5 Minutes With… Tommie Doyle
Resort Whiskey Ambassador, Tommie Doyle joined The Tack Room team in 2018. During his time at Adare Manor, Tommie has created wonderful whiskey tasting experiences for our guests and assisted in expanding our whiskey collection of more than 160 rare quality bottles sourced from the best producers internationally.
As well as sourcing the best bottles from around the world, Tommie was part of the panel to select Adare Manor’s current Midleton Single cask. Alongside the Tack Room team, Tommie has successfully secured numerous awards and continues to assist in strengthening Adare Manor’s whiskey collection, and our team’s knowledge of whiskey, to ensure that Adare Manor create and deliver Beyond Everything whiskey experiences. We caught up with Tommie to discuss his favourite cocktail, the best way to drink whiskey at home and some standout memories from being a part of The Tack Room team.
First and foremost, settle the big debate, should you put ice in your whiskey or not?
This is a debate that once upon a time in my life I would have said absolutely not! But we all mature and develop over time (like a good whiskey), so now I would honestly say enjoy it however you like – with one cube or half a bag of ice, with water, neat or in a cocktail. It has to be made to be enjoyed so how ever you like it.
If you were a whiskey, what would you be and why?
I think I’d be something like a peated Irish whiskey, a bit difficult to get to know at first and can be a bit stubborn. But once you get to know me I am unique and dedicated to what I do.
In your opinion what is the best affordable whiskey?
I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone when I say that Redbreast 12 year old has to be my go to affordable whiskey. That being said there are so many great whiskeys out there that come in around that price point including – Teeling Single Grain. Dingle’s new single malt is also a fantastic whiskey for its price and for a blended whiskey, Dunville’s 1808 is a newcomer that is going to be around for a while.
What is your favourite cocktail on the menu in The Tack Room?
Currently my favourite cocktail on the menu is the Desmond Rebellion. This showcases that Redbreast 12 is not only an amazing whiskey to enjoy on its own but how it can be used as a truly great base for a cocktail, especially when it’s used in our simple twist on a Tipperary.
What was your favourite cocktail to create?
We are constantly creating new concoctions. I don’t know if I could pick a favourite, but the one drink that I always love making is a martini. On paper it is quite a simple, classic drink. But crafting a martini to how the guest enjoys, is always a joy. I especially love making a blush gin martini that is surprisingly light and flavourful.
If you were to explain each of the three bars at Adare Manor with a drink which would they be?
This is a really interesting idea as each bar can feel quite different to our guests.
There are times where The Carriage House bar feels like the place to have a light spritz and then there are other times when it is the ideal place to have a perfectly crafted Adare Manor Garden Gin martini.
The Drawing Room is the perfect place to have a refreshing gin and tonic or a chilled glass of champagne before dinner.
Finally, The Tack Room is the place where you never know what you going to be served. However, you can be certain that whatever you order will be made with passion and should be perfect.
Talk us through a simple cocktail you can make at home that is also a showstopper.
A really simple cocktail anyone can all make at home is a classic whiskey sour. With a few secret tips from the team here in The Tack Room, your guests will be wondering whether you’re moonlighting as a bartender behind their backs!
A whiskey sour is a drink that with only a few simple changes can become something totally unique. We would always use a 2 to 1 sugar syrup as it has a great body that creates that silky feeling of a good whiskey sour. But you can use any sugar you want. With white sugars focus on the citrus you’re using. While the darker the sugar you use, the more you’re going to showcase the whiskey. When it comes to the juice for a whiskey sour lemon is the gold standard, but if you want to experiment you can try lime or grapefruit juice. The eggs should always be fresh and only use the whites. Most importantly the whiskey is where you can run wild. We tend to use bourbon in The Tack Room, as that is how the classic was made and typically the oaky character comes through really well. But don’t be afraid to try something Irish. The trick in creating that beautiful silky foam, without spending the whole night shaking, is to use a blender, either an immersion blender or a classic blender. Add all your ingredients into your cocktail tin if using an immersion blender or into the cup if a classic, and blitz it for 10 seconds or until it has become airy and light. Then add ice and shake, and amaze your guests with beautiful whiskey sours.
What is the best garnish for a whiskey cocktail?
The best garnish for a whiskey cocktail really depends on the cocktail you are making. A piece of freshly zested lemon skin is perfect for a Boulevardier – my favourite whiskey cocktail. If you want something a little richer, dried orange or orange zest can create a really decadent warmth to a drink.
Can you give your best piece of advice for serving the perfect neat whiskey at home?
It really is quite simple – have a whiskey you really can sit down with for a while from a glass that you enjoy drinking from. When I’m at home with family we have some old Cavan Crystal rock glasses that are perfect for enjoying a dram after dinner.
What type of glass would you recommend for serving the perfect whiskey?
It really depends on what you are doing and how you enjoy your whiskey. If you are drinking it over ice, whether it be over one cube or a glass full of ice, you cannot beat a rocks glass. But if you are really trying to taste and get to know a glass of whiskey, then a Tauth is the perfect glass. Tauth’s have been specifically made for Irish whiskey and is a glass that you can hold on to all evening.
How would you describe the Adare Manor whiskey in three words?
What is the best thing about working at Adare Manor?
The culture of excellence. It may sound like a cliché for a 5 star property, but at Adare Manor we really strive for continuous improvement. We are our own harshest critics, never resting and always wanting to be better than we were.
Describe the typical attributes of an Adare Manor bartender.
We are all passionate, driven and really enjoy our time at work. When working in a hotel like Adare Manor it is obvious the team need to have real passion and always want to improve. We also take pride in providing a warm welcome to each and every guest.
Describe a couple of the best moments so far at Adare Manor.
That is a really difficult question as there have been so many amazing memories made working at Adare Manor. We have hosted so many special events and really try to make every guest’s stay memorable.
I have really loved each of the whiskey tastings over the last four years. I especially enjoy outlining the magnificent and strange history of Irish whiskey to guests and showcasing the vast library of Irish whiskey that is housed in The Tack Room.
Another standout memory was hosting a whiskey tasting for a group on the terrace of the French formal gardens while the birds of prey flew overhead.
Learn more about our whiskey tasting experiences here.
By Sinead Harrington