The 15 Series, Week 3: 15 Seasonal Sips For Winter

ely restaurants celebrates its 15th birthday this year and each week, The 15 Series brings you 15 tips on topics such as food, wine, culture, lifestyle, craft beer and more!

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15 Seasonal Sips For Winter

As winter approaches, tropical fruits, rosés and lighter beers move over for robust reds, fuller whites, apples, cinnamon and warming drinks. Here are 15 craft beers, cocktails and wines to enjoy this season.

1. Pietra 

An intriguing Corsican amber beer with sweet chestnut flavours, this tipple is a nice one for winter as it also has a touch of spice and citrus. These spices, combined with nuttiness and surprising caramel hints, makes Pietra a unique and light choice for that first drink on a cold evening.


2. Spiced Apple Grog
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Photo credit: ely restaurants

Cocktails featuring spices will be everywhere next season and drinking them hot is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Spiced Apple Grog contains Jameson, Highbank Drivers Cider (N/A, GF and organic), cinnamon shavings and “Ireland’s answer to maple syrup”, Highbank organic orchard syrup. Serve hot and enjoy at home at the end of a long day, or let us make it for you at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


3. John Duval “Plexus” Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre

Winter calls for something warming and decadent and this wine, from the Barossa Valley in Australia, delivers on both counts. Velvety smooth, spicy and lush, think of a glass of this as a hot-water bottle for the soul.


4. Cloughmore Dark Water Stout

Cloughmore Dark Water Stout is brewed in the foothills of the Mourne mountains and draws its main ingredient from  the local water supplied from the reservoir, making this an unfiltered craft Irish Stout. With a body of roasted barley and oats with accompanying light chocolate flavours, this makes a nice change from the usual stout we tend to return to drinking this time of the year.


5. Michael Collins

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Using a whiskey substitute instead of gin in the classic Tom Collins adds a little more winter depth and results in the refreshing and fruity Michael Collins. If making it at home, shake a good Irish whiskey, fresh lemon juice, sugar and strain into a glass. Add ice cubes, carbonated water and stir. Or sit back and enjoy as we rustle one up for you at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


6. Champagne Dravigny Godbillon ‘Cuvee Ambre’ Brut     
Dravigny Godbillon ‘Cuvee Ambre’ Brut

Photo credit: http://www.vivino.com

The festive season rolls around and many of us fill with cheer. If the time does come to break out the bubbles this year, why not try one from a small, virtually unknown Champagne house who make some outstanding wines. Their style is akin to some of the more famous ( and expensive) Grand Marque Houses. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, this is a wonderfully rich and biscuity Champagne.


7. Craigies Dalliance Cider

Lover of wine but not a fan of cider? The folks at Craigies have hit the nail on the head with Dalliance. Not too sweet, Dalliance is dry and made with not one but three Irish apple varieties. This light bodied cider is sure to please many this season.


 8. Cognac Cure
From Rio to paris

Photo credit: instagram.com/aytoxyz

 A warming and comforting drink, Cognac is a perfect tipple for this time of the year. In this cocktail, the sourness of fresh lime juice mixed with the sweet taste of the honey compliments the rich taste of the Cognac. Combine with a splash of  carbonated water and top with ice. DIY or enjoy it at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


9. Kir-Yianni Xinomavro “Ramnista”

A revelation and certainly one to enjoy during these darker days with dimmed lights. Produced from the Xinomavro grape, this Greek wine, with its hints of dark fruits, is a vinous superstar waiting to be discovered. Best described as combining the seductive qualities of Pinot with the structure of Nebbiolo.


10. Pauwel Kwak

With one of the coolest glasses out there, you might be led to thinking that this Belgian strong ale is all hat and no cattle. However, Kwak is all substance! Rich and velvety with subtle hints of caramel and spice, this is probably our top choice of winter craft brew.


11. Hot Wine Lemonade
hot wine lemonade

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Hot wine? Wine lemonade? Surprisingly, all of the ingredients to this winter warming cocktail do work really well together. We use a splash of Bordeaux, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and hot water. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, available at ely bar & brasserie, (the Chq Building), Dublin 1.


12. Domaine Alary “La Brunotte” Cairanne Côte du Rhône

A perennial favourite at ely over the years, this is a classic of its kind. Perfect for these months with its dark berry fruit, white pepper and Christmas spice, along with fantastic length. This is the type of wine that makes us happy, every time.


13. Williams Brothers Joker IPA

This nice and fruity IPA is probably one of Williams Brothers’ best. Joker IPA offers a lovely  hop taste along with fresh and light citrus notes. Not to be mistaken for a summer beer, this easy-going, drinkable IPA can be enjoyed right into the winter months.


14. Winter Berry Cosmo
winter berry cosmo

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Autumn brought the best of the seasonal berries and we don’t know about you but there’s only so much jam we can enjoy! We’re taking those frozen berries and putting them to use for the winter months. For a Winter Berry Cosmo, include the berries in with the usual mix of vodka, fresh cranberry & lime juice and orange liqueur or fine blend the berries as a delicious replacement for the cranberry juice.


15. Les Hauts de Montforts Minervois
Les Hautes

Photo credit: http://www.vivino.com

Predominantly made from old vine Grenache, this is full-bodied perfect red for the winter months. With woody herbs, dark fruit and soft tannins this is the wine of choice for sitting by the fire.


All of the wines mentioned above are available to enjoy at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 and ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1

All of the cocktails & craft beers mentioned above are available to enjoy at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 6

In honour of this Friday, the 4th of July, we reviewed some un-brew-lievable (sorry) American craft beers along with one for you to enjoy in the summer sunshine, the easiest fro-yo recipe ever, in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk. We also look at 50 Shades of Grey in Ireland and no, not the book: Why you you should be visiting the uniquely stunning Burren, Co. Clare this summer.

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: Red, White and Brew  

Independence day is upon us this Friday 4th of July,  so we thought it only fitting to put our star spangled banner of approval on our favourite American craft beers. There are now over 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S, the highest total since the 1880s according to the Brewers Association, which made our decision a tough one, but here it goes: Our top American craft beers of the week.

  1. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Which is the stout that us Irish folks love to drink? Just can’t quite think of the name right now but it is because of our love for this stout that makes it difficult for others to get a look in. However, this Californian stout is seriously interesting with a thick, rich and full body along with hints of chocolate and coffee. When the waiter offers us the dessert menu, we simply say we’ll have another one of these.
  2. Brooklyn Lager – Some might argue that, hang on, this isn’t really a craft beer anymore but that’s where some might respond that hey, this is the original craft beer… of New York anyway. According to Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Lager is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Light bodied, this craft beer is easy, drinkable and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
  3. Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – The team at ely are huge fans of the Flying Dog Brewery and their classic pale ale is still one of our favourite craft beers out there. Fantastic summer drinking, its floral citrus aroma runs all the way through and can also be found in its well balanced taste. 5 out of 5, wonderful stuff!
  4. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – This beer from the folks at Lexing Brewing Co. (Alltech) is a whopping 8% but what we like about it is that it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth, despite its high alcohol volume. True to its name, you can certainly taste the bourbon but it’s accompanied by a lovely, nutty oak taste along with dark fruits, figs perhaps. Not a beer for a big night out but for a relaxing, much like the beer, well balanced evening.

 beer collage blog

WIN an Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling craft beer & bourbon hamper worth €250 at ely bar & brasserie’s 4th July BBQ this Friday. Click here for details.

hamper alltech 2

Taste tip of the Week: Frozen Yoghurt Berry Cup

Fresh, fruity and good for you – this quick ‘n’ easy frozen treat offers delicious and guilt-free indulgence this Summer.

What you need:

  • 200g mixed nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • 500g mixed berries (fresh or frozen) plus a few fresh berries to serve
  • 500g organic plain yogurt, chilled
  • 2 tbsp good quality honey
  • mint leaves, to serve

How we do it:

  • Toast the nuts by placing in a frying pan over a medium heat and tossing until golden brown – take care not to burn.
  • Put three-quarters of the fruit in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Add the yogurt and honey and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Taste for sweetness and add more honey if necessary.
  • Layer the yogurt with the remaining berries in tall glasses, bowls or cups and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • To serve, top with toasted nuts and some mint leaves.

For more recipes, see ely’s award-winning cookbook here.

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Travel tip of the Week: The Burren, Co. Clare

“The Burren? Sure that’s only rock, there’s nothing there!”

We still remember when we first advised one of our overseas customers to go and visit The Burren, Co. Clare during their round trip of Ireland, and the quote above that somebody quipped in with. Now, while the person did have a point about the rocks (The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning a rocky place), they were wrong about the ‘only’ part. When you think of Irish landscapes, you picture every shade of green while in the Burren, you find 50 shades of grey with only a bit of green thrown in. This strange beauty is what makes the Burren so uniquely stunning and gets our recommendation for Travel tip of the Week.

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The Burren’s unusual landscape, created by limestone erosion from the rain, plays host to a truly unique ecosystem of alpine, arctic and Mediterranean plants, see Burren Beo for moreDue to this rich wildlife, the area allows for some of the best farming in Ireland along with delicious seafood (à la Burren Smokehouse) and proudly, The Burren is home to the ely organic family farm. The area’s large amount of butterflies, animals, flora and fauna wonderfully and amazingly all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock.ely family farm_Burren farmland_low res

The Burren, also rich with historical and archaeological sites, is an ideal location to combine a trip with the nearby Cliffs of Moher or perhaps, for a stop off along the way. Colours of the Burren change with the light, weather and season, making it a fantastic place for the many artists who visit to set up their easels for the day.

To learn more about visiting The Burren, Co. Clare visit: www.burrennationalpark.ie 

ely family farm_Burren farmland_collage

 

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