Brought to you by Monk at The Franciscan Well.
They knew what they were doing, those monks.
Long before there were gin bowls and cocktail shakers on Leeside, the monks of the Franciscan Friary were busily brewing up boozy concoctions on Cork’s North Mall.
Now you can sip a tasty number from the new cocktail list at Monk, the atmospheric, candlelit cocktail bar above The Franciscan Well brewpub, while considering the venue’s 700-year-old history.
Magic wells and fizzy waters
As early as 1219, the Franciscan Monks were using the hallowed waters of the well underneath 14B North Mall to make all manner of boozy treats.
Already famous for its curative properties, the lads used the well water to make beer, adding herbs and spices to it to create syrups and tonics.
Years later, in the 1880s, Samuel Abbot moved in and opened the Franciscan Well Mineral Water company. His fizzy waters were the toast of the town, with carbonated blends of fruit and ginger, lemonades and champagne cider.
Mr Abbot was among the first to import the best vintage wines to the city and he rapidly earned a reputation for producing the finest whiskies and brandies.
From abbot to alehouse
The next vintner to take the helm at this address was James Coleman, who opened The Well bar on the site in 1911, where it remained in various guises until it was purchased by Shane Long in 1998.
The Franciscan Well Brewery, as we know it today, produced its first batch of beer, nostalgically named Friar Weiss, in December of that year – and they haven’t stopped since.
The new cocktail list at Monk is a festival of flavours, with the finest spirits blended with homemade shrubs and quirky cordials.