[This dates back to a time, in the late 1990s, when I wrote a monthly column for theNewfoundland Telegram about connections between Ireland and Newfoundland, where I had been brought up for a while and visited a number of times since.]
Dublin, like my monthly articles, is home to many public houses and drinking establishments of all descriptions. In the past 10 years the scene has changed dramatically, from one that could be exhausted in a day or two to one that spoils us for choice.
Every new pub that opens quickly fills with enthusiastic customers keen to try out the latest concept in alcohol consumption. One wonders what they all did before the new pubs were built.There's ones with Russian themes, with African overtones, with home brew, with Belgian brew, with camp interior, with sports coverage, with
On a Saturday night in city centre Dublin, unless you're fond of sweating, smelling and shouting in jam-packed, smoke-filled, noise-polluted cattle sheds, finding a place to have a quiet drink can be a big challenge. Apart from everything else, getting home after the pubs close is a nightmare, with taxi ranks attracting hour-long queues and public transport full to bursting.
So the suburbs become more attractive; the 'locals' come into their own. One of our locals is the 'Ass & Cart' owned by Jim O'Rourke, brother of Terry O'Rourke of Duke of Duckworth fame. I was there last night for a drink with some friends.
Hardly had we seated ourselves at the bar but Ed was giving out. "This pub has far too many cds. A pub is meant to serve us drink not entertain our ears." Sinead's comment was that the beermats had seen better days. My contribution was: "Three pints of Guiness, please."
Ed's views of the clientele were again critical: "There's too many young girls wearing hardly anything ... Like that one for example." His views on young people themselves were equally negative: "I think young people smoke far too many cigarettes."
*** [Lost something here!] ***
Take equal measures of Midori, Melon Liquer, Créme de Banan, Peach Schnapps and a bottle of quality orange juice. Shake vigorously in a cocktail maker with plenty of crushed ice. Pour into a tall glass and add a measure of Blue Curacao.
This concoction we'll call an 'Across the Pond'. The green represents Ireland, the white froth depicts snow covered Newfoundland, and the crushed ice evokes the bergs that separate us.
Alternatively, we could call it after the two pubs that inspired the drink - a 'Duke's Ass' and argue that it's a bit too fruity for a drink commemorating Newfoundland-Irish relations. We could ask the barman to fix us a rum and Coke with a Guinesss head, and to hell with all the shaking.