It shouldn't surprise my readers to find out that beer isn't the only alcoholic beverage that I enjoy. In fact, even the not so eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed the link to all of my whisky posts above ^. I've also enjoyed cider from a  young age, but a drink class I've been getting into more recently is cocktails. 

It probably stems from my trip to the Maven in Leeds as recommended by Neil Eating Isn't Cheating where I enjoyed a very nice rum short drink. fast forward a year and I now have a well stocked cocktail cabinet at home and a couple of interesting old cocktail books to peruse for inspiration (more on those in a later post). It helps that my wife also enjoys trying cocktails; so I have a guinea pig for my creations!

From Love & Death Inc website
But I digress. Today's post is about a specific cocktail bar, Love & Death Inc to be precise. Its Ann Street location in Belfast (perched atop the fab Little Wing pizzeria) puts it within  stones throw of trendy shopping area Victoria Square and the more touristy area of Laganside.

To enter is to be transported back in time to American speakeasies of the 1920s. Oh no, I hear you dry, taht's been done to death already: well maybe so; but no-one does it quite like Love and Death Inc. Up the stairs from street level and you reach the bar area. All manner of bric a brac are suspended from the ceiling, including a full sized bike! Its always buzzing on evenings I've been in with a mixed soundtrack of easy listening and rock n' roll, though later on a DJ is often in attendance. There's also a nightclub upstairs, which I'm yet to investigate.

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A view of the bar
From Love & Death Inc website
Staff are friendly and efficient, making cocktails with skill in front of your eyes. A number of them have entered competitions and performed well; not bad considering the bar is pretty new. The bar itself is an A-Z of alcohol with almost every liquer and spirit imaginable crammed into its many nooks and crevices, with a decent range of bitters and purees across the front. There's also food available, but I'm yet to sample this as both of my visits to date have been after dinner.

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Dum dum (right) and (i think) Paradise Lost
with the comic book menu
One thing I particularly like is the menu (PDF), a collage of old comic strips, with speech replaced by cocktail descriptions. Average price for a cocktail is around £6 which is very decent considering the quality involved. I did splash out £12for a "dum dum" because it sounded intriguing with chili and orange alongside aged Guatemalan rum and sicilian digestif. That's it in the photo to the left. I thought about recreating it at home, but the rum is £100 a bottle so maybe not!

 photo 2013-02-08211616.jpgOn my recent visit I stuck to rum creations. "Origins" features Appleton 8 and ginger and "To Have and Have Not" is an exposition in grapefruit featuring ruby grapefruit juice and grapefruit bitters alongside mint and rum. Both tasty and so appealing that I neglected to take a photo...

One thing that caught my eye this time around however wasn't a cocktail, but a half finished beer on my table. Still in its dark brown bottle with hand-written sticky label I'd discovered a new Northern Ireland brew! Turns out I'd managed to time my visit to co-inside with the release of the new house brews. I picked up the last couple of bottles, which I'll review on a later post.

So next time you're in Belfast, pay Love & Death Inc a visit, I promise you won't be disappointed.

10a Ann Street, Belfast, BT1 4EF (map)


  1. when are you gonna reveiw these new beers?

    1. Already done and just getting the post written up.

    2. The L & D beers are class!

  2. Love it, probably my favourite bar in Belfast, definitely make an effort to get down for food next time, its awesome!