Top Places for Prinks this Festive Season
For those who don’t know what ‘Prinks’ are – let us explain. ‘Prinks’ is the short name for pre-drinks before you go on a night out. It’s a word now in the urban dictionary, coined from the student community, who tend to have pre-drinks in their college lodgings, before they go out on the town. But we reckon we should steal it from the students. We’re all about stylish and sassy at Good Food Ireland, so we’re making ‘Prinks’ a thing this Christmas! Let’s face it, this time of year, who doesn’t fancy dressing up to the nines and going to a bar for pre-drinks before you hit the restaurant or club? Cocktails make perfect Prinks. Sip on a classic Martini or something wilder, as the night kicks off. So where are you going to go for your festive Prinks? We know a few good places…
LEMUELS AT CONRAD DUBLIN
Prinks have deffo come to town at Lemuels at Conrad Dublin. An extremely glamorous lounge, with generous leather armchairs and comfy banquettes, plus a chic long bar with high stools, where you can perch to watch the Master Mixologists at work. The name of this bar is inspired by Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, as Lemuel Gulliver traverses through different islands and meets the ‘little people’.
Lemuel’s cocktails have names inspired by that tale. Ship On The Rocks reflects Gulliver’s shipwreck on the island if Lilliput, featuring Havana Rum, Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur, Lime Juice and Sugar Syrup. The Man Mountain was the name the little people of Lilliput gave Gulliver, recreated here in drink form with Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey, Apricot Brandy, Sweet Vermouth and Lemon Juice. Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the book are also represented by two cocktails each, with great names like Cue the Beam and Brobdingnag Sting. Jonathan Swift is also remembered, with cocktails like Writer’s Block and Bickerstaff’s Word, reflecting the personal experiences of the author. There’s also a list of Lemuel’s Masterpieces, featuring a collection of classic cocktails given a Lemuel’s twist, each with a little story behind them. We love them all. Literary Prinks to talk about!
No 27 BAR & LOUNGE AT THE SHELBOURNE
The people at the iconic Shelbourne Hotel on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin say this is the place to see and be seen in the capital. And they are probably right! It’s pretty snazzy in here, with black granite topped bar and leather high chairs, high tables and stools to gather round, huge period sash windows laden with luxurious drapes, roaring fire and ebony Grand Piano in the corner. How swish is that? Cocktails at No. 27 Bar & Lounge are created by fully trained Mixologists who know exactly what goes with what in a glass! The Barrel Collection of cocktails stars a number of mixes made from alcohol aged in wood, with four ‘Vintages’ to choose from.
Vintage No 1 features classic Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey, orange peel infused Buckfast syrup, finished with dried orange peel, served on the rocks. The Signature Cocktail list covers all tastes. Try the seasonal Lost in A Maize, which has popcorn infused Havana 3 Rum, cloudy apple juice, lemon, caramel syrup and Calvados, sprinkled with fresh popcorn. There are Classic Cocktails with a twist, like Tommy Margarita and Sparkling Cocktails topped up with Prosecco. If you don’t happen to be drinking, you won’t feel one bit left out of the Prinks party, with a choice of three superb non-alcoholic mocktails, created with the same creativity and thought.
THE HORSESHOE BAR AT THE SHELBOURNE
This is the longstanding watering hole at The Shelbourne Hotel, with its famous horseshoe shaped bar dominating the centre of the room. As the hotel team say, this has long been Dublin’s number one meeting place. The Horseshoe Bar has seen it all through the years! The name comes from a long association with the hunting and racing set who would sit around the bar and discuss form.
These days, you could meet a celebrity or a politician when you go for Prinks here. The Horseshoe Bar still has the original 1957 design and excels at showcasing the exclusive ‘Whiskey Tasting Flights’ in a guiding tasting of a trio of Irish Whiskeys, led by the expert bartenders. You can also sip on a famous Horseshoe Bar Cocktail or enjoy a choice from the extensive Gin Book Collection. How’s that for smart Prinks?!
DYLAN BAR AND JAPANESE TERRACE AT DYLAN HOTEL
The gleaming brushed steel and copper curved bar and art deco inspired high chairs shout the cocktail era of the 1920’s, at Dylan Bar in Dylan boutique hotel, Dublin. Prinks here include a super selection from the cocktail menu including Pear and Pepper Martini with Absolut Pear, Amaretto, fresh pear and pepper, and Teeling Me Softly, with Teeling Small Batch Whiskey with lychee liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, sugar syrup, fresh ginger and ginger ale. Gin lovers will adore the Gin Old Fashioned, with Plymouth Gin, Rosemary Syrup and Cherry Bitters.
There are many more where these came from! Dylan Bar leads out onto the superb heated Japanese Terrace, so you can have your Prinks out there if you feel inclined. Organise a full Cocktail Party here for your group, with canapes and finger food. Or take your Prinks to the next level with a full-blown Cocktail Masterclass, where the Dylan Mixologist Team will teach you how to shake, muddle and mix some of their most treasured cocktail recipes.
BELLINI’S BAR AT THE MARYBOROUGH HOTEL
Step back 300 years in history with Prinks at Bellini’s Bar at The Maryborough Hotel in the suburbs of Cork City. Once the home of one of the Merchant Princes of Cork, and one of the biggest landed estates in the area. Now a luxury hotel with a fab bar where cocktails abound on the Pre-Dinner Drinks menu.
Treat yourself to a Grey Goose Martini with exclusive Grey Goose vodka, Noilly Prat, and lemon zest, served in an elegant martini glass. Try the Alternative Bellini, with Gin, Peach Puree, Raspberry Puree, lime and sugar syrup, served in a champagne flute. The list goes on. Enjoy your Prinks in this friendly bar with contemporary décor, before maybe going to dinner at the accompanying Bellini’s Restaurant at the hotel. Bar food is also available in Bellini’s Bar.
TERRACE ON THE WEIR AT THE RIVER LEE HOTEL
The all-weather Terrace on the Weir at The River Lee Hotel is the perfect place for Prinks. Close to UCC, you’re right in the University Quarter here, so you’re harking back to the history of the word before you even sip on your first Prink! The Terrace is bedecked with fairy lights, with Donegal Tweed blankets as well as heaters to keep you toasty as you sip. Choose from an extensive list of city inspired cocktails created under the direction of Bar Manager Pierce. Names like The Naughty Detox or Weir Bloody Maria suggest humour in their creation!
Also served is a full wine list and selection of craft brews from Cork, like Blarney Blonde ale and Stonewell Cider. If you fancy a nibble with your Prinks, the Bar & Terrace Menu served all day, includes light bites and nibbles. Or book in advance and choose canapes from the extensive Finger Foods Menu, which has sweet and savoury choices. Alternatively, enjoy Prinks on the terrace as the River Lee babbles by, before taking a table in The Weir Rooms for dinner.