Shake up your next shindig with Irish Kitchen Cocktails
Irish Kitchen Cocktails: 60 Drinks You Can Make at Home with Everyday Equipment is the first book from Oisín Davis but it’s one that he has been brewing for quite some time. From club promoter to brand owner, Oisín has over 20 years of experience in the bar and drinks industry. Now he’s bringing that knowledge into Irish homes with his new book, Irish Kitchen Cocktails.
“For the first decade of my life, I lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. Every Sunday, my Irish-American father would take me, my brother and my sister to the cinema and then to an Irish pub on Westside Avenue called the Park Tavern. We’d hang out with all the other Jersey City Irish kids, and that’s where the cultural indoctrination began. Photos of the Chieftains and JFK adorned the walls of the bar. The aroma of Guinness and whiskey permeated the place. It was a weekly patriotic feast for all the senses and schooling on the importance of all things Ireland.”
“After we moved to Ireland, I got a job in a local pub as soon as I was allowed to and my love for hospitality was born. As the years went by, my appreciation for the quality of the spirits we produce here intensified and I began to ask where the love was for our Irish-made drinks in our bars, hotels & restaurants. Why was the chef on the telly so keen about cooking Irish salmon but then recommending a French wine to pair with it? Why would a restaurant note the Irish provenance of so many of their dishes but have zero Irish drinks products behind their bar? Why weren’t cocktail bars mixing up Irish whiskeys or gins for their signature drinks? All these shenanigans were keeping me up at night, so I created my drinks consultancy, Great Irish Beverages, with the sole aim to promote, produce and publicise Irish-made drinks.”
In Irish Kitchen Cocktails, Oisín demystifies cocktails and shows you how good they are using Irish drinks and spirits while also highlighting how easy they are to make with the most commonly found kitchen items that you probably already have at home, no special bartending kit required.
Oisín is on a one-man mission with this book to showcase the variety of top-quality drinks we have here in Ireland. Oisín says, “For centuries, Ireland has been home to some of the best distilleries on the planet. They have created countless jobs and sustained the farmers who grow their distilling grains. Initially, that was just whiskey, but now we’re also creating incredible Irish gin, poitín, vodka, rum, liqueur, mead, vermouth and fruit distillates. In the same way that the Spanish know their Riojas and the Germans know their native beers, we should be up to speed with our Irish spirits. Understanding the basics of cocktails will allow you to explore these Irish spirits in delicious ways.”
Oisín sprinkles the book with fun personal anecdotes throughout. For example, he reminisces about the legendary Synge Street summer block parties in his recipe for a Synger Minger Surprise punch bowl. Oisín’s friend Sally sounds like serious craic, so much so that he has named a special hangover cure cocktail in her name, Sally’s Birthday Bloody Mary.
Every season and party is catered for, from crowd-pleasing punches and emergency gatecrasher cocktails to winter hand warmers and some ultra-cool classics. The ‘Frozen Blender Cocktails’ chapter takes a smoothie maker to a higher purpose with the likes of Frozen Jameson, Ginger Ale and Lime, Frozen Poitín Piña Colada and Frozen Club Orange Gin Fizz, while all of the recipes in the ‘Fridge Door Cocktails’ chapter, such as the All-Irish Old-Fashioned or The Emerald, can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. And for those times when you want something sweet to sip, there’s an entire chapter of Irish cream dessert cocktails, including an Irish Cream Espresso Martini and Five Farms Frozen Mochaccino.
Oisín will be appearing around the country in the coming weeks with a series of Irish Kitchen Cocktails pop-ups. He’ll be teaming up with Cask on MacCurtain Street in Cork; Taylors Bar in Galway; and Industry & Co on Drury Street in Dublin to give a taste of Irish Kitchen Cocktails and to sign his book.
Irish Kitchen Cocktails by Oisín Davis is available from the 5th of October, €18, from all good
bookshops and many independent retailers around the country