In my home gin and jazz are enjoyed together quite often, so this evening was in a way made for us. What made it even better is that it was being held in The Mint Bar in the Westin Hotel on Westmoreland Steet. I have been to this bar many times before and I do think it is one of Dublin’s little gems. Although this event had been running for September I did not manage to get down to it until the 27th. Yes that was Arthur’s day but Guinness is not veggie friendly so stuff it, I was more than happy to drink gin instead.
Before I even got to the bar the customer service from the Westin was fantastic. A few tweets to their twitter account and I had confirmed that the event was on and had booked a table. Although we did not need to use the reservation it was great to able to enquire and reserve with such ease and in plenty of good time. They even followed it up with a tweet the next day to see how I got on which is first-rate customer service.
We arrived at 9.30pm and the band, Cary Posavitz and the Players, were already in action. They performed a mix of easy listening jazz tunes from the Rat Pack era which were perfect to relax to. I grew to really love this music after playing Bioshock 1 and 2 so it is great to hear it live. They had a really nice sounding double bass which I coveted even though I don’t play bass. The only negatives were the sound was a little fuzzy through the speakers and they stopped playing for a big gap of time while we were there. This would not have been a problem only it was not going to be a late one for me that night due to the day job!
That was the jazz now what about the gin? For the evening the the bar ran special offers on a selection of gin based drinks. There were cocktails for only €7.00 and a special G&T was only €5.00. This is great for a bar where cocktails can be priced between €11.50 to €13.50. But you really do pay for the quality and it shows.
To start I had the Pear and Elderflower Collins while my date had the Sloe Gin Fizz. The Collins was delicious and fresh, the taste of the pear coming through before the elderflower. The flavours complimented each other and I very much enjoyed it. The Fizz was like gin lemonade which is always a good and tasty thing.
Next I order the Aviation and my date ordered the Negroni. My date did not like the taste of either and I was unable to even take a second sip of the Negroni. It was quite strong and not really to our taste. I personally think it was the Campari as we are not used to drinking it because it previously contained cochineal based colouring. I did on the other hand really enjoy my Aviation. It was a bit of a risk for me as I am not a huge fan of Marachino Liqueur but it worked wonderfully in this case. The drink tasted just like Parma Violet sweets that I used it eat as a child and it was lovely to be reminded of that flavour.
To finish my date had the SouthSide which was lovely, fresh and minty. I was hoping to have a White Lady which I was introduced to by one of our contributors Niall Kelly. But I had enjoyed the music and drinks so much that I didn’t realise it was way past my bedtime. Next time I will start with a White Lady so I won’t miss out.
Food and nibbles are available at the earlier part of the evening. There were special cocktail bites on the Gin and Jazz menu for €5.00 but had chicken and crevettes in them so sadly none for us. There were plenty of other options on the main menu however. But we just had to order the baked Twix cheesecake which as always is far too delicious. All of the above was consumed with some of the nicest glasses of water I have ever been served (good temperature, decent size glass, slice of lemon) and served by some really great, friendly bar staff.
The evening is continuing in The Mint Bar for the next few weeks. I am hoping to get to another one and if you go I hope you enjoy it!