It wasn’t all chefs and cookery writers at this year’s Ballymaloe LitFest; there was also a very lively drinks theatre which featured good Irish craft beer, natural wines, glorious sherry and unusual cocktails.
London-based cocktail guru Nick Strangeway – who is not a fan of the term mixologist! – makes drinks with his own tinctures, cordials and infusions. Like the chefs that he works with, he gets inspiration from his surroundings – foraging in the streets of London, gathering leaves, stalks and ideas as he walks through the herb garden at Ballymaloe.
Nick takes the flavours of an East Cork herb garden and turns them into something that is particular to that place, that time. Cocktail terroir, perhaps?
Certainly makes you look at your garden plants in a new and speculative way.