- 24 Jan 20
We're drooling in anticipation of the culinary year ahead!
Hot Flavours is delighted to welcome Krewe to the Capel Street, Dublin 1 neighbourhood. A bright and (in a good way) brash Nawleans joint, they specialise in such south of the Mason-Dixon line fare as Crispy Pork Boudin, Soft Shell Crab, Cajun Blackened Cod and a classic Creole Jambalaya. There are also joints (of the meaty kind) for sharing and an extensive range of lunchtime Po’Boys. We’re addicted to the Andouille Sausage one. This year’s big spirit is going to be rum, which is already enjoying a huge renaissance in the States, thanks in part to the new wave of spiced varieties.
To prove the point, Grace O’Malley is adding a Golden Rum Pirate Loot to its Crew Range. Blending choice rums from the Dominican Republic and the Jamaican Islands with rock-filterd Mayo water – come on the Green Above The Red! – it’s a seriously tasty drop.
Already whetting discerning whistles is OHANA, Dublin’s first Hawaiian-style Tiki bar, which has landed on Harcourt Street and is focusing on rum cocktails. Our favourite is currently a Frozen Colada.
While Hot Flavours is in the Ronnie Wood “I prefer a light drizzle to a complete drout” camp, those attempting Dry January will be delighted to hear that Wicklow Wolf has extended its non-alcoholic range. Joining their Moonlight Hoppy Ale are Limelight and Starlight, two limited-edition spin-offs, which are respectively infused – and enthused – with lime and grapefruit. Everyone we’ve spoken to in the Irish drinks industry agrees that it’s going to be another massive year for low and zero alcohol drinks, with craft breweries especially keen to attract new customers who mightn’t necessarily want a 10.6% Grapefruit & Coffee Nib Barley Shake every time they go out. By the way, if such a thing existed, we’d be first in line to try it!
No strangers to pushing the taste envelope are New Belgium, the Colorado craft pioneers who officially announced their arrival in Ireland last week with a tasting in Urban Brewing. Guided by Export Manager Casey Kjolhede, we got to sample their very fine Fat Tire Belgian White Ale, Voodoo Ranger and Honey Orange Tripel, a 10% citrusy whopper which is our Tipple Of The Fortnight, on draft.
Having previously treated us to Chorizo, Feta & Spinach; Parma Ham, Mushroom & Rocket; and Sundried Tomato, Red Onion & Spinach combos, the Sweet Potato Pizza Co. has added a Margherita pie to its healthy range. Just 82 calories a slice and genuinely one of your five a day, it’s the brainchild of the Blanchardstown-based Craig Grattan whose wares are on special offer in select Super Valus until February 7. Pizza purists that we are we were cynical at first, but the mashed sweet potato base really works.
Move over oat, almond and soy, the new milk in town for 2020 is pea, which is made from yellow split peas and allegedly has a lower environmental footprint than any of its rivals.
Tipple of the Fortnight: New Belgium 10% Honey Orange Tripel
Three weeks in and we already have a contender for Beer of the Year. Based on the classic Belgian Golden Strong Ale style, this Tripel gets its bold orange notes from Seville and its delicious sweetness from Africa where the bees obviously love their beer. In less skilled hands it could be a sickly overpowering disaster, but being New Belgium the flavours are perfectly balanced and well able to hold their own with all that alcohol.
It’s not dissimilar to some of the new wave of meads that have started gracing hip UK bar shelves. We’ve some great ones here too with the Kinsale Mead Co.’s tasting trio pack an excellent place to start.
Some Like It Hot
Nothing is quite as Hot For 2020 as Mic’s Chilli, a range of devilishly delightful sauces hand made from habanero chillies and other natural ingredients in their secret dungeon in Kilcoole, County Wicklow. Bitten by the chilli sauce bug when he visited Belize in 1994, Mic’s original Inferno Sauce now has nine brothers and sisters with such fabulous names as Voodoo Reaper, Naga Knockdown and Trouble In Trinidad. Hop Press readers will be particularly intrigued by Of Foam And Fury, which is generously laced with the award-winning Galway Bay Double IPA of the same name. Designed for both cooking and dipping, Mic’s Chilli sauces are available from Fresh, Fallon & Byrne, Avoca, Harvey Nichols, select Supervalus and other fine food stores nationwide. Visit micschilli.com for the full list of stockists and to shop online.
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