McCaffrey Small Batch Irish Gin
UPDATE: July 2020 – McCaffrey Gin has won a silver medal at the London Spitits Competition!
The Hole in the Wall has its created its own gin called McCaffrey Small Batch Irish Gin. It is a gin
with a unique taste that makes it stand out from other gins on the market.
What makes it different from other gins is all down to the botanicals that we have selected.
But what are botanicals and how do they affect the taste of gin?
A botanical is a substance that comes from a plant and the spirit gin is made using different
botanicals. It is the different combinations of botanicals that give gins their flavour profile.
All gins must contain juniper. If there is no juniper present then the drink cannot be called gin. The
juniper cones (sometimes called juniper berries) are what give the pine taste to gin. It makes gin
taste like Christmas.
The other botanicals used in gin are selected by the distiller. They can choose whatever they like
and this freedom gives gins their unique taste and aromas.
However, some botanicals are quite commonly used in gin production.
Let’s take a look at the five most common botanicals found in gin.
After juniper, coriander is the next most commonly used botanical in gin making. Coriander has a
citrus, spicy and nutty flavour profile which complements the flavour of juniper very well. This is
why so many gins have coriander.
Bombay Dry Gin, as well as our own McCaffrey Irish Gin, both feature coriander.
Another common botanical used in gin production is Angelica. This has an intense aroma and an
earthy and medicinal flavour (it is also used in the drink Fernet).
Gordon’s Pink Gin and Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin both feature Angelica.
Cassia is related to cinnamon but has a more robust flavour. It is also a little sweeter than
cinnamon with an almost liquorice-like taste.
Shortcross Wild Clover Gin and Bombay Sapphire both feature cassia.
Lemon and bitter orange are the two most commonly used citrus flavours in gin. Lemon brightens
up the flavour of the gin and is often used in gin cocktails to enhance the citrus notes even more.
Other citrus flavours commonly found in gin are bergamot, grapefruit, lime and yuzu.
Beefeater Pink, Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin and The Hole in the Wall’s McCaffrey Irish Gin all
feature citrus notes.
Did you know that because green cardamom has to be harvested by hand, it is one of the most
expensive spices in the world? Think about that next time you are sipping on a G&T.
Cardamom is related to ginger and has a medicinal, minty, herbal, complex taste. Its sweet and
spicy flavour works wonderfully with juniper and coriander.
Seagram’s Distillers Reserve, Bertha’s Revenge Gin and McCaffrey Irish Gin all feature
Most gins use a combination of juniper and the five most common botanicals listed above.
However, in order to make a gin taste unique, it is important to build up a flavour profile unlike any
other. This is done by choosing less common flavours. We decided to use botanicals found in our
back garden, the magnificent Phoenix Park. Talk about keeping it local.
We forged and ferreted and tested and tasted a huge range of botanicals found in the Phoenix
Park. Eventually, we hit on a winning combination of nettle, dandelion, meadowsweet and clover to
create our unique Irish gin.
Nettle adds a fresh, green, earthy flavour to the gin. A herbaceous punch without the sting.
Dandelion adds a sweet touch to the gin as well as a slightly bitter bite. Dandelion and nettle pair
Meadowsweet does indeed smell sweet, a bit like hay and vanilla with a sweet and refreshing
Clover has a delicate, sweet floral taste and, of course, adds a lot of luck. It is the perfect partner to
meadowsweet and they work well to balance out the fresh green flavours of the nettle and
So, our foraged Phoenix Park botanicals combine with classic flavours to create a gin with a fresh,
clean, unique taste.
The gin pairs perfectly with tonic, in fact, you can enjoy a McCaffrey Gin and Fever-Tree
Mediterranean Tonic for just €6.50 in The Hole in the Wall pub.
However, McCaffrey Gin also works wonderfully in cocktails. It holds up well against strong
flavours but also compliments more subtle tastes too.
Try it in our Martini – McCaffrey gin mixed with Regal Rogue Vermouth and dandelion bitters,
garnished with a grapefruit twist. Despite the strong taste of the vermouth and bitters, the gin really
shines through and the lemon notes zing out of the glass.
You can also try it in our Phoenix Fizz – a blend of McCaffrey gin, Italicus, lemon and Fever-Tree
Elderflower Tonic. McCaffrey Gin effortlessly and harmoniously blends with these delicate flavours
to create a refreshing cocktail.
For something a little different, how about our Gin Sting cocktail? McCaffrey Irish Gin is combined
with lime, nettle syrup and soda and garnished with nettle and mint. It is a fresh tasting cocktail
with a lot of zing.
All of our cocktails have been shaken and stirred by master mixologist Keith Malone.
If you want to try McCaffrey Small Batch Irish Gin, head to the bar in The Hole in the Wall pub in
Dublin. If you’d like to buy a bottle or two you can do so in The Hole in the Wall wine shop. A 700ml
bottle costs €45 and comes in a sleek and elegant looking black gift box. It is a great addition to
any drinks cabinet.