In July of this year, I had the pleasure of covering Pirate Cove’s 'Coconut Crush’ frozen cocktail for Foodie Annapolis and was personally introduced to the Galway Bay Authentic Egg Nog, created by Anne Arundel County restaurateurs Anthony Clarke and Michael Galway of Galway Bay, Brian Boru, Killarney House and Pirates Cove fame. Not typically an egg nog drinker, I was immediately taken aback by how much I genuinely enjoyed this drink and the egg nog itself. Months have gone by and Christmas is around the corner, which means its prime time for egg nog drinkers. After catching wind of Galway Bay’s eggnog cocktail menu, we added them to our ‘Drink of the Month’ list and headed over.
Galway Bay is dark and cozy. Nestled right in the middle of historic Maryland Avenue. in Downtown Annapolis, it is one of my personal favorite Irish pubs in our quaint town. Opened in December 1998, Galway Bay has brought some of the best in Irish cuisine to the area. In 2011 when I started working for myself, I would reward myself at the end of a good month with a solo trip to Galway Bay. I would sit in a booth with a book and order the same thing every time: Irish Reuben Sandwich and Jameson & Ginger. It was a small treat that I greatly appreciated. The staff was always pleasant, the environment was always inviting and the food and drinks were always good!
On this particular trip to Galway, I brought along a friend and sat at the bar. Sean, who was both kind and funny, greeted us. We quickly fell in line with his sense of humor and created a witty back and forth conversation about everything from the food and drinks to being troublemakers at the bar. He introduced us to Brian Boylan, our bartender for the evening. Having been with Galway for 14 years, Brian says that his favorite thing about the Irish restaurant and pub are the regulars. “The regulars are all awesome”, he stated, and from looking around I would agree. Everyone engaged like a small family, familiar with the servers and bartenders, laughing and sharing inside jokes. Not being a regular myself, I didn’t feel like an outsider and that was nice.
Brian introduced us to the Egg Nog Martini: Amaretto, Van Gogh Caramel Vodka, and Egg Nog shaken and strained into a sugar-frosted glass. On the menu it is listed with Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, but the change to Van Gogh Caramel Vodka was a good one!! My friend and I took a sip and immediately looked at one another. Words weren’t needed, it was written all over our faces: we LOVED it! The mix of amaretto, caramel, egg nog and a sugar-frosted rim was amazing! It is extremely tasty, not too sweet and, best of all, it’s a perfect companion to the season. Michael Galway said it best, “this ain’t your Gramma’s egg nog!” He was right, but all of the wonderful feelings of the season still come along with it.
Galway was still as I remembered it: pleasant and inviting with good food & drinks. I ordered my favorite Irish Reuben Sandwich and went home happy. I hope to see you there next time, sipping on one of their many egg nog cocktails.
Brian’s Favs Fav Cocktail: not a cocktail drinker Fav Beer at Galway: Naptown Brown RAR Fav Beer Overall: The Bruery - Oude Tart Fav thing about Downtown Annapolis: Quaintness and ability to park and walk around
Photos courtesy of Darin Gilliam