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Maria Crispy, Vodka Investigator

Our own Maria Crispy recently attended a Smirnoff launch for CheapEats, and found out some interesting facts about how well vodka goes with limes, and also about the effect of the recession on booze:

moscowmuleI went to a reception held by the very genial people of Smirnoff the other night, in celebration of the original vodka mule, a re-launch if you will, designed to eradicate any and all residual memories of the bottled version from back when alcopops were in their heyday. They’re going to be putting on a lot of promotions this summer, all based around a very fashionable “Circus” theme, complete with juggling and feather-on-nose-balancing and counting on the old and reliable route to building/maintaining brand loyalty: Show people a good time and make their night out a little cheaper.

It was an interesting night, not least because a vodka and ginger ale cocktail is actually pretty nice when freshly mixed and a whole lime is chopped into it, the kind of drink I think I would have coming out of my eyeballs were this even a slighter warmer climate. Also, some interesting facts about how the drinks industry is getting hit by the recession came to light. For instance, Smirnoff is down 10% on sales (which doesn’t sound as dramatic as the declines in some other sectors but represents huge financial losses.

Also, places like the Village, formerly thronged on an almost constant basis with the drunken and the damned, don’t fill up on Fridays anymore. I know I’m not there. To be frank, after the last time, I’m not sure I’m allowed in, but, otherwise, that’s a fairly noteworthy devolution. How badly are bars getting hit? And how badly do they deserve it?

The Thomas Read group’s current troubles are infamous and a fairly obvious result of over-extension (the bar in Smithfield was an unmitigated disaster, to my mind) but pubs in town still seem pretty busy, don’t they? Or have I been losing critical focus with each unit of alcohol? In general, how are people finding it out there? And have bars and pubs really not been passing on the Bulmer’s price reduction or is that just scurrilous rumour?


  1. Cheap nights in for me I’m afraid. But I love having people over, and it means I don’t have to worry about taxis or getting a seat. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of the recession or me getting old though…

  2. Yep agree with Jenny on that one. We are always having friends over much prefer it then spending a fortune on overpriced drink and taxis home.

    Have been having loads of bbq evenings with friends — in typical Irish style – ie bbq’ing under a big brolly and runing in and out with plates of food – great fun!!

    Like nothing better then a bottle of vino, good DVD and a pizza and a natter with the DH on a Friday night — forget the recession am just getting old!!

  3. Nights in with friends rock. But then, my twenties are a receeding memory.

    Thomas Read’s in Smithfield was an abject failure but in its defence, it was only ever opened because the Kellys (recently in the news) owned both the pub company and the company that developed Smithfield village and, thus, owns all its empty retail units.

    It is sad that the redevelopment of Smithfield failed so badly, it is a desert of empty units now.

  4. Ah I dunno, I reckon the student nights in town
    are as busy as always. They’ve always been cheap (€3 pints and whatnot) and that hasn’t changed this year.

  5. yay!! relaunch of smirnoff mule – the only alcopop I ever enjoyed! It was great and I think only failed because of that dreadful manky orange/brown/gold coloured bottle.

    Like the other commenters though I am getting old and will most likely be enjoying vodka, ginger ale and lime from the comfort of my living room for the most part!

  6. I know for sure that Im not going out at much in Cork as I did in Dublin. I just cant afford it anymore 🙁 The drink may be cheaper here, but so are the wages.

  7. Drinking in Dublin is an expensive hobby and one that I’ve cut back on a good bit. I’m also annoyed that a lot of the pubs have not passed on the Bulmers price cut in any shape or form.

  8. They probably argue that they have set a price freeze so “cant” pass on the saving.