The first Irish Cocktail Month ran for the month of October, with any venue in Ireland invited to take part. Dozens of venues from the four provinces got involved, all of them showcasing cocktails made with Irish whiskeys, gins, vodkas and poitíns. 

Once the festival kicked off on October 1st, the public could vote for which venue had the #BestIrishCocktail by using the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and tagging the venue or by posting on the festival Facebook page www.facebook.com/GreatIrishBeverages.

Voting closed on 1st November with the title of Best Irish Cocktail 2018 going to the crew at The Grand Hotel, Fermoy county Cork! 

Their winning cocktail, created by the venue’s leading cocktail whizkid, John Coleman, is called “Bee Right With You” – an incredible celebration of all things local. Made with Blackwater Gin, the winning creation is mixed with house made honey bitters made from the hives of S Bees in Fermoy, and crystallised calendula flower petals from Botanica & Co Fermoy before being set alight. It is then mixed with more of the Fermoy honey, lime juice, lemon juice, a pinch of cinnamon, a splash of premium tonic water and egg white. After being shaken vigorously with ice, it’s then strained into an ice cold martini glass and garnished with a honey tuile and some more calendula petals. 

John Coleman, creator of the winning cocktail, commented “I see cocktail creations not just bringing together ingredients, but businesses as well, both big and small. My ethos is to always use Irish spirits and mixers as your base, and look to your locality for other ingredients, be it the farmer’s market, orchard or fruit farm, bee keeper, herbalist or any other businesses.”

Congratulations to John Coleman and all the team at The Grand Hotel, Fermoy!