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Trouble finding cocktail ingredients

  • 13-10-2017 12:30pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 12 Austin Young Chinchilla

    Hi, my husband and I are practising our mixology skills, particularly in advance of a busy Christmas season. We're struggling to find some of our desired ingredients, like some of the more obscure cordials, syrups, and liqueurs. For example, creme de cassis is apparently sold by many off-licences in the area, but they are ALL out of stock. And blue curacao we haven't been able to find (though admittedly for that we've only tried Tesco and SuperValu), or grenadine, or Aperol. Haven't found Lillet yet either. These are just the ones occurring to me, there are many others we'd like to have!

    We prefer to not order online and actually go to shops. Realistically, could we be looking forever? What off-licences or other shops in the Dublin area do you recommend for cocktail ingredients? We live in Malahide.

    Thanks so much!


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,137 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    managed to delete my post when trying to edit it

    Big SuperValus - the ones that were Superquinn - will stock basically all that stuff; as will bigger Dunnes. Tesco are the worst of the lot for odd items but will normally have Aperol. Failing that, buy the lot on O'Briens online

    Now for some unsolicited advice :pac: I have done the 'stock everything' approach to cocktail parties and have found it to be a huge waste of cash - people won't want to wait for obscure stuff after they've already had one or two. I now keep a much lower stock - core spirits (gin, brandy, bourbon, rye, vodka, scotch, white rum), a few specific other items (triple sec, good vermouth are always needed) and various bitters (Angoustora, Peychauds, orange). Grenandine, advocaat etc I just end up throwing out as they don't last forever and the Kahlua/Campari/Aperol are barely touched.

    Don't go too fancy with the spirits for heavily flavoured drinks - I use Lidl bourbon when its heavily flavoured by something else but Bulleit or Turkey or similar for more bourbon-centric cocktails. I use Lidl or Aldi gin pretty much exclusively also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,519 ✭✭✭✭ dudara

    All of the above are very common cocktail ingredients, nothing obscure about them at all. They should be stocked by any decent off-license. If you're in Dublin, I'd recommend Celtic Whiskey, Redmonds of Ranelagh and Sweeneys in Phibsboro. is another option.

    If you do go online, I buy a lot of my stuff from There are probably many other similar sites, but I've always had good customer service from them.

    I'd actually disagree with L1011 (sorry!) and say that you need to use appropriate quality spirits. If you're making a spirit forward drinks such as a Martini, Manhattan, Negroni etc, the quality of the spirit matters hugely. However, if I'm making margaritas, I'll use simple silver tequila, but from a good brand (El Jimador is great here). I wouldn't use my Anejo or Resposado tequilas as they would get drowned out by the lime etc. Experience will help you learn which spirits to use.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,168 ✭✭✭✭ odyssey06

    The O'Briens in Malahide is very small... you might need to order them online for collection in store... they have blue curacao and aperol listed but as out of stock in Malahide though available elsewhere.

    Tesco have a selection of own brand vermouth (dry, rosso) and LIDL have an own brand dry vermouth - much cheaper than the price of the branded 'Martini'.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 Austin Young Chinchilla

    I appreciate the ideas and suggestions, everyone! Just found creme de cassis at Lidl, so that's the El Diablo's taken care of :P

  • Dunnes have Bols grenadine and cassis. They only stock them for Christmas though, also only in the bigger stores.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,834 ✭✭✭✭ ThisRegard

    Molloys and O'Briens, the ones I visit anyway, have the full Bols range, some of their stuff I've never seen or heard of before. Same for Tesco, but I usually only go to the bigger ones.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,275 ✭✭✭✭ rubadub

    blue curacao
    This is an orange based liquer so alternatives are cointreau & grand marnier & triple sec. Some are pricey but they are high in % so you would not have to add as much vodka.

    Blue curacao is usually lower % and I awlays felt it was just a gimmick with blue food colouring, so people like to use it in cocktails like a blue lagoon.

    Aldi or lidl might have cheap orange liquer knockoffs which might not have the blue colouring.

    Grenadine is often behind the counter in offies, and very little stock of it, so ask.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,137 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    rubadub wrote: »
    Aldi or lidl might have cheap orange liquer knockoffs which might not have the blue colouring.

    Lidl very occasionally actually have blue curacao (in summer only)but otherwise neither of them sells orange liquer anymore as a regular item

    My original post that I deleted while trying to edit had mentioned that creme de cassis is in Lidl about three times a year for the French week and often hangs around as its not something they'll reduce in price.