Irish-based mixologist gives verdict after Irish woman pays £1,890 for cocktail in London bar

An Irish-based cocktail expert and mixologist has said that very expensive cocktails are all about status and not taste after an Irish woman in London accidentally paid £1,890 for a single cocktail.

Thomas Ostrowski, an instructor at Dublin Bar Academy, said he would much rather order an expensive spirit with water and “travel through the flavours” than pay thousands for a single cocktail.

“These super expensive cocktails appear on menus in the most expensive and famous bars around the world that already have an established reputation,” Mr Ostrowski told the Irish Independent.

He stressed that these super extensive cocktails like the one the Irish woman paid for in London, which she mistakenly believed would cost £18.90, are simply a “marketing tool” and “couldn’t be replicated in a normal bar”.

“You could put the spirits in the cocktail with much cheaper ingredients in the same order and the person just won’t feel the difference, as there are too many flavours,” Mr Ostrowski added.

The Polish native, who has decades of experience behind Irish bars, said the most expensive cocktails he has found in Ireland are around the €200 range in five star hotels close to St Stephen’s Green.

While the industry of super expensive cocktails exists in cities like London and New York, the bartending instructor believes it is only time before it joins the increasingly popular wine and whiskey tasting experiences here in Ireland.

“While it is coming, I don’t think Irish people would be very happy with the prices. We are a big consumer of alcohol here and one drink wouldn’t be very much.

“I would be more than happy to pay a little bit more for a cocktail made in a unique way, but it should stay in the €20 range,” he said.

Mr Ostrowski explained that the cocktail culture in Ireland is changing and that the days of three for €20 in Irish bars and nightclubs has been left behind as prices continue to rise with the cost-of-living.

“The three for €20 deal appeared at the end of the last recession, when people wanted low prices. These cocktails came with only 20mls of spirits and had loads of sugar juice,” he said.

Despite their cheap price, he believes that these cheap cocktails had a “bad impact” on the cocktail culture in Ireland, which took a while to recover. “Cocktails are much better now,” he added.

The gold standard for the amount of spirits contained in cocktails in Ireland now is 60ml, generally comprised of 40ml of spirits and 20mls of liquor, having moved on from the old 20ml marker.

Mr Ostrowski said that it is a common misconception that cocktails in Ireland contain less alcohol than in countries like Spain or Poland.

Cocktails have the same amount however, drinks like gin and tonics often include more alcohol abroad, due to bigger measures, he said.

On finding the best Christmas cocktails in terms of money and quality, the master mixologist recommends that people head out to casual or fine-dining restaurants.

“These places have some of the very best bar staff, with their cocktails made on location using special extraction techniques. There is no need for these super expensive prices,” he said.

What Mr Ostrowski would like to see, is Irish people explore more high quality Irish spirits on their own, by drinking them neat, something which he said “isn’t done very much here”.

He said he would love to see people drinking more Irish whiskey, which he said is some of the best in the world, and is “going through this beautiful moment in history”.

“I have a very good pallet but if you mixed one of these special whiskeys in with a cocktail there is a strong chance I wouldn’t recognise it.

“Master distillers are crying out when these unique old Irish whiskeys, which are so special, are mixed in with these expensive cocktails and lose their taste,” he added.

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

News Related


Paul Hosford: Helen McEntee's future depends on the streets of Dublin remaining peaceful

Paul Hosford: Helen McEntee’s future depends on the streets of Dublin remaining peaceful The issue of policing in Dublin has been thrown into sharp focus following the horrific stabbing of ... Read more »

Five hospitalised following 'serious' two vehicle road traffic collision

The collision occurred on Monday morning. (stock image) Five people have been hospitalised following a two vehicle road traffic collision on Monday. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the collision, ... Read more »

Challenge: Try to find the hidden cat in a very old building

Challenge: Try to find the hidden cat in a very old building (Photo: Reproduction/Reddit) Only people with advanced observation skills can identify the hidden cat in this very old building. ... Read more »

Man arrested following suspected cocaine seizure in Galway worth €56,000

A man has been arrested following a seizure of cocaine with a value of €56,000 in Galway on Sunday evening. Gardaí seized the drugs during a search at a residence ... Read more »

Parkinson's Disease Warning Signs: What To Look Out For

generic doctor image Overview A chronic and progressive movement disorder that initially causes tremor in one hand, stiffness or slowing of movement. Symptoms If you or someone you know is ... Read more »

Man caught with over €1M worth of cocaine in van has jail time doubled in appeal

A man who was caught with over €1 million in cocaine in a “sophisticated” operation where the drugs were hidden in a modified compartment in his van has had his ... Read more »

Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd announces he will stand down after the next General Election

File image of Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd. FINE GAEL TD Fergus O’Dowd has announced that he will stand down at the next General Election. O’Dowd started his political career ... Read more »
Top List in the World