Dublin’s newest cocktail hotspot, Bar 1661, which is situated at 1-5 Green St, off Capel Street, places an emphasis on Irish spirits, particularly Poitín, opened its doors ironically on Good Friday.
Poitin was illegal in Ireland from 1661 until 1997. Since Poitín has been legalised it has been granted Geographical Indicative Status by the EU. This means that, like Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream Liqueur, it is protected at an EU level in a similar manner to Champagne in France or Parma hams in Italy. These three Irish GI spirits must be produced on the island of Ireland, in accordance with certain production practices and standards.
Bar 1661 founder Dave Mulligan, who also created Bán Poitín, said:
“Bar 1661 aims to lead Ireland’s premier cocktail community, putting Dublin firmly on the map of the global cocktail scene as purveyors of contemporary Irish drinks experiences. By promoting uniquely Irish statements of origin it pays homage to all of Ireland’s native drinks, especially Poitín, writing its own chapter in the colourful story of Ireland’s notorious spirit, first banned in 1661.
“I want Bar 1661 to be a place for locals and visitors alike, a cocktail bar to both start and end your night where you can nurse a pint of Guinness or try something completely new and exciting, get chatting to your neighbour, hear new Irish music live, pair oysters with Poitín tastings, anything is possible.”
Vincent McGovern, Head of the Irish Spirits Association, a category association within ABFI said:
“The launch of Bar 1661, first as a pop-up, and now as a permanent venue, is a positive development showcasing not only Poitín, but other great home-grown spirits. Poitín forms an important part of Ireland’s rich heritage of sprit making and is a category we want people to reconnect with. It has a unique taste profile and is a perfect component for cocktail-making as Dave and Bar 1661 will show. We have also seen increasing evidence that Poitín is becoming more popular among mixologists as a cocktail component internationally in in London, Paris and other cities.