octagon bar-clarence hotel, wellington quay, dublin 2

Cocktails are a bit of a treat in Dublin. I mentioned before that I've been mixing my own drink since arriving. Most pubs dont mix cocktails and most bartenders don't know the names of standard drinks. As an American, I was shocked since my bartender friends in the US went to mixology schools. One friend had a stack of 200 flashcards with recipes that we quizzed him with as he prepared to apply for jobs.

Here, it seems, bartenders are more concerned with pulling a proper pint. To me a pint is a pint is a pint; I don't have the palate to taste the difference between beers of the same brand on draught. I'm told by those 'in the know' that there is an art to it including temperature, process, clean tubes, etc.

Even with the focus on beer, Dublin does have 'cocktail bars' where you can expect an excellent drink menu and house-made recipes worth trying. The Octagon Bar is one of those places and it's famously located at the Clarence Hotel, owned by Bono and The Edge of U2. I thought it was the coziest little space; perfect for a nice chat with my friends from the restaurant. Most impressive is the octagonal in shape of the room and the bar--how very apropos.

a manhattan in honor of stan the man