For New Year’s Eve, I am taking “out with the old and in with the new” to another level. A firm goodbye to the year that never was; I’m ringing in 2021 with a completely fresh perspective.

I don’t want to go for the same bottle of champagne, wine or can of lager to toast to what we can only hope will be a better year ahead. I want something special and – most importantly – Irish. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that supporting local is more important than we could have ever imagined. And when it comes to your evening tipple? Ireland has so many beautifully unique products to offer.

Silk Tree Botanics

Silk Tree is an alcohol-free Irish spirit; infused with fresh botanicals.

If you’re avoiding alcohol but still want to imbibe, consider trying Ireland’s first non-alcoholic, distilled spirit. Perfect for replacing gin or vodka, Silk Tree is infused with fresh botanicals and pairs well with juices and tonics.

It’s made with 100% natural ingredients but still provides the kick you would expect from a gin or vodka. It’s also sugar and fat-free, if you’re making any new year’s resolutions.

Co-founder Tracy Cassidy says they created Silk Tree after deciding to take a break from alcohol, but they couldn’t find a worthy alternative to fill the gap.

“We discovered that non-drinkers were totally underserved when it came to tasty and elegant drinks and were constantly being pawned off with sugary boring drinks,” she says.

“In order to satisfy and replace the buzz of alcohol, we chose a blend of intense and rich flavours that would deliver the same degree of satisfaction.” (€25)

Sliabh Liag Distillers

Moira and James Doherty, of Sliabh Liag Distillers, make An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin and Silkie Irish Whiskey in Co Donegal.

When you think of Irish spirits, you don’t picture a factory in the middle of a city - you want the romance along with the drink, and that’s what you get with Sliabh Liag Distillers.

Hailing from - you guessed it – coastal Co Donegal, James and Moira Doherty started the distillery in late 2014. Their offerings include the An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin, made with 11 botanicals (including five locally foraged seaweeds) and their Silkie Irish Whiskey, which is blended to the Donegal style of the early 20th century; resulting in a peat-smoked, rich and complex flavour. (€40-85 for whiskeys and €35 for gin).

Wicklow Way Móinéir Irish Strawberry Wine

A winner at both the Blas na hÉireann and Great Taste Awards, this refreshing beauty from Wicklow Way Winery contains approximately 150 Irish strawberries in each bottle.

This wine screams summer. A light goats cheese salad or a summer berry pudding would be a great match. In the winter – and particularly for New Year’s Eve – this wine makes a wonderful aperitif; to have as a treat before your big dinner, or to match with an Irish farmhouse cheese board. (€21.99)

Killahora Rare Apple Ice Wine

You can purchase this gift set from Killahora Orchards which includes its Rare Apple Ice Wine and Pom'O for €64.95.

If the strawberry wine is an aperitif, this lush ice wine made from a rare variety of Co Cork apple – and the only ice wine made in Ireland - is the ideal digestif for your afters.

Ice wine is more of a Canadian or German product; where freezing temperatures create the right environment for this sweet drink (it’s usually made with grapes). Killahora makes their ice wine with a similar process – freezing their homegrown apples before allowing them to thaw outdoors and slowly fermenting for over a year. This results in a sweet wine; perfect, in small amounts, for dessert. (€25.95)

White Gypsy’s Odyssey Range

White Gypsy's new Odyssy range.

Ireland’s most creative brewer has led an interesting life. Owner of White Gypsy brewery in Co Tipperary, Cuilan Loughnane first learned his craft while living in Vancouver, Canada. On his return home, he spent years making beer for other breweries before starting White Gypsy with his wife, Sally. Then, in 2019 Cuilan took an epic inter-continental journey from his hometown of Templemore, across Europe and Siberia, to Tokyo, Japan for the Rugby World Cup. His latest trilogy of beers make up his Odyssey range, which represent the life-changing moments he’s experienced. The trilogy is comprised of The Awakening Ale, The Pilgrimage Lager and The Enlightenment Beer. Costing €10 for the three beers, this range is available for a limited time. To find one of their nationwide stockists, visit their website.