The Jammy Donkey
(or the Dingle Donkey) was born at the 2012 Bloom Festival
in Dublin, Ireland’s Phoenix Park.
I had been hired to create cocktails débuting the Dingle Distillery‘s first batches of Dingle Vodka & Dingle Gin at Ireland’s largest garden show – Bloom in the Park!
We rocked up the first day with limited supplies – cups, ice, straws, cartons of various juices, lemons, limes, a few cans of ginger beer and large bottles of Schwepps tonic, soda & ginger ale to mix with cases upon cases of vodka & gin. We shared the tent with multiple craft beer & cider companies but we were the only spirit company. Women came into the tent looking for wine as I suppose it is more acceptable to sip a glass of vino at that hour.
“Gin?! At THIS hour?! No way! But what about wine, any wine here?”, one woman asked.
My reply was “Madame, as this is the Bord Bia area, all items here are grown or crafted here in the Republic of Ireland and it’s just to damn cold and wet to grow enough grapes”
Business was sparse that first day in the Bloom Bar – it was Thursday afternoon, the weather was a tad poor and no one was gagging for a G&T at that hour. It occurred to me that we were only selling ‘built’ drinks not ‘shaken’ drinks. No one noticed us selling Moscow Mule‘s or Gin & Tonic’s – there was no theatre in those built drinks. We needed something more.
I knew from experience that people are like animals – attracted to pretty colours and they turn their heads when they hear a noise… Visual and Auditory Cues. I grabbed some cranberry and lime juice with a healthy measure of vodka, iced up the shaker tin and began to shake the living daylights out of it. Immediately heads began to turn, wives tapped their husbands to look and soon crowds approached our stand to see what was going on. Within a minute one fella came up and said, ‘Give us one of them pink things.’
He didn’t care what it was, what was in it or how much it cost. His partner just told him to get her one of those ‘pink things’. I knew right there and then – I needed more supplies.
As this was the Bord Bia area of the Bloom Garden Show, we were surrounded by numerous tents full of Irish companies showcasing wonderful & delicious products so I began my hunt for new ingredients. I happened upon a lovely young woman that had a variety of jams, preserves and sauces who had a large crowd around her stand sampling anything she had open for tasting. I scanned what was on offer and was drawn to one particular product of hers when I saw the words I knew would work a treat with the load of ginger ale I had back at the stand – raspberry & vanilla. Nicolla from the Big Red Kitchen sold me two jars and I ran back to our stand to give it a try.
The first one was shared between Oliver Hughes (the owner of the Dingle Distillery & the Porterhouse Brewery), Dave Morrissey (head of operations at Lillie’s Bordello & Porterhouse Central) and myself, and after the first sip we knew we were onto a winner. What started as a Moscow Mule was reborn via Nicola‘s fab jam and so the Jammy Donkey was the star of the show. We had an amazingly busy weekend and created huge fans of both the spirit and the jam. Over the course of that weekend, we went through dozens upon dozens of jars from Nicola.
Like all recipes, when you work with high quality ingredients the outcome can be truly amazing.
The Jammy Donkey – aka – The Dingle Donkey