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Now I love Gin, and apparently, I'm not alone! Gin is undoubtedly the trendiest of drinks at the minute. New gins continue to pop up from all over, trying for a share of our attention and to satisfy what I think is a huge surge in peoples curiosity about the drink.
Long gone are the days when a vodka was 'A Smirnoff', rum was 'A Bacardi' and gin was 'a Gordon's'. As consumers, we are now feeling much more adventurous when it comes to what we drink. Our minds are looking for eye-widening descriptions and stunning images, premium mixers and even the type of glass we drink from has become a big part of the whole gin experience.
To satisfy this uber curiosity and demand for choice, bars and restaurants have produced their own dedicated menus for the 'Juniper Generation'. Here's my pick of them.
Some of the Best Gin Menus in Belfast
Dedicated to local gins and the distilleries producing them around Ireland, Bert's Signature Serves Irish Gin menu, despite only having a handful on the list, is one of the most impressive you will find. My pick when I was here had to be Boatyard Double Gin (buy now on Amazon*) with Fever Tree Light, pink grapefruit and star anise, a phenomenal drink. If you've just started branching out on your craft gin's try the Listoke 1777. A more subtle mix of citrus and spice served with elderflower tonic, it's great starting point.
Bert's are looking at releasing a new version of the Irish Gin Menu in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for more serves on the way.
Muriel's has easily one of the most comprehensive list of gins anywhere. Brands from Ireland, England, Scotland, USA and the Rest of the World leave you dizzy with choice. But the folks in Muriel's are on hand with expert knowledge, recommendations and a signature serve for every gin they have. Ones to try are a smooth Tanqueray No. Ten (very underrated in my opinion) or one of the Whitley Neill* flavoured gins (Blood Orange is excellent). The range in Muriel's is ever expanding so be sure to ask about any new additions and also about the Juniper Club.
The Tipsy Bird are launching a new version of their gin menu next week. Keeping the same gins but with a variation on the serves and garnishes. It was here where I had my first try of Germany's fantastic Monkey 47*, regarded as one of the most premium of gins. Still fairly new on the scene, enjoy your drink in the Tipsy Bird with live music every night, plus the inside is a quirky as they come.
The John is one of my favourite bars in Belfast. They reserve 8 of their taps for a rotating selection of Irish Craft beers such as Farmageddon, Yardsman, Boundary and Galway Bay. Topping their gin list, understandably, is Jawbox. Gerry White, former Manager in the John Hewitt and founder of Jawbox Gin (buy now on Amazon*) has given Belfast its own pride of place in the modern gin craze. Made with peppery Belfast heather as one of its botanicals, pairing it perfectly with ginger ale. #ThePerfectSwerve as it is now named, is one of the most refreshing gin serves out there, and my own preferred choice.
Also on the list is the mighty navy strength Plymouth Gin at 57% vol. and the classic, never to be forgotten Gordon's also makes an appearance.
Outside of the City Centre, Cutters has become known for its gin selection, themed events and excellent monthly promos. Its a perfect spot right by the river Lagan to enjoy a cool drink on a warm sunny afternoon (hopefully some of these on the way soon). The list is 20+ and includes popular choices like Hendricks, Monkey 47 and Jawbox.
For the full Gin Experience book yourself on The Gin Jaunt
Taste and Tour have launched Northern Ireland's first gin tour, the Gin Jaunt. A tour round Belfast, trying out, learning about and meeting some of the people behind some fab gins. To book a place on the tour go to https://tasteandtour.co.uk/book-now.
A must mention for the Galgorm
The Galgorm Resort & Spa's Cocktail & Gin Bar is located in the hotel's stunning conservatory. Never one to do things by halves, the Galgorm's Gin Library is around 300 strong. They also have a Gin Club for exclusive invites to launches and tastings. The Gin Bar is a great addition to a fantastic hotel and well worth a visit even if you're not staying over, just be sure to leave the car behind!
More Menus on the Way
Gin Menus in Belfast are increasing all the time. So there will be a "5 more great gin menus..." as this is just the tip of the ice cube (see what I did there!..).
If you've a suggestion of your own why not drop me a comment below and share your favourites with us!
“I grew up and live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. On my blog, I share with you my huge passion for Northern Ireland food and drink, along with the odd ramble about anything else that happened to come to mind!”