MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a drink this weekend?

Martin Moran looks at an inexpensive new Irish gin...

There was a time when Irish gin meant Cork Dry Gin and that was about it. A couple of brands came and went in the 90s and noughties but premium gins and the Irish versions were no doubt sparked by the success of the UK’s Hendrick and before that to Bombay Sapphire.

Today though we are awash in new brands with around two dozen and it’s growing. Several, will be by new whiskey distilleries looking to get some cashflow while they wait for their whiskey to age. The best known of those is Dingle Gin. One interesting twist on these new gins is Listoke in Drogheda who run a gin school where you can make your own gin in a mini still. listokedistillery.ie for further details.

Most of these new gins are pitched at premium prices of €35-60. One more keenly priced small batch gin well worth trying is Boyle’s Gin, an Aldi exclusive at €24.99, which we’ll try on the show today. It’s made for them by Blackwater distillery and won top prize for ‘Best Gin’ at the Irish Whiskey Awards event run by The Celtic Whiskey Shop last October. More details at blackwaterdistillery.ie/boyles-gin/, who say it features blackcurrants, apples and elderflower alongside the traditional juniper base.

Next week is Australia day on 26th January, which commemorates the day in 1788 when Commodore Arthur Phillip raised the union flag on Sydney Cove in Port Jackson, New South Wales. The indigenous people, of course, don’t see it as a day for celebration.

The original settlers brought vines with them and over 200 years later Australian wines now account for around 20% of the Irish market. The majority are inexpensive simple styles designated as ‘Produce of South Eastern Australia’. This is a pity as there are many excellent unique styles made in more specific regions such as Barossa Shiraz, Claire Valley Riesling, Hunter Valley Semillon, Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, Rutherglen Muscat or Tasmanian sparkling. They cost more but are a worth the extra. On today’s show we’ll taste Yalumba Galway Barossa Shiraz 2013 at €17.95 from thecorkscrew.ie.

Martin Moran MW @winerepublic