St. Patrick’s Day Drinks That are Not Green!

17 March Dan Eddy.jpgYes, green makes us think of the verdant hills of Ireland, but why then does our beer have to be green, as well as so many of our Irish-themed cocktails? I read through so many “Irish drinks” that had to have crème de menthe just to bring on the color. Some recipes did use Midori or Apple Pucker to go green, but none of these are very Irish–at least not like Irish whiskey. This year, let’s celebrate Celtic culture with their whiskey, but not with the Americanized neon color.

Irish whiskey has been growing its American market since the late 1800s, with a real jump in the last few decades. It also helped that they began opening new distilleries in Ireland to feed the world market. This brought about expanded availability of new levels of aged Irish whiskey as well as a broader potential flavor profiles. Not all Irish whiskies are as sweet as the past average. Triple distillation helps soften the grainy edges of Irish whiskey, differentiating it from its Scottish cousin and ultimately making it the perfect starter whiskey.

Some Irish whiskies focus on sweeter flavors, like the popular Jameson, Bushmills or Tullamore Dew. One of my favorites, Old Tom Horan, is drier and a little more volatile with lemon zest, banana peel, fire-roasted corncob and burnt barley on the nose. On the palate I get plenty of spice and a woody finish. With a broader range of flavor profiles you can experiment and use a drier style Irish whiskey–instead of bourbon–in classic cocktails, like an Irish version of a Whiskey Sour.

ThinkstockPhotos-186394867.jpgThe Dublin Sour

1½ oz Irish whiskey
½ oz Triple sec
1 oz Lime juice
1 scoop Crushed ice
¼ oz Raspberry liqueur

Mix the whiskey, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker with crushed ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top off with a float of raspberry liqueur.

Continuing this theme, think about an Irish Manhattan, or using sweeter Irish whiskey options, a Sidecar, subbing for sweeter brandy. Citrus makes a nice counterpoint to the earthy treacle of Irish whiskey, and here’s one with a funny name using similar mixers.

Marco’s Polo

1½ oz Irish whiskey
¾ oz Triple sec
1 oz Lemon juice
1 scoop Crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail or lowball glass.

Since these drinks have similar components you could easily create a St. Paddy’s Day bar at home and feature these lesser-known Irish cocktails. Lastly, with the popularity of ginger beer drinks using rum and vodka, why not one with Irish whiskey and plenty of lime juice?

The Blarney Stone

2 oz Irish whiskey
1 oz Fresh lime juice
1 can Cold ginger beer
Lime twist as garnish

Put whiskey and lime juice in an ice-filled shaker and shake. Strain into a highball glass with ice and then fill with ginger beer. Toss in the lime twist to garnish.

Here are three cocktail options to expand your Irish celebrations. Sláinte!

Daniel Eddy, Wine & Spirits Supervisor

Follow me on Twitter @abcwinedaneThinkstockPhotos-494002803.jpg

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