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Beware the cheap cocktail

alfiesCocktail offers have suckered me twice now. Last year, I was at a friend’s birthday and we all piled into Alfie’s on South William Street for the €5 cocktail deal. After ordering a round, we found that the alcohol content was pretty puny. One person went to complain to the barman and was met with the expected answer: what do you expect for €5? Needless to say, we didn’t go back for more.

I’ve come across this in a few other Dublin bars: cocktails on special offer that seemed higher on mixer and lower on alcohol than we might expect. A cautionary tale: sometimes special offers are not all they seem.


  1. Anyone have any good cocktail recommendations in Dublin? I love a good cocktail, and I’ll happy pay more for a good one since they’re usually more satisfying than a raft of ordinary drinks, so can almost work out cheaper. Especially if you’re meeting someone mid-week, a single cocktail can be a better choice than three pints, say.

    The best cocktails I’ve had have been in the Mint Bar in the Westin, though the atmosphere down there isn’t great. Venu do great cocktails too, especially the martinis. I had a superb whiskey cocktail in the No. 23 bar in the Merrion. That bar is actually one of Dublin’s best-kept secrets. The drinks aren’t any more expensive than anywhere else (except the coffee), and you get a huge plate of nuts and olives to munch on, for free. It’s quiet and smells of burning wood. Good people watching too, though it’s definitely less tacky than the Shelbourne, say.

  2. Hi Martin, Love MInt Bar cocktails too but I agree there isn’t much atmosphere. I recommend skipping Capitol Bar for their € 5 drinsk as they are more just juice & heading on up to Solas on Wexford Street, good cocktails & atmosphere.

  3. i had some great cocltails in No.4 dame lane and they weren’t too expensive. i couldn’t say the same for toast in rathmins i got a horrible mojihto there and it cost me a fortune

  4. My fav is the Dylan for cocktails..yum..yum.

  5. DO NOT get me started on cocktails in Dublin. I’ve paid a tenner for ones with no discernable booze in some bars and restaurants, and the so called bargain or happy hour ones are a total rip off.

    You’re right Martin, good ones are worth paying for, but it’s so difficult to find them.

    Maria Crispy has a good tip – order a classic gin or vodka martini. As they only have two ingredients, both of which are alcoholic, it’s very difficult to pass off a watered-down one. Ordering anything with loads of ingredients (like a Long Island Iced Tea) or loads of sugar (like a mojito) means you’re pretty likely to be ripped off.

    Perhaps this explains why we always get so blasted when we make cocktails at parties – we’re used to drinking 500mls of fruit juice to every thimble-full of rum!

  6. The cocktails in the Morgan Bar are really good!!at the moment they are ten euros until 10pm!They dont stint on the alcohol either so i think they are excellent value!ive also been in for 1 or 2 during the week and have been given tapas/nibbles free!The atmosphere is really nice too and there is plenty of comfy couches and chairs!its also a nice spot to people watch if you sit near the front!Well worth a visit at the weekends they have a dj and guy playing the bongo drums!!!

  7. The Southwilliam does the best mojitos in Dublin (that I’ve tasted anyway)

  8. The bar in the Westbury does lovely cocktails. Can’t remember the price but I remember that they were worth it.

  9. 4, Dame Lane is one of the best. The Conrad does a nice one too but very expensive and no atmosphere. Ron Blacks are good but I don’t think there’s much of a kick off them but tasty drinks all the same. Solas on Wexford St. is quite good too.

  10. The Fitzwilliam do the best cocktails in Dublin! Simple.

    Forget Dame Lane/Capitol/Southwilliam etc…