Bushmills Distillery

What is your favorite cocktail? I usually stick to wine or beer, but every now and then I do enjoy a cocktail, and I definitely like to mix it up. Right now, my cocktail of choice is Bushmills and ginger ale, simple but zesty and flavorful. On our recent visit to Northern Ireland, the Bushmills Distillery was a must-stop.  After a long, breathtaking coastal drive, we found ourselves at the centuries-old, still working distillery, ready to tour and taste.


Beyond the parking lot, a complex of old stone buildings sit in front of the River Bush.


Arrows pointed us to the visitor center where we purchased our tickets and did some browsing before the tour.

Bushmills Visitor Center

Bushmills barrels

Whiskey barrels and an old still make up some of the décor in the center, which also houses a café and tasting bar.

Bushmills tasting room

Once inside, we also saw a gift shop, complete with walls of whiskey, whiskey candies like caramel and fudge, glasses, and Bushmills apparel.

Bushmills whiskey

When our designated tour time came, we met our small group and our guide, Peter Wilson, who ended up being completely fantastic. Unfortunately, due to the alcohol vapors in the air, all electronics had to be turned off, lest a spark cause the entire place to explode. Safety first, but that meant no photos of the actual tour. I decided not to risk it for the sake of the blog Winking smile

As we walked through the distillery, we learned that all Bushmills, no matter where you drink it, comes from this little factory in the North of Ireland which gets its source of water from the River Bush. They actually built the distillery over the river, so as we walked through we were walking over the river; we just couldn’t see it!  We got to see (and smell!) the process of making whiskey, which you can read about in their illustrated, step-by-step explanation on the Bushmills website. From the mash to the bottle room, we got to see the birth of new whiskey. The tour ends back at the tasting bar, where participants can choose from several types of whiskey for a taste.

Bushmills whiskey

I opted for the Bushmills 12 year single malt whiskey. Only available at the distillery, Bushmills says the following about this whiskey:

The Bushmills Malt ‘Distillery Reserve’ 12 Year Old, is matured mainly in former Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks which lend a deep amber colour and wonderful dried fruit aromas to this whiskey. Like all Bushmills whiskeys, it is gentle and approachable, with added weight.

Bushmills whiskey

Before we left, we purchased a bottle of Bushmills Black Bush whiskey for Eric’s parents. It was later turned into late-night hot whiskeys, sipped while watching The Quiet Man, listening to the hubby play the piano, and thawing out in front of a fire before bed.



Now, tell me, what is your favorite cocktail?

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Tags: Bushmills, distillery, Northern Ireland, tourism, tours, Travel, whiskey

  1. Megan’s avatar

    A St. Germain cocktail, of course!

    The tour sounds lovely, and those drinks sound like the perfect way to warm up.


  2. alicia’s avatar

    Anything with bubbly! I also dig the new trend of herb infusions – I’m not a huge fan of super-sweet cocktails.


  3. Julie’s avatar

    That looks so fun! My favorite cocktail at the moment is a margarita made with port at The Liberty Hotel’s bar, Clink.


  4. Terri’s avatar

    Your photos pop nicely against the brown backing!


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    The tour sounds like it was a lot of fun. The picture of the distillery reminds me of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory from the movie for some reason. haha!


  6. Michelle’s avatar

    You look so adorable all bundled up!


  7. Daisy’s avatar

    what a fun excursion! oh the dirty vodka martini will always be my fave, but I’ve come to love whiskey these days too. bushmills and ginger sounds right up my alley.


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