Gin Joint of the Month: Harbour Gin Bar, Portrush, County Antrim

Perched on the tip of the golden-beached peninsula of Portrush, Northern Ireland’s most northerly town, is a slice of foodie heaven. The Ramore complex was established by a pair of entrepreneurial spirits, George and Jane McAlpin, some 35 years ago, and is now looked after by three generations of the same family.

The complex comprises five eateries – The Wine Bar, The Mermaid, The Neptune & Prawn, Coast and the Harbour Bistro – all specialising in different cuisines, from Asian inspired dishes to fresh fish and local specials. Alongside them sits the Harbour Bar, a cosy, laid-back venue which has been serving wines, spirits and stouts to thirsty sea dogs for over 100 years.

It’s upstairs in this traditional hostelry that you’ll find the latest addition to the Ramore complex – and unsurprisingly the one that’s got us most excited – The Harbour Gin Bar. Inspired by George and Jane’s chef son Fin’s penchant for gin, the new venue opened about 18 months ago and has been a huge hit with locals and visitors alike. The bar can also boast some famous names among its clientele, with the golfer Darren Clark and actor James Nesbitt both locals and regular patrons.

It goes without saying that The Harbour Gin Bar will serve you a well-mixed glass of Northern Ireland’s finest, Shortcross Gin there, and the bar also has over 40 other gins from around the world on offer. Even the most seasoned gin lover will be spoilt for choice! The knowledgeable team of ‘bar ginerals’, who proudly display their personal favourite tipple on their name badges, will be happy to guide you on your gin journey.

If all that gin is making you hungry, you can grab yourself a pizza cooked to order by the in-house chef, with entertainment provided by live music from a range of singer-songwriters, who appear every evening throughout the summer months.

All in all, The Harbour Gin Bar is the perfect spot for a lively night out with a friendly crowd, some sea air – and of course, some wonderful gins.

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