In the run up to the release of the Winter issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal on December 14th, we are taking a look back at some of the Irish food champions we’ve met in our previous issues…
Hipster New Yorkers probably come to Damson Diner for inspiration. Located on South William Street in Dublin 2, the space is a modern style American diner with neon lights, exposed pipes and high ceilings. They’ve the low-down on what’s happening in the food world too.
Run by Oisin Davis, formerly of The Sugar Club, and the guys behind Coppinger Row the diner serves up dishes like Vietnamese bánh mi, a sort of light baguette along with other Thai street food favourites. You’ll also find Louisiana crowd pleasers like po’ boys and Indian inspired nibbles like courgettes and fennel bhaji.
We love the food but we’re in love with the cocktails. Damson have their cocktail shakers right on the ancient and modern zietgeist by celebrating old infusion traditions. Foraged wild foods like sloes and elderflowers are combined with gin, vodka and whiskey helping to revive old glories like elderflower gin but creating exciting new mixes too. These are then combined into the latest cocktails, one of which they kindly shared with us for our Spring 2013 feast.
70ml elderberry infused cork dry gin
50ml crinnaughtan Apple Juice
20ml green Tea Syrup a dash of lemon juice
Chill a tumbler with ice and water and set aside. Place all ingredients in the shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Empty your tumbler and strain the shaker into the glass. Garnish with a preserved baby apple or slices of apple dipped in lemon. The Damson Diner’s gin was infused for 5 months with wild Irish elderberries, though we have a 2 month version below.
500g elderberries, ripe
700ml cork dry gin gin
When gathering the elderberries make sure to just pick the ripe ones. Be a responsible forager too, always leave plenty behind for the birds. To prepare the berries use a fork to strip them from the stalks. Pick through removing any unripe berries and stalks.
Put the berries in a microwave proof bowl and pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir half way through. The berries are ready for the next stage when they have started to split and juice is coming out. They should be hot but not collapsing into a mash. A more traditional method is to piece each berry with a darning needle instead of heating in the microwave.
Once the berries are ready place in a sterilised jar, add the sugar and finally the gin. Seal tightly and shake vigorously. Shake two or three times a day for for 2-3 days ensuring all the sugar has dissolved. Store in a dark press or shed for one month.
Strain the berry and gin mix through a fine muslin. Taste for sweetness and add sugar if necessary. Bin the berry mush and store the liquid for another month before decanting into individual bottles.
Damson Diner, 52 South William St, Dublin 2; Tel: + 353 1 677 7007.