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img_5771Its that time of year again when everyone hunts for, or just assumes they have a bit of an Irish in them so that they can get involved and enjoy the festivities associated with March 17, and I’m no exception – although my dad was Northern Irish and my wife’s family are from both the North and South of Ireland so have a few creds on the Emerald Isle. But, Irish drinks are appropriate for more than one day a year… let’s take a look at how you can enjoy them a little bit more. 

Soft drink producers of over a hundred and thirty years, Franklin & Sons, have kindly sent me a literal hamper of ginger ale and ginger beer to try with three superb Irish drinks:

O’Hara’s Leann Folláin Extra Irish Stout

Shortcross Gin and

Bushmills Irish Whiskey

In their words;

Dating back to Victorian London Franklin & Sons has always had a passion for original, great tasting drinks. 130 years later their success is celebrated in today’s range, which combines the finest quality ingredients specially sourced from around the world.

I won’t lie to you, I’m a huge fan of a good stout, and it is definitely my beer style of choice but I had never even for a minute thought of adding ginger beer to it, though in the spirit of trying their recipes out and getting into the proverbial spirit I duly had a go.

Sitting in my office (as you will see in the photos) on a surprisingly bright, yet crisp Monday afternoon recently I poured half a glass of O’Hara’s Leann Folláin Extra Irish Stout, and topped up the rest of the glass with Franklin & Sons Ginger Beer. 

As I stared at the drink to begin with, I was confused as I expected it to be a little more effervescent than it was, nonetheless I nosed it and subsequently drank it (and another) I was impressed; tonnes of ginger (obviously) but the chocolatey, milky, malty aromas from the beer shone through loud and proud, cutting through the gingerness to make this a very enjoyable drink to celebrate and to sit with. The chocolate notes especially are fantastic, and the nice short finish is perfect.

Nice pairing Franklin & Sons!

Next up is… Franklin & Sons Ginger Ale with Bushmills Irish Whiskey

A change of vessel for this one… ISO glass, and why not.

This is something I’m more used to; whiskey ginger is a go to for me when chilling out at home and was happy enough to try it with a whiskey I’ve not previously mixed with and, similar to the above, was impressed with how the ginger ale did its thing, but the spirit shined through significantly enough to hold its own and dominate the flavour profile more than expected.

For me this is the simplest of drinks, but also one of the nicest of long drinks to be had, not a cocktail per se, but a long drink that you can enjoy, will not overpower you and will leave you feeling refreshed.

Finally we have the Shortcross Gin & Ginger

This is a new one on me, used to G&T, gin in various cocktails but with ginger; not tried it before. The result was a really aromatic, enjoyable drink that I must say was nice and gave a different twist to the established G&T.

My favourite was definitely the stout and ginger beer of the three, but all very, very enjoyable.

All in all I really enjoyed my cocktail flight, and it has definitely made me appreciate more how mixing simple flavours can create interesting drinks that us amateur mixologists can achieve at home.

The Franklin & Sons range is available from Selfridges, Harrods and various places online for around £1.25 – £1.50 per 200ml bottle.

Thanks to Franklin & Sons for sending the hamper, have genuinely enjoyed trying your wares and your flavour compositions. 

 

 

 

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