A Cork publican has adapted to what is the new normal for pub owners who have had to shut their doors until restrictions are lifted in the government’s new phasing plan on easing measures relating to Covid-19.
Ernest Cantillon owns popular city centre pubs Electric and Sober Lane and is the founder of Kinsale Gin.
The spread of the virus forced Mr Cantillon to shut both pubs in mid-March and it is most likely that they will not reopen until the end of the summer at the earliest.
Mr Cantillon has adapted to these unprecedented times by launching a new whiskey business.
Whiskey Gift is an online whiskey business that has deconstructed the whiskey making process by handing the reins to the customer, allowing people to log on and create their own whiskey by mixing a wide variety of flavours together to create a bottle of personalised Irish Whiskey.
The whiskey is sourced from the Great Northern Distillery and is mixed by hand to whatever the customer wants in the blending room next door to Sober Lane on O’Sullivan’s Quay.
The label is personalised to the customer’s order and can be shipped to anywhere in the country, or internationally.
Mr Cantillon said that there is “no one else out there doing it” that he knows of and expects it to be a popular option for a Father’s Day gift.
Licencing was granted at lunchtime on Friday and orders were “flying in” shortly after.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Cantillon said that he has been “working hard in the background” on his new venture.
“There’s a bit of a buzz about it already which is great to see. We’ve been working on it for the last few months. I’ve been working hard in the background so it’s nice to see it take off.
“We’ve 12 composite whiskeys and people can mix it up and pick as many of each flavour as they want and then name the whiskey Mr Cantillon has spent the last four years immersed in all things whiskey ahead of the launch of his own whiskey brand later this year.
"I was instantly fascinated by the process of whiskey blending, it’s both scientific and traditional. People can become obsessed with the age of whiskey and the higher the price the older you go, but I think there is something special about taking the adventure of whiskey blending,” he said.
To order a personalised whiskey, visit www.whiskeygift.com