Nothing is more relaxing on a summer’s day than treating yourself to an ice-cold drink. Whatever your favourite tipple is, there’s nothing more enjoyable or interesting than discovering the magic that goes into creating your drink. Here’s my guide to great summer breaks to suit your drink of choice.
Being a big fan of drinking down a pint of Guinness, one of the first places I visited when I first visited Dublin was the Guinness Storehouse. Here you can discover how the stout gets its unique taste and how its incredible marketing has helped advertise Guinness across the world, turning it into an iconic brand. You’ll be taught how to taste test your Guinness as well as learn how to pour the perfect pint. This is finished off by sipping a free pint at the top of the storehouse in the Gravity Bar, which provides stunning 360 degree views across Dublin you’ll not taste a finer pint of Guinness than the one you drink here.
- Location: St. James’ Gate, Dublin 8, County Dublin
- Opening hours: 9:30am – 5pm daily
- Admission: Adult €16.50; Student over 18 €13.00
- Website: guinness-storehouse.com
The Belgians are famous for creating award-winning and world-famous brews, so it would amiss not to make a trip to one of their breweries. Visit the Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven and take your pick of tours around the site. From the hour-long Classic tour to the in-depth Beer Lovers Tour, you’ll learn lots about the history behind the brand and get to sample a pint of beer, perfect! Tours start from €8.50 and can be booked via their website.
There are some fine examples of whiskey tours available, with fantastic guides around the Jameson’s Distillery in Ireland and over 50 distilleries to visit in Scotland. Arguably the most famous whiskey brand in the world is Jack Daniels, located in Lynchburg, Tennessee. During your tour, you’ll discover the secrets of how the blend gets its unique taste and the magical processes the whiskey undertakes during distillation. As well as being told a few tales from Jack’s time in the distillery, you’ll get to discover how the brand is an integral part of this community and of course, sample a drop of this fine drink.
If you thought life in Lynchburg was laid back, then you have to visit the Mount Gay Rum distillery in Barbados for the ultimate rum destination. Mount Gay is the oldest Rum in the world, dating back to 1703 and a tour here is filled with history and stories to keep you entertained for hours. Learn about the ageing process, how flavours are infused into this iconic drink of the Caribbean and end your tour by sitting back to enjoy the perfect sample of rum in beautiful surroundings.
- Location: Spring Garden Highway, Bridgetown, St.Michael
- Opening hours: Monday-Friday 9:30am – 3:30pm
- Admission: Signature tour $10, (under 12s go free)
- Website: Mountgayrum.com
Europe is the perfect destination if you’re looking to enjoy a wine break, with a wide range of vineyards available to visit across the region. There are many regions in France which are simply must-visit locations for the wine connoisseur but I would definitely recommend visiting Bordeaux and the regions that have made Champagne such an iconic celebratory drink. Many of the Bordeaux Wineries require you to book in advance to visit the vineyards and taste test their wines. I would definitely recommend Chateau Pichon Baron de Longueville and Chateau Lynch Bages. Then visit Mumm Champagne in Reims to explore the cellars to discover the art of making Champagne. If you book in advance, you’ll also be able to tour their vineyards.
Italy is famous for its Chianti and there is no finer place to try some than at the Agricola Monterinaldi Vineyard. Here you have a choice of tours, starting with a tour of the cellars and tasting, through to a taking part and being a winemaker for the day.