From chic rooftop bars to cool speakeasies, there are plenty of places to get a great cocktail in Dublin.
Whether you’re in the mood for a perfectly mixed Martini or a smoky Old Fashioned, the city has cocktail bars to suit every taste, style and budget.
Here’s our guide to some of the best spots for a cocktail in Dublin.
For years, poitín was known only as an illegal (and potent) moonshine. But now it’s made a comeback on the cocktail scene, featuring strongly in places like Bar 1661, just off the top of Capel Street. Their menu of modern day poitíns is one of the longest in the city, and they use it in a variety of cocktails. Try the Belfast Coffee, made with poitín, cold brew and cream with a hint of nutmeg, or the potent King Street, spiked with mezcal and cardamon. The décor is sleek and moody, with battered leather booths and dark navy walls, but there’s also a terrace for sunny days.
The Lucky Duck
Set in an old pub on Aungier Street, The Lucky Duck has all the trappings of a Victorian boozer – herringbone floors, panelled walls and a cosy snug – but with a modern-day menu of cocktails. In the lounge style sitting rooms upstairs, people gather by the fireplaces on plush, jewel toned armchairs for Espresso Martinis and Mojitos, with some Indian style tapas on the side.
On the rooftop of The Dean hotel on Harcourt Street, Sophie’s is a large, light-filled bar with plenty of window side banquettes and a small terrace, with exposed brick walls and a pizza oven. The menu favours an Instagram friendly cocktail, like Caribbean rum blends inside a can of Ting grapefruit soda, or foamy sours topped with edible flowers. There’s also a location down in Ranelagh, with a larger outdoor space overlooking the Aviva and the Dublin Mountains.
The Little Pig
Sister bar to The Blind Pig, The Little Pig is an intimate speakeasy in the city centre, with tasselled lampshades and walls draped in brushed red velvet. Blues and jazz music plays in the background as the bartenders whip up cocktails with unusual ingredients like salted lemon, lavender bitters and small batch spirits. There’s even an antique absinthe fountain for the full prohibition vibe. If you want to perfect your own mixology skills, keep an eye out for their regular cocktail masterclasses.
No Name Bar
Marked by a wooden snail hanging over a doorway on Fade Street, the No Name Bar is a place where the music is loud and the drinks are strong. The menu is simple, with cocktails scrawled on the blackboard on the wall – their smoky Old Fashioned is a popular choice, as is their Pistachio Mai Tai. Get there early if you want to nab a seat on one of the Chesterfield couches or battered armchairs – once the DJ starts spinning, the place fills up.
Set in a Georgian basement on the edge of Stephen’s Green, 9 Below has the look of a bar that Don Draper might have frequented. With swallows painted on arched ceilings, banquettes in old stone alcoves and a cabinet filled with rare whiskeys, the vibe is that of a sleek, old world cocktail joint. Behind the bar, dapper mixologists use a range of handmade shrubs, foams and bitters to give the cocktails a unique spin, and they can make egg white based cocktails (like a Whiskey Sour) using vegan substitutes.
Order a Martini in The Westbury’s Sidecar bar, and one of the bartenders will wheel over an art deco cart to shake it up tableside, using their own blend of vermouth. The wait staff are kitted out in white tuxedo jackets, and the space has an elegant, 1930s feel to it, with mirrored walls, geometric patterns and crystal glassware. The hardback menu takes some time to sift through, with each cocktail accompanied by its historical origin tale. Just as well, then, that you’re presented with a tiny glass of prosecco while you make your decision.
There are plenty of busy bars along the bustling nightlife strip of Camden Street, but the Sitting Room is a peaceful alternative for a grown-up cocktail. Upstairs in Delahunt restaurant, the bar is set in what was the living room of a Georgian property, and retains that period feel with vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and chandeliers. There’s a retro vibe to the cocktails too, with classics on offer like Sazerac and Sbagliato, a Negroni made with sparkling wine.
Vintage Cocktail Club
One of the first speakeasy style bars in Dublin, the Vintage Cocktail Club has been in Temple Bar for a decade, tucked away behind a deceptively drab doorway on Crown Alley. Inside, there are several cosy rooms set over three floors, with deep armchairs, open fireplaces and brocade wallpaper, with a stylish rooftop terrace too. The menu is long and comprehensive (there are six Martini options alone), so it can sometimes be easier to tell the bartender what you like and let them create something to suit your tastes.
A popular spot for bottomless brunch, Bow Lane on Aungier Street specialises in well priced cocktails that pair with food, like a Bloody Mary made with their own chili sauce and Old Bay seasoning, or a Margarita with mango puree. There are non-alcoholic options too, including a twist on an Aperol Spritz made with alcohol free prosecco. From Wednesday to Sunday, there’s usually a live DJ in the evenings, and it’s open ‘til late.
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