The spirit of BarRustic

23 February 2015

DSC_4977-EditBarRustic is Dublin’s newest cocktail lounge. Situated above the ever popular Rustic Stone restaurant, it’s a unique cocktail bar that combines a passion for hand crafted drinks with a curiosity and experimental nature on flavour.

They’ve got a team of dedicated bartenders, a core group of barmen who have been working together for years (as well as a couple of newcomers that are real assets) to shake up the signature drinks Rustic Stone fans have grown to love.

And while customers see the final product sitting back in a relaxed lounge with a fresh drink in hand, the bar team have spent countless hours over the past year creating and bringing together all the components that add up to an evening experience in BarRustic.

Even from my seat in the lounge it’s clear, this bar has got a lot of booze in it. Bar manager Evan laughs,

We’ve easily quadrupled the number of spirits that we stock. There’s at least 15, if not 20 new gins, around 10 new whiskeys and even a selection of premium rums.

rustic gin Collage

A selection on this scale would never have been possible previously, where the bar space in Rustic Stone was about a third of the size. Having a full scale bar at their disposal has changed everything for these bartenders.

It’s made a big difference in the way we work, just being in a bar that’s all our own. We’ve been given a lot of freedom to bring in spirits that we’re passionate about and to really concentrate on attention to detail in our cocktails. It’s also meant hiring new bar staff, and now there’s a big mix of experience. We’ve all got different styles and different spirits we’re passionate about, and that’s what made it possible for us to expand the way we have.

During months of construction and planning, there was a lot of experimentation going on behind the Rustic bar. Both individually and with input from Dylan the bartenders spent months whipping up new drinks. Slowly, a new cocktail list started taking shape- a list filled with original drinks.DSC_9092-Edit(2)

The new drinks were made, pretty much, one by one. Someone would get an idea and chip away at it, and we’d all taste the final product. The bar was in the works for so long that we got to spend a good bit of time experimenting and refining the recipes. That made the waiting period a bit more exciting, because it gave us the time we needed to develop a list of cocktails and spirits that we could be proud of.

Undoubtedly, writing a new cocktail list was exciting, but writing it while still running the bar in a busy restaurant must have presented challenges.

Writing the recipes was the easy part, honestly. The tough bit was trying to design the bar while it was still under construction. It was hard for us to imagine what the space would look like, where things would fit and how we could make it functional. It was a completely raw space, and even though it was challenging it was also exciting. Dylan and the directors gave us so much input, which we were really lucky for.

Looking around the room, one of the most abundant spirits in sight is gin. It appears that, though they come from different backgrounds, these bartenders have one thing in common.

Yes, I think gin is the one spirit we’re all particularly interested in. We all gravitated to it when working on the new cocktail list, and now having so many new premium gins work with is great fun. We just started stocking Berkeley Square, and it’s quickly becoming a staff favourite- served with fresh basil which is really fresh and different.DSC_2147-Edit

Leaving with a strong craving for a gin and tonic, I can’t help but ask if there are any more new cocktails we can look forward to tasting in the upcoming months?

There’s going to be a few new drinks made especially for when we have our official launch, but we’re keeping them under wraps until then.

At least they’ve got shelves up to the ceiling full of new spirits to try in anticipation.

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