Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: George Voronov
Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: George Voronov
Getting a round in is a sacred part of Irish culture. It’s the spirit of Irish generosity distilled into a gesture that never feels empty, and everyone appreciates.
Take encouragement from the fact that the sages are in universal agreement on this one. From the cafes of Paris to the rolling foothills of Tibet and most everywhere in between, people view generosity not just as a good turn but as a cornerstone of human morality.
Every other week we brave a jaunt to a pub and belly up to the bar. We all face our penny-pinching demons and buy drinks for our friends without thinking twice. But, unfortunately, you don’t get that kind of consideration everywhere.
Getting a round in was easier back when everyone drank the same thing. All you would have to remember was how many people were at the table. These days, recognising what to order changes based on where you go. The rise of connoisseurship sees to it that most people drink different things depending on where they are, what’s on offer, and how much they cost. The horror.
Now you’ve probably got an assortment of different types of drinkers as mates. Maybe you’ve got a cocktail hound, a beer beard, a wino, and an “I’m not drinking tonight” who all like pizza. Then do we have the curated round for you!
The first, the veggie one, truffle and orange zest, is a dance of sweet and salty with an excellent balance of truffle to honey. If you have a veggie in the round, this is the za to go for. They can also make it vegan by ditching the cheese. I think the flavours of the toppings and the well-constructed base would carry it better than a teenager with a new backpack.
The Mortadella & Pistachio was a winner for the more carnivorous among us. Little balls of fresh mozzarella, as well as cheese on the base, and I would have been sold already. But adding in the cured Italian-style ham brought it to ‘maybe just one more slice’ level.
Sure, you can go for the traditional marg or pepperoni vibe. They have them. But if you’ve hopped the 15 to Rathmines to check out this bar, then I’d be leaning in on these specials. They are text-your-ma-about level good.
They have it all. It’s a craft beer-leaning spot. So you expect it. But the real clincher for me was the La Chouff on draft. What a beer! La Chouffe is an unfiltered blond beer, re-fermented in the bottle or barrel that packs a punch. It is pleasantly fruity, so you wouldn’t think it would knock you on your ear after two. But that it will.
Many crafty beards covet this little gnome, but it remains a tricky one to get on draft. Any beer nerd would love a La Choffe included in your round this week.
These days every group has a wino. Sure they might think of themselves as a natty wine enthusiast, but when it comes down to it, good wine is good wine. Kodiak stocks some good wine. Working with Grape Circus, they have managed to curate a list of beautiful little wines that even the snobbiest cork dork will get behind. And they manage to keep all their prices below a tenner a glass. Result!
The Domaine Ceneti Corvina is a juicy semi-dry red wine with enough spice in it to stand up to winter. It’s soft and moreish and will genuinely impress any wino. The perfect grape juice to add to your round this week.
Dublin is in its golden cocktail era. Gone are the days of the some-sort-of-pink-alcoholic juice. Now we as a nation know the drinks we want, but we’re also not afraid to try something new. As long as it has the word signature next to it. Kodiak is well aware that for a cunning Dublin drinking audience, they had better have not only a cocktail list but a good cocktail list.
Here they deliver at market rate. There are many places where you could pay the same twelve euros for less. Here you get top-notch drinks without much hassle. There’s a whole page of options but allow me to save you some time and recommend the Blooming Heather. It’s a refreshing drink that, while sweetened, errs on the side of boozy, just as all good cocktails should. This take on a gin fizz is delightful and went eerily well with the truffle pizza.
Ireland now has a rake of people who are, for one reason or another, not drinking every time they go out. We’re getting better at having more options from actually decent non-alcoholic beers to considered cocktails and not just “sure you’ll have a coke then will ya.”
Kodiak has an excellent non-alcoholic cocktail by the name of ‘Down in my Plums’, and it is a joy. So much so that you’d think you were drinking a refreshing actual cocktail if you picked it up by accident, which is what you want from a good drink.
Add that into your round for whoever isn’t having a saucy one, and they’ll feel considered and probably not mind so much when it’s their turn to get the drinks in.
It’s a fine art, but I reckon you’re up to the task. Your moment of truth has arrived: Go ahead, deliver your pals’ drink orders in the steady, unwavering voice of pure generosity—that bartender’s been waiting long enough now.
Elsewhere on CHAR: Why I hate the word foodie