Miss Pin Up Ireland 2018 Ruby Noir hands out song lists to a modest but lively crowd made up of returning Wednesday night ‘Guilty Pleasures’ karaoke regulars. A compulsory shot may be taken pre or post performance and Miss Noir advises the crowd “ Here at Guilty Pleasures it is not about being good, but about being bad together”.
Drop Dead Twice has been home to Dublin’s bring your own cocktail bar for 3 years where guests are invited to bring along a naggin (200ml) or a shoulder (350ml) of booze and then let the DDT bar team take control, creating a variety of drinks from their chosen spirit. A 2 hour stay and four drinks from your naggin will coast €25 while the shoulder and 6 drinks over 3 hours are €35. We decided on bringing a simple crowd pleaser naggin of Smirnoff Vodka along with the more offbeat Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition and let our mixologist go to work with the vast array of fresh and homemade ingredients together with a wide range of syrups and mixers.
It is early evening time and lunch was quickly becoming a distant memory so with bellies grumbling we decided to pause the cocktail experience and inquire about food as I had seen brunch advertised in the past. We were informed that the kitchen is currently closed but encouraged to take out our devices and fire up Just-Eat or Deliveroo to order in. We didn’t need asking twice and with our city centre location, the options were unlimited. September 12th will mark the reopening of the kitchen as popular pop up Ugly Duckling once of George’s Arcade and The Hill Pub, Ranelagh takes the reigns come dinner hour. Specialising in burgers, chicken dishes and slow-roasted meats The Ugly Duckling will be available Thursday to Saturday 5.30 – 9.30pm.
Back to the moment of now and after one inhaled Boojum Quesadilla delivered on foot from the top of the road we were ready to dive into the vodka and whiskey concoctions blended before our eyes.
Our four Smirnoff based drinks included a juicy watermelon Sex On The Beach that didn’t bring the sentiment of an Irish bar in the Canary Islands, an oddly intriguing mint and blueberry number plus a Rose Pampelonne mix served ice cold in a gin glass. The winner for me though was the bartenders take on a classic bramble with hints of cranberry and a blackberry draped seductively over the side of the glass.
Whiskey lovers will not be left disappointed either as we were treated to some classics with the occasional surprising twist. After starting with a timeless Old-Fashioned blend containing Orange bitters we moved onto a tropical whiskey sour that swapped out the egg whites for pineapple juice to create the foamy finish. Another take on an Old-Fashioned sent the tastebuds into overdrive with maple and popcorn syrups, one for the sugar lovers. The most interesting drink of the night award must go to our final sip. Jameson casemates stout edition, apple juice, popcorn syrup, angostura bitters topped with ginger ale. Not your average ‘Jemmy Ginger’. The popcorn syrup inspires nostalgia of recent cinema journeys while my accomplice noted it brought her back to her Halloween trick or treat basket. A brilliant creation yet with the only imaginably high sugar levels I think it would be a ‘one and done’ kind of drink.
The bar also has a range of wonderful IPAs on draught with eye catching taps and whacky and wonderful names.
The Cocktail bar upstairs was unfortunately under renovations when we visited but opens back this September with a new cabaret space added with a big line up of acts on the way. Downstairs ‘The Taproom’ is made up of a mixture of exposed brickwork, wooden finishes, retro bar furniture whereas, lighting is modern rustic made up of old copper and brass pipe conversions and a bar of corrugated steel with a natural wood countertop. The back of the room facilities the stage that has been graced by cover bands of Tom Petty, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Led Zeppelin and many more.
The schedule for the coming weeks is jam packed with new additions and returning favourites. This week alone sees Tuesdays alternating Band Night and Jam Sessions. Wednedsay sees Dialemma host the monthly Lip Synce Battle upstairs while Mullingar’s infamous Count Tornado rocks downstairs. Friday is Orchestral Maneuverers in The Dark Tribute then Saturday is a big one as Bella GoGo presents her annual Steampunk A Go Go! Punkery & Tomfoolery show. Sunday is the return of the NFL which can be watched at DDT every Sunday of the season. To keep up to date with their ever changing events we recommend following on Instagram @dropdead_twice where there are regulars post about upcoming gigs.
A cliché maybe, but Drop Dead Twice really does cater something for everyone.
Drop Dead Twice
18/19 Francis Street,