The role of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, is to act as a link between Irish food, drink and horticulture suppliers and existing and potential customers throughout the world. Their objective is to develop markets for Irish suppliers and to bring the taste of Irish food to more tables world-wide.
Welcome to the Embassy of Ireland in London
Pastabites was invited to attend their yearly Spirit of Sharing event (now in its third year) at the Embassy of Irelend in London’s Belgravia.
Ireland has a rich, world renowned heritage in the drinks industry. The companies that took part in Spirit of Sharing 2018 are championing the natural diversity and abundance of the Irish landscape, from their cream liqueurs to malts, blends and botanicals.
I admit, I did not know much about Irish producers, and so the evening was a great opportunity to find out more about the variety the island produces.
The set up was well put together, with an area dedicated to gin, one to beers and mixers and a larger section for whiskey (where I found myself spending the majority of my time). At each end, a fully stocked up bar producing beautiful cocktails on request, using of course the country’s finest spirits.
There were really a lot of things to try out, so it’s impossible to list all of them and also I refrained from trying too many of them, in an effort to avoid toppling down the majestic embassy’s staircase blind drunk at the end of the evening.
My favourite tipple of the night was a mellow, amber coloured 3 years aged whiskey from Glendalough distillery. Their medieval looking logo is what caught my eye, of course, but then I really liked their whiskey, which is aged in American bourbon barrels, and finished in Spanish sherry casks.
It is available in the UK via Odd Bins among others, and I am going to buy a bottle for my next trip to Italy.
Gin and more
Some striking gin options were on offer, and our favourite on the night was Dublin City. We also tried some mixers and alcopops (is there still such a word?). We really enjoyed Loki, which is mildly alcoholic at 4% and has some bitter, refreshing flavours on offer, yet not available for now in England.
The canape menu was also a showcase of Irish produce, and knowing how much work goes on in an embassy kitchen, I appreciated the flavours and the variety. I loved the Burren smoked organic salmon with horseradish on brown bread, and The Scullery beetroot relish, walnuts and St Tola goat’s cheese tarts, however the best bites were the incredible Loughnanes Guinnes and pork mini sausages, we ate quite an enormous amount and couldn’t get enough of them!
We really enjoyed our evening at Bord bia, met a few fellow bloggers and chatted to a number of passionate and committed producers. Here’s to next year!
Pastabites was a guest at Bord Bia, and was not asked to write this post; opinions are my own.