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If you're going to an Irish pub, there are a few things you should know before you go. Paul Leongas breaks down what the customs are in these establishments.

Paul Leongas Shares the Best Tips to Enjoy An Irish Pub

Do you want to enjoy an Irish pub in the most authentic way possible? If so, Paul Leongas – the manager of a number of Irish pubs in the USA has some tips on authenticity. Paul Leongas shares his tips below. 

Buying Rounds

Have you heard the term ‘buying rounds’ but you don’t know what it is or how it works? If you are drinking in a group in Ireland, it is common to buy in ‘rounds’.

Buying a round means the person is going to pay for all the group’s drinks when it is their turn. Person number 1 is going to buy the first round of drinks. Person number 2 is going to buy the second round. This continues until everyone stops drinking or passes out.

The round is going to start when you enter a bar or drinking establishment then one of the members asks what everyone is going to drink.

If you accept a person to buy you a drink this way, you automatically are in the round. There is the expectation that you are going to buy a round of drinks before the first person does it again. It is considered tactless to drink what others have bought you in the round and not buy a round later suggests Paul Leongas.

If you don’t want to drink much or you don’t want to buy rounds, then it is acceptable to turn down the drink when you are asked what you want to drink.

One focusing thing: Irish people will offer to buy a drink even when you aren’t in a round. When you get offered a drink this way, it doesn’t mean the one buying expects you to give them a drink in return. Irish people are very friendly.

If the group you came with is large, then no need to worry about buying 10 pints. It is going to break into smaller groups. The only time you can expect to buy rounds when in a large group is during a special occasion. 

Irish Pub Dress Code

Irish people usually choose casual dressing in most instances. This is the same when going to a pub like Que Onda. Relaxed dressing is the norm unless you plan on going out of town.

A smart pair of jeans, a fancy top, or a shirt is going to be fine. It is hard to find a place that is going to refuse entry because you are wearing sneakers or casual footwear. There are some fancy pubs in bigger cities and towns that are going to require a certain dress code according to Paul Leongas. 

Tipping in Irish Pubs

It isn’t expected to tip in Ireland, but it is always appreciated.

Keep in mind that the system for tipping in Ireland is way different from that you see in the US. You are not going to tip the barman every time he/she serves you a drink; you do it when you have bought a large round, or ordered a complicated cocktail, or even at the end of the night. You can even decide to tip the barman because you love their accent.

When you order drinks, it is accepted but not expected to leave a euro or two for the services provided by the waiter.

If you are being served drinks and food at your table, the normal tipping amount is 10-15%.

Under 18s in Pubs

The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18 years. Most pubs in Ireland will allow those under the age of 18 to enter, but they have to leave after 9 pm (From May to September it becomes 10 pm)

Pubs can have their own restrictions when it comes to admissions of under 18s, but this happens mostly in bigger cities like Dublin. If you are not sure about it, consider asking the staff. 

What you can Order in an Irish Pub?

The iconic Irish stout is Guinness. If you don’t like the taste, then you can consider adding a dash of blackcurrant. If you do this, ensure the head has settled before you sip it.

Craft Beer has become popular because the Irish Craft beer scene has recently exploded. You will find craft beers at most bars, just ask the waiter for more information. This is a great place for those who like IPA.

Irish whiskey is hard to beat because of its smooth taste. They are tripled distilled and this gives it a unique taste. Irish whiskey is amazing and this is why it is the fastest-growing whiskey in the world. Try a Midleton, Jameson, or Bushmills and you will see why Irish whiskey has become a favorite for most. You can even try out the newer whiskey labels like Connemara or Teelings.

Bulmers is a refreshing sweet Irish cider. It is brewed in Tipperary and known as Magners in Northern Ireland. This drink is great for warm summer evenings and it is served with ice.

Baileys is a smooth sweet whiskey cream that can be best consumed after dinner. This is usually served over ice.

Another craze that has become popular in Ireland is Irish Gin. Just like craft beer, there are many gin distilleries in Ireland. Look out for Dingle, Gunpowder, and Glendalough. Mix Irish craft tonic with Irish craft Gin and see how it comes out. You are going to love this drink.

Another Irish favorite is Smithwicks (the W is silent and it is pronounced as smith-icks). The Kilkenny is an Irish classic and has been around since 1710. This has a balanced taste, that is between an IPA and a lager, with sweet malt, mild hops, and roasted barley.

If you are having a hard time with the size of pints (the sizes in Ireland are bigger compared to those in the US), then order a glass instead. The glass is half a pint, and it is going to make it easier for you to keep up with the locals.

Not Drinking in an Irish Pub

It is okay to be in an Irish pub and not drink. There has been an expanded health consciousness and tightening of drink-driving laws in the country, and it has become common to find people inside the bar not drinking alcohol.

If you want to enjoy your time in the pub for an entire evening, consider buying a little something. You can choose to order some Scampi Fries or pub crisps. It is not a good idea to order tap water when dancing and soak up the ambiance. You might be met with funny looks from the waiter.

Alcohol-Free Option in an Irish Pub

If you don’t want to drink alcohol in the pub, then there are a number of fun drinks you can give a try. Some of them include;

Rock Shandy – this involves mixing lemon and sparkling orange and it is an Irish invention. This drink is very refreshing.

Cidona – This is a sparkling apple drink with the same taste as Cider and will go nicely with crisps.

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