St. Patrick’s Day 2020 happened to fall right at the beginning of the pandemic restrictions that shut down most of our bars. At the time, it seemed unimaginable that many of us would still be social distancing a year later. Yet here we are. So, while we can plan on massive celebration for St. Patrick’s Day 2022, the 2021 holiday will likely remain rather tame.
That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the holiday at home or among a tight social circle. A pint of Guinness and a glass of Irish whiskey are a good option no matter where you are. For those who’d appreciate a cocktail instead, we’ve put together four classic Irish whiskey cocktails. And lastly, for those celebrating on the go or in the great outdoors, we have the lead on a surprisingly tasty dram in a can.
A great thing about the Irish Coffee is that you can enjoy it any time of day. Morning, evening, nightcap? It’s versatile enough for all three. The keys to this drink are good coffee, good whiskey and heavy cream whipped just enough to float atop the surface. Sipping the hot coffee through the cool cream is what takes the Irish Coffee from good to great.
– 1 ½ oz Irish whiskey (try Tullamore D.E.W. Original)
– ¼ oz rich demerara syrup
– 4-5 oz coffee
– lightly whipped cream
– cinnamon or nutmeg, for garnish
First, combine the whiskey, syrup and coffee in a warm mug, and fill it nearly to the top. Then gently pour the cream so that it floats on top. Fianlly, garnish with freshly grated cinnamon or nutmeg.
Irish Coffee /Photo Credit: Tullamore D.E.W.
You don’t see a lot of cocktails that combine Irish whiskey and lime juice, much less ones that add vermouth to the mix, too. Yet this gentle sour, created by Gary Regan and featured in his book The Joy of Mixology, nonetheless works surprisingly well.
– 1 ½ oz Irish whiskey
– ¾ oz orange liqueur
– ¾ oz sweet vermouth
– ½ oz fresh lime juice
To make this cocktail, simply shake everything together with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
The original recipe for the Tipperary called for equal parts Irish whiskey, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth. More modern interpretations tend to increase the proportion of whiskey, resulting in a cocktail that’s less sweet but still plenty rich. Experiment and find your own favored recipe. The drink itself will not be green, but you can view the inclusion of green Chartreuse as an additional nod to St. Patrick’s Day.
– 1 ½ oz Irish whiskey (try Jameson Irish Whiskey)
– ¾ oz sweet vermouth
– ¾ oz green Chartreuse
– lemon twist, for garnish
First, stir the liquids with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Then express the lemon peel over the drink and discard.
Tipperary /Photo Credit: Jameson
If you’d like something a bit more tart for St. Patrick’s Day, and can forgive the sin of bringing Scotch whisky into play, the Cameron’s Kick is an excellent option. Blending two types of whiskey with fresh lemon and almondy orgeat makes an irresistibly delicious sour. And if just this once you want to skip the Scotch whisky and make your Cameron’s Kick entirely with a quality Irish whiskey, the drink will no doubt still hit the spot.
– 1 oz Irish whiskey
– 1 oz Scotch whisky
– ½ oz orgeat
– ½ oz fresh lemon juice
To make this cocktail, shake all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Dram in a Can
If mixing Irish whiskey cocktails is too much work, we’re also pleasantly surprised this year by the new Dram in a Can by Two Stacks Irish Whiskey. With a hint of peat in the blend and a strength of 86-proof, it’s a richer and more complex whiskey than one would expect to find in a can. At 100 ml per container, the cans are adorable and portable. If you can’t be in a bar this year for St. Patrick’s Day, this is an apt way to toast in the outdoors.
Want to find the perfect bottle for your Irish whiskey cocktails?
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