.

We can thank Demeter, the goddess of fruitfulness and fertility, for this time of year. Spring, a time where green shoots pop up from the ground and lambs gamble through lush glades. I do not condone gambling, even when its amongst the bovine community; but regardless, it can perhaps be seen as a time to be reborn. An opportunity to raise our heads t’ward the sun and bask in its warm glow.

I have been shifting topsoil up in Stillgarden’s Community Garden like it’s going out of fashion. Kindly sourced by Pat, the soil now covers the slope that leads to the lazy Camac river at the foot of the garden, an area longing to be cleaned up and brought into use. Members of my family helped prepare wild seed bombs with air dry clay, and they have been liberally spread along the area to aid the bees that will soon be busy again as they buzz back and forth to our hives.

Social Botanist Project

Our Social Botanist Project is in full swing, and the first of the hydroponic kits have arrived and been planted. Soon the area will be awash with colour and all the plants will ready to be harvested and find their way into our wonderful beverages. This will coincide with a socially distanced tipple at Stillgarden Distillery for all those plucky planters that have helped in the process. I cannot wait!

 

The wonderful folk up at the BERA Hall donated 10 bags of mulch toward the garden last week, and we made it a family day out! The family that spreads mulch together stays together, I really do spoil them in fairness! I came across some dead tree branches and painted them with white paint in an attempt to be a bit arty. I like them, and a fantastic member of the community has decorated them with Easter eggs, a lovely gesture indeed!

 

 

Anyway, as the great Black Sabbath song goes..

“My life was empty, forever on a down
Until you took me, showed me around
My life is free now, my life is clear
I love you sweet leaf, though you can’t hear
Oh, yeah baby!”

Until next time….keep rockin

Neal

Boss Lady

Happy International Women’s Day to all of the women warriors out there! Whether it be a friend, a sister, a mother, a colleague or a mentor, show them how much you value their support and admire their hustle. Today, we’re highlighting five strong and talented Boss Ladies who inspire us. Get to know the lovely ladies we work with daily.

Federica Meli – Bucket of Cheese

Boss LadiesBucket of Cheese was founded by Federica Meli in 2020. A wonderful product of lockdown that we are so lucky to have in our Dublin 8 neighbourhood. Originally from Italy, Federica has been living in Ireland for the past 20 years. She describes food like a religion and in Federica’s eyes food is love and it brings people together. We can agree that there’s nothing better than a table full of food surrounded with family and friends! After working in hospitality for 20 years, with lots of grit and passion, she decided to start her own business and Bucket of Cheese was born. 

 

Federica supplies cheese, cured meats, tiramisu and all the goodness that goes with it for any occasion. She makes fresh hummus and chutney using the delicious ingredients growing in her garden while also supporting local farmers and businesses. She’s even mastered a tiramisu, Stillgarden style with the help of our Spent-spresso Martini! The charcuterie board boxes are a real crowd pleaser at our Distilling Academy Sessions and are now available online for a lovely at home treat. ​We are always in awe of Federica’s spirit of adventure when it comes to her food and her commitment to sustainable practices and our community is inspiring. Bucket of Cheese will bring a little taste of Italy straight to your door. Try all of Federica’s locally sourced, artisan products, and homemade recipes here. There’s something for everyone!

Helena Vukovic – The Flourless Baker 

Flourless BakerHailing from the beautiful country of Croatia, Helena first moved to Ireland 5 years ago. Helena was never a big baker but being Coeliac, she always found it challenging to find nice treats that she could have. Now, she brings tasty and flavoursome gluten free desserts to Dublin and beyond!  

During lockdown Helena took it upon herself to start experimenting with some Gluten Free dessert recipes so she could finally indulge her sweet tooth “almost” guilt free. This sparked an inner natural talent and from there Helena continued baking and developing recipes so she could share.  From this The Flourless Baker was born. Helena continues to amaze us with her creativity and drive. All of her Gluten Free goodies are handmade in D8 and we just can’t get enough, especially of the Stillgarden O’MARO Fudge

Helena now has a permanent stall in the Herbert Park Market every Sunday from 11am to 4pm where you can also get your hands on all of her delicious flourless treats when it reopens. We are also selling a 4 pack of sweet treats from the Flourless Baker to add onto our gift boxes options this March. If you are looking for a variety of Gluten Free treats that are also Vegan friendly, we can assure you The Flourless Baker will not disappoint. You can find delicious recipes here. 

Claire Buckley – Buck & Hound

Buck & Hound

Claire Buckley is the Boss Lady behind The Creative and Earnest Agency, Buck & Hound. Buck & Hound is a creative and hard-working PR, social, design and events consultancy based in Dublin. Claire is dedicated and enthusiastic in all she does and believes without passion, nothing truly ground-breaking can be accomplished.

“Being a woman in charge or ‘Boss Lady’, whatever your industry, comes with a certain level of responsibility. You have the unique privilege of defining a working culture by leading from within and by example. I have always been a firm advocate of the Kindness Economy,” says Claire. 

So how did Claire get here? After freelancing part time and working from her home office, her client base quickly grew. Claire expanded her team, from what had started out as just herself and her trusty pooch, Stella by her side. Buck & Hound was born in 2016 as a result, with one goal in mind: To create a nurturing and exciting environment that produces work for incredible clients that share her values. Claire and her dynamic team are such a joy to work with. Their commitment and expertise is unrivalled which makes for the perfect partnership. 

Emma Devlin – Rascals Brewing

Rascals BreweryRascals Brewing Company was founded in 2014 by Boss Lady Emma Devlin and her husband Cathal O’Donoghue. They were living and working in New Zealand when they developed a passion for the booming Kiwi craft beer industry. Their entrepreneurial spirit led them back to Dublin where they decided to open a craft brewery of their own. Emma worked in environmental science before she made the move to join Cathal in running the Rascals Brewing Company and we’re sure glad she did! 

They have since opened their headquarters in Inchicore, now our next-door neighbours and home to their pizza restaurant, on site off licence, taproom and brewery. If you’re looking to broaden your tastes, we recommend you try Rascals’ twist on traditional beer styles. You’ll be surprised what amazing options you’ll find in their off licence from Chardonnay Saisons to Milkshake Stouts. Next time you’re visiting be sure to check out our neighbours and enjoy Rascals pizza and beer you won’t find anywhere else but Inchicore. View their full range here.

Viki Baird – Stillgarden Distillery  

Stillgarden Boss LadiesViki Baird is Stillgarden’s one and only Boss Lady, known for her hustle, vitality and dynamic character. We even named a gin in her honour! Boss Lady gin is just as spirited and peachy as she is, created to celebrate all of the strong, victorious women out there like her. Viki motivates her team daily and without her courage and bravery she would not be where she is today. 

After years of experience in different industries in multiple roles, Viki knew she was ready to do something completely unique. With her new found adventurous spirit, thanks to her husband Pat, and strong determination the duo started the Stillgarden project in August of 2019 and haven’t looked back since. Viki feels fortunate to have built a great team to bring the project to fruition and looks forward to building on their success in the bright future ahead. Try our socially sourced spirits made by and for curious individuals at Dublin’s Independent Experimental Distillery we know and love as Stillgarden Distillery.

Join us in celebrating women everywhere today, and every day this International Women’s Day. To help support women everywhere even further, €2 from every Boss Lady bottle and €3 from every Boss Lady Gift Box sold will be donated to Women’s Aid. Shop Boss Lady gin here.