Cocktails with… Cork Dry Gin (Ireland)

For today’s World of Gin, we’re moving back closer to home, just a short trip over the Irish Sea, to look at Cork Gin. To me, Cork is one of those intermediate gins* (like Brokers) that was one of the first I tried after I had tasted the “inner circle” of the gin world (i.e. those easier to get hold of); the likes of Gordon’s Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater, etc..

Cork Dry Gin is currently made in County Cork in Ireland at the Midleton distillery. Although it is not widely available in the UK, their website details that 80% of the gin drinks consumed in Ireland’s pubs and bars are made with Cork Dry.

Cork Irish Gin does not have the same characteristics of a Classic London Dry Gin and having tried no other Irish gins, I do not know if this is an Irish-gin thing, or just a Cork-gin thing. What I do know is that if they make up 80% of the on-trade gin sales, the residents of Ireland must like the style.

A bottle of the now discontinued Cork Crimson Premium Gin

I am currently a little hazy on the exact details of the production and botanical mix of Cork Gin**, but it is bottled at 38% ABV. I am also aware that, in 2005, a premium version was released; called Cork Crimson, this had ten botanicals, one of which was local Garden Mint, and was bottled at 41.2% ABV.

#1 Own
Quite light, with elements of coffee and vanilla; soft, with some juniper and, at only 38% ABV, there is still quite a lot of warmth.

#2 Gin & Tonic
Quite good; very juicy, with good solid notes of juniper. There’s a slightly creamy element, but this more subdued than in many of the other drinks that I tried. There is also a touch of coffee on the finish. Pretty good.

#3 Martini
Delightfully smooth, the vanilla is there again, as well as a little juniper. In a blind tasting, I could have been fooled into thinking this was actually a vodka martini.

#4 Gin Collins
Slippery and soft, like Sicilian Lemonade. The distinctive flavours of the gin are lost, but, on the upside, it’s a great drink in its own right.

#5 Gimlet
Very tangy, but rather nice. It’s invigorating and certainly wakes you up on a dreary Friday afternoon! A touch heavy on the lime, but is definitely still worth a try.

#6 Negroni
Vanilla and fruity jamminess are prevalent, followed by the usual bitterness. Rather pleasant.

#7 Gin Bump
Very tasty and refreshing; a nice standard for a Gin Bump, but with the pleasant twist of having a hint of vanilla at the end.

#8 Pink Gin
A real clash of flavours; seems a little rough and so isn’t recommended.

#9 Alexander
A delightful Alexander; frankly, the best I have ever had. A brilliant blend of juniper, vanilla, chocolate and spice, which works very well with the cream. Very well balanced. Top notch!

#10 Sweet Gin
The gin already had some cappuccino (coffee and vanilla notes) and the addition of sugar accentuates these flavours, but also increases the presence of the citrus notes too. Sweet and smooth, Mrs. B liked it and described it as “slinky”.

In Conclusion
Cork Dry Gin is still obviously a gin, but it has a slightly lighter and more confectionary style. It seems to go quite well in lighter drinks and those with pudding-like flavours. Particular highlights of the tasting included: Gin Bump, Gin & Tonic and, of course, the Alexander.


Thanks to the generosity of a patron of gin I recently got the chance to try some cork crimson and I must say I was rather impressed, it is less creamy than normal Cork and is a move back toward the Classic style of many London Dry Gins.

* In the UK anyway.
** If you have any information please let me know.

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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

1 thought on “Cocktails with… Cork Dry Gin (Ireland)

  1. I sure would like to buy some of this gin and have it shipped to me here in the U.S.A. Apparently in Ireland they do not let this treasure out of their country though. I haven’t been able to find a place anywhere that sells it.

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