The sun is shining.. that must mean cider!


It is amazing! As soon as the sun come out in Ireland (and to be honest that doesn’t happen too often) we have a pavlovian response to crave cider. I think we can thank a very well marketed commercial cider brand for that. The excellent thing about that cider is that it whetted our palates for lots of lovely artisan ciders. These crafted ciders; full to the brim with apple-y yum-ness, are incredibly delicious, work well with food and really are the closest thing we have to Irish wine.

Like wine, cider is a fermented rather than a brewed beverage. There are many cider makers selecting apple varieties and blending juices with the same care an attention to detail that wine makers approach making wine, some even produce vintage cider celebrating the uniqueness of each year’s harvest. The Orpens Cider guys have a background and history in wine and there is even a wine maker making cider in Ireland. Simon Tyrrell makes very fine wine in the Rhône Valley and with Angus Craigie produces Cragies Irish Cider.

Cragies produce 2 ciders in very contrasting styles, Ballyhook flyer and Dalliance.

Ballyhook flyer takes its name form the original Ballyhook flyer, If the legend is to be believed the finest machine to have ever entered the Grangecon Soapbox Derby, below is a photos of it hanging in the Big Shed at the Ballymaloe literary festival of food and wine.


Can you tell from the photo that it’s suspended from the ceiling?

Ballyhook flyer (500ml RRP  €4.50-€5 ABV5.8% ) 2012 is a made from a mixture of Dabinett, Katy, and Bramley apples, sourced from dedicated apple growers in Co.Waterford, Co.Tipperary and Co. Kilkenny. It is a crisp, fruity off dry cider with a lovely savoury note which makes it a great match for cheeses, pork and chicken dishes.

Dalliance ( 375ml €4.49- €5 ABV 5.8%) is a totally different style, I like to drink it as you would a sparkling wine or prosecco, dry, fresh, crisp  green apples flavours  with a lovely perfumed apple blossom on toast nose.I sounds a bit of an odd description but nose it and see!) It’s gorgeous and would be a super and unique wedding welcome reception drink. It’s made exclusivly from desert apples and is left to rest on its fermentation lees for 18months before bottling, apparently it’s all set to age for up to 24 months in bottle.

Orpens Cider (375ml  €2.69 ABV 5.3) 

Orpens fruit is carefully selected from quality orchards that produce a balanced range of apple varieties. The apples are fermented to cider as single batches and blended together to create a signature style. The result is a complex, layered cider with an extra clean, crisp apple character and a fresh citrus-y finish.

This attention to datail makes it a perfect food cider. Orpens also works super well in  punch or as an alternative to sparking wine in a kir, just add a drop of black currant liqueur or even some elderflower St. Germain would be just gorgeous!

Orpens Punch!
Orpens punch: rum, rhubarb and orpens cider!
Perfect at a barbeque!
Perfect at a barbeque!
Orpens with fish and chips.. yum!
Orpens Cider with fish and chips, the fish batter was made with Orpens..making it super light, crispy & yum!

Tempted? Cider: Summer sweet (500ml RRP €4.20- €4:50 ABV 5%)

From the moment I first tasted this cider at the Craft Beer and Cider festival in the RDS a few years ago I loved it.
It is the perfect summer’s day cider. Crisp and sweet at the same time, Summer Sweet Cider introduces a significant proportion of Tipperary bittersweet cider apples to Tempted medium sweet cider made from Armagh’s apple crop. A generous measure of pure pressed apple juice is added to make a light, refreshing Irish cider. Winner of the Gold award 2013 National Irish Food Awards (Blas na hEireann). A family business to its core (had to use that apple pun!) cidermaker Davy’s daugther divised the snazzy branding and the packaging! Oh and if you picking up a bottle of Summer Sweet seek out a bottle of the strawberry too; it’s a taste sensation!
Tempted cider range
Lots of independant off-licences including Celtic whiskey shop, Bradleys in Cork and Jus de Vine ,Portmarnock
Craigies Dalliance CiderBaggot Street Wines
Blackrock Cellar
Bradley’s Off-Licence
Callans Off Licence
Celtic Whiskey Shop Ltd.
Deveneys – Dundrum
Dicey Reilly’s Bar and Off-Licence
Donnybrook Fair Ltd.
Drink Store
Jus De Vine
Kelly’s Wine Vault
Martins Off Licence
McHughs Kilbarrack Road
Next Door @ Byrnes Kilcoole
O’Callaghans OL (Deveneys) (Rathmines)
O’Neills Off Licence
Redmonds Off-Licence
Revolution Gastro Bar Ltd
Salt House
Temple Bar Pub
The Sky on the Ground
No 21 Midelton
The Winding Stair
Matsons Wine Store Grange
Matsons Wine Store Bandon
Bello Bar
a wide range of independant off-licences Lovely restauants and bars and supermarkets check out their handy interactive map here
Nextdoor Kildare Town
Galvins Wines and Spirits

Superquinn Ltd

Ard Bia at Nimmos

Celtic Whiskey Shop Ltd

Molly Darcy’s Trad Irish Pub

Hotel Doolin

Locke Bar

Left Bank Bistro,

An Port Mor

Armada Hotel

Nancy’s Bar

Kelly’s Wine Vault

Kate Brownes Bar

Pavilion Bar and Nightclub

Sage Restaurant

Cafe Arnou

Casey’s of Baltimore

An Canteen

Jackson’s Hotel and Conference

Logues Bar

Yew Tree Restaurant

Hassetts Restaurant

Doolin Cafe

Bodega Waterford

Annies Bar & Restaurant

White House Bar

Worldwide Wines

Aubergine Gallary Cafe

Molloys Liquor Stores

Delphi Mountain Resort

Parnell Street Off Licence

The Purple Onion

La Boheme Restaurant
Bobby Byrnes Bar
Reginalds Tower Bar&Restaurant
CraneLane Theatre
Wholesome Fayre
Joyces SupermarketKnocknacarra
Castle Off Licence
Dicey Reillys Bar&Off Licence
The Counter
Mickey Finn’s
Bantry Bay Hotel
Blue Haven Hotel
Abbot Ale House
Charcoal Grill
Bella Vista Bar & Bistro
Cliff House Hotel
Egans Off Licence, portlaoise
Carry Out Glanmire
Paul Geaney’s Bar
Sol Bistro William Street
Next Door Desmonds Dublin
Green 19
Wallis’s Bar
Marina Inn
Mutton Lane Inn,
Eurospar Kilmainham
Wild Honey Inn
5th on Teeling
The Swagman Bar
Next Door Desmonds Limerick
Matson’s Wine Store
McGoverns Off Licence
Ballymascanlon House Hotel
fern hill golf club
The Malthouse
O’Flynn Gourmet Sausages
Lough Rynn Castle Ltd
Brewery Corner
Number 21 Off Licence Middleto
Next Door Youghal
Hegarty’s Supermarket,
LV Bar / Windsor Inn
Next Door James Street
Byrnes Restaurant and Accomoda
Queens Hotel Ltd
Hub Bar
Quayside Bar
Town & Country Club
Pifko Bar and Grill
Blarney Woolen Mills
Dela Restaurant
Nextdoor Shandon St
Mount Oval Bar
Sheen Falls Lodge
Crackpots, Kinsale
Super Valu Hurley’s
The Lord Mayors Off Licence
The Outpost Bar
Vasco Dine
gulpd cafe
Galvins Off Licence
Carry Out Off Licences






If I was getting married I’ d go Elderflower foraging!



Have I told you I love free things? I especially love free things that taste really expensive and fresh and delicious and grow right outside my window. Elder is one of those things Elder is so very versatile, both the flowers and the berries are incredible useful and readily available. Big flowery perfumed elderflower is right in season. Pick it as early as you can and ideally on a dry day. So its time to grab a scissors and a basket and get foraging. Brides to be, collect elderflower! Elderflower cordial is a magic ingredient and a splash of it in any sparkling wine turns a welcome drink into a really special cocktail. Its also a cinch to make, I’ve used this recipe here year after year. I will add that if you are foraging its important not to be too gready, we have other things to eat but birds will miss out on elderberries later in the season if the elderflowers are stripped. Rule of thumb is forage up to a third of what you find and leave the rest.

Now, ff you don’t fancy making your own, Check out gorgeous Richmount Cordials.

This week on my Late Lunch Live Drinks I will be featuring Elderflower drinks.

Lots of producers have cottoned on to wonderful Elderflower. Fevertree have a super hand-picked elderflower tonic water that makes even a humble G&T extrodinary.


Kopparberg has a new lime and elderflower cider.


I will be showcasing a homemade elderflower fizz. I used Darina Allen’s recipe from her Forgotten Skills of Cooking book.  Darina published the recipe on her blog here. I was just down in Ballymaloe for the literary festival of food and wine in was so inspired that it made sense to feature elderflower this week.

We’re also tasting 2 delicious St. Germaine cocktails. St. Germain is french elderflower liqueur that is truly yum! I’m making a Parisian Daiquiri and The Royale!


Parisian Daiquiri

40ml Bacardi Superior rum

20ml St Germain liqueur

20ml fresh lime juice

1 spoon of castor sugar or simple syrup

Add all ingredients into a shaker with cubed ice, shake well and strain into a chilled martini or coupé glass.

Garnish with a wedge of fresh lime and a small bunch of elderflower.


The Royale

25ml St Germain

25ml Martini Bianco

20ml fresh lime juice

Top with chilled Soda water


Take a large wine glass and add all ingredients except soda water. Add cubed ice and stir well. Fill glass with ice and top with chilled soda water.

Garnish with a lime wheel and a bunch of fresh mint or a rose petal!

Gluten free beer on Late Lunch Live 14.05.14

This week is coeliac awareness week, (or celiac if we’re doing a US spelling test ;-). So what better excuse  do I need to taste a few fab gluten-free beers?

In case you are wondering what gluten is…. don’t worry; you are not alone!

Joking aside, sadly many people who are diagnosed with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance belive beer is a no-go as most beers are made from barley and barley contains the composite protein gluten 😦

Big news! It’s possible to have delicious beer that is also coeliac friendly, let me tell you how….

Gluten free beer tends to be made on one of two ways

1. Beer can be brewed with grains that are naturally gluten-free such as rice, maize, buckwheat or sorghum (many macro largers are brewed with rice and of course many asian brews)


2. the gluten can be removed: as luck would have it the gluten molecule is actually pretty big so it can be filtered from barely or wheat or even rye based beers. To be approved as safe for those following a gluten-free diet, the beer just has to have to have less than 20 gluten parts per million.

So where can you get coeliac friendly beer in Ireland?

Well , lots of places!!! Yay!!!

I got in touch with the Deans (there are two of them McGuinness and Clarke)  at Beer Heaven. They supply a huge selection of  interesting and damn tasty beers from all over the world to all over Ireland.  These are the guys to answer any beer questions. I knew they’d point me in the right direction.

Dean Clarke told me gluten-free beer is available country wide…yes…get that COUNTRYWIDE in lots of restaurants and off-licences up and down the land. Yay!  Especially brilliant considering how many people in Ireland have coeliac disease, it’s us and the Basque country with highest rates of coeliac disease in the world if I’m to believe wikipedia. I think our tiny gene pool probably had a role to play in that.

I digress…. back on track,  the gluten-free beer tastes great! Dean also said that if you can’t find it, ask to have it ordered in. I’m a firm believer that the consumer should set the agenda for what’s in shops. Rise up people! Gluten-free beer drinkers unite! Your local independent off-licence would love to make you happy and stock the beer you want! What’s more, mention it next time you’re in a bar or out for dinner, your bar tender is not a mind reader, let them know and you’d never know what will be on the shelves by next weekend!

If you are interested in  research about gluten-free products and coeliac disease Cork is where it’s at! Both Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences  are working and researching extensively on gluten, gluten-free products and coeliac disease. If you fancy a read, check out this paper from Dr. Elke Arendt!

So this week on TV3 ‘s  Late Lunch Live’s drinks slot I’m featuring 3 gluten-free beers. Stockists ( ‘cos the list is loooong which is great!) are at the end!

This is the first larger in the world brewed to combine 3 unique elements it’s fair trade, organic and gluten free!

This easy drinking beer has a mild, slightly bitter, hoppy flavour.

It is brewed using organic malt, organic hops and fair trade organic rice

RRP €2.99-ish

Mongozo Pilsner

Wold Top Against The Grain: Uk, YorkshireWold Top Against The Grain has been declared the most beer like of all gluten free & low gluten free beers in taste tests. Made from lager malt, maize, hops & yeast, it is a premium full flavoured bitter beer with a good creamy head, refreshing bitterness and citrus aftertaste. The gluten content is certified to be well below the required codex standard of 20 ppm
RRP €3.99-ish
against the grain
Omission IPA USA: Portland, OR. The first IPA brewed with traditional beer ingredients that is specially crafted to remove gluten.This IPA is brewed with malted barley in the traditional Northwest IPA style. The beer uses a generous amount of Summit and Cascade hops giving it a beautiful citrus flavor and aroma. wow! I LOVE this beer, it tastes just like proper beer, Omission are dead right, “it’s not what they take out it’s what they leave in”RRP €2.99Omission IPAStockists
Mongazo Pilsner
Jus De Vine Off Licence, Portmarnock
The Woolshed, Parnell Stree
Koh Restaurant, Dublin 1
Zucchinis Restaurant, Navan, Co Meath
Yamamori Izakaya, Georges Street, Dublin 2
Molloys, Clonsilla
Molloys, Francis Street
Bradley’s Supermarket, Cork City, Cork
Castle Street Off Licence, Tralee, Co Kerry
Matsons Wines, Bandon, Co Cork
The Bierhouse, Cork
Desmond’s Next Door, Raheen, Limerick
Myles Creek, Next Door, Kilkee, Clare
Matsons Grange, Douglas, Cork
Tom Ryans Bar, Waterford
Thai Spice, Talbot Place, Dublin1
Red Torch Ginger, South Andrew Street, Dublin 2
Baggot Street Wines, Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Lotus Restaurant and Off Licence, Wexford
Blackrock Cellars Off Licence, Blackrock
Next Door, Sundrive Road, Dublin 12
Kavanagh’s Off Licence, Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1
Saba, Clarendon Street, Dublin 2
McSorleys, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Against the Grain
Egan’s Food and Wine, Portlaoise, Co Laois
Fibber Magees, Parnell Street, Dublin 1
The Merrion Inn, Booterstown, Co Dublin
The Hole in the Wall, Blackhorse Avenue, Dublin 3
The Brew Dock, Amien St, Dublin 1
The Central Bar, Navan, Co Meath
Next Door, Meath Street, Dublin
Joe Mayes, Skerries, Co Dublin
Conrad Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Whelan’s, Wexford Street, Dublin 2
Corks Off Licence, Terenure
Deveneys, Rathmines
The Comet, Santry
Kellys Wine Vault, Clontarf
Lord Mayor Pub and Off Licence, Swords
Martins Off Licence, Fairview, Dublin 3
Redmonds of Ranelagh
Callans of Dundalk
Delaneys, Angier Street, Dublin
Sweeney’s Wine Merchants, Phibsboro
Against the Grain, Wexford Street
The Black Sheep, Capel Street
Ice Box, Finglas
Probus Wines, Fenian Street, Dublin2
The Malthouse, Trim, Co Meath
Mitchell & Son, IFSC, Docklands
Nealons, Capel Street
McHugh Off Licence, Malahide Road
Molloy, Tallaght
Molloy, Nutgrove
Molloy, Crumlin
Molloy, Clonsilla
McHugh Off Licence, Kilbarrack
Molloy, Francis Street
Lohan’s Bar and Off Licence, Next Door, Salthill, Galway
Next Door, Forum, Waterford
World Wide Wines, Waterford
Dicey Reilly Bar and Off Licence, Ballyshannon, Donegal
Clada, Galway
Fine Wines Head Office
Matsons Wines, Bandon, Cork
The Slate bar, Cork
Desmond’s, Next Door, Raheen, Limerick
Coopers, Cahir
Next Door, Shannon, Clare
The Highway bar, Limerick
Tom Ryans Bar, Waterford
The Seanachi, Kinsale, Cork
The Merrion Hotel, Dublin 2
Timothy Crowes Next Door, Dublin 12
Dwans Off Licence, Ballycullen, Dublin 16
Foleys Off Licence, Sligo
Baggot Street Wines, Baggot Street, Dublin2
Centra, Enfield
Lotus Restaurant and Off licence, Wexford
Blackrock Cellars Off Licence, Blackrock
Boyles Next Door, Kildare
Next Door, Sundrive Road, Dublin 12
Fitzgeralds of Sandycove, Dub Laoghaire
The Hungry Monk, Greystones, Wicklow
Kavanagh’s Off Licence, Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1
The Sky and the Ground, Wexford
Bewleys, Leopardstown
Murrays Bar, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Omission IPA.… it’s just too new! It’s only in 2 shops this week (wonder where they are?) I’ll update ASAP when I get the other stockists!