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The Booze, the Saint and the Shamrock: Classic and Classy St Patrick's Day Cocktails

Ireland has given the world many amazing things: the sweet, sweet barrel-aged barley nectar, of course, but also Irish folk music, Oscar Wilde and, of no less interest to the philologist, the Irish language.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig however took a detour; like pizza, immigrants first brought it to the US, and it is from there that it has spread worldwide. In the Republic of Ireland, St Patrick's Day officially remains a public holiday dedicated to the pivotal, if perhaps mythological role of the patron saint (there were never any actual snakes in Ireland).

Meanwhile, the world has embraced it as an all-inclusive celebration of Irish culture and a great opportunity to get, in the words of Randy Marsh, 'elegantly cultural' with your favorite Irish-inspired drink. Or two. Or... you get the idea.

So here are 5 cocktails to sláinte you into the mood for this year's festivities (and here is the website where you can buy all key ingredients).

1. Irish Coffee

The logic is simple. Morning? Coffee. Morning of St Patrick's Day? Irish Coffee. Rest of St Patrick's Day? Possibly still Irish Coffee.

It's the simple things that are usually hard to get right, but luckily there's the complex aroma and flavor of Irish Whiskey like for instance Kilbeggan to make this basic cocktail more sophisticated so that it's easier to nail. Am I making sense?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ingredients

- 2 oz hot coffee
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lightly whipped heavy cream

How to

Warm a coffee mug (or heatproof glass of choice) with hot water. Pour the hot coffee into the mug, stir in the sugar until it dissolves, and mix in the Whiskey. Pour the cream slowly over the back of a spoon held just above the surface so that it stays afloat - it shouldn't mix with the boozecoffee.

This variation of the classic recipe calls for significantly less coffee than usual in order to produce a more potent tipple and better bring out the Whiskey. Speaking of which, try with Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. The Blarney Stone

Like the limestone wall of Blarney Castle it is named after, this member of the Mule family may or may not endow you with eloquence. Unlike with kissing medieval Irish masonry however, your chances actually improve with each cocktail. Also, it tastes way better.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In honour of St. Patrick's Day I give you the "Blarney Stone", Ireland's take on the Moscow Mule made with Irish whiskey instead of vodka. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, lime juice, and ginger beer served in a copper mug over ice and garnished with a half lime. #blarneystone #blarneystonecocktail #mixology #mixologist #cocktails #tullamoredew #tullamoredewirishwhiskey #irishwhiskey#stpatricksday #gingerbeer #notarealbartender

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Ingredients

- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1 oz lime juice
- Ginger Beer

How to

Shake Whiskey and lime juice with ice and strain into a chilled Highball or cocktail glass. Top off with chilled ginger Beer.

For a more sophisticated version, replace lime juice and ginger Beer with a healthy dash each of Anisette, Triple Sec, Maraschino and Angostura Bitters, shaken together with the Whiskey; definitely serve in a cocktail glass, perhaps adding greenery in the form of an olive.

Both versions can be garnished with a lime twist.

3. Irish Flag Old Fashioned

It's easy to see why the enormously satisfying blend of Whiskey and Bitters enjoys such enduring popularity. The baffling part is how it has managed to elude large-scale hibernization, since it's such a natural candidate: a twist and touch are all it takes to make the Old Fashioned fly Irish colors.

Ingredients

- 1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey (try it with Jameson)
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 splashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 splash soda water

How to

In an Old Fashioned glass (no s**t), combine the soda water and Angostura Bitters; add the sugar cube and muddle until it dissolves.

Add the Jameson, and that's the orange part done. The ice cube takes care of the white; place it in the glass and stir the blend lightly. Finish with a green lime twist.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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4. Shamrock Gin Sour

Have you had your greens yet? Ok, sure, you'll likely be swimming in green on St Patrick's Day, but you might want to squeeze in this classy, pungent botanical spinoff of the Sour nonetheless.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ingredients

- 2 oz Gin (preferably Irish, try for instance Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin)
- 1/2 oz Chartreuse Verte
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 egg white

How to

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain, then shake again dry and strain into chilled double rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint lea... nah, say 'not today, mint, not today', and garnish with a seamróg.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5. Irish Tea

The supposedly soberer of the two Irish Caffeine brothers, this warming concoction is typically relied upon by the Irish to dispel a cold. If you don't mind a healthy dose of paradox, it can also be applied to hangovers - a kind of post-Patrick's elixir, if you will.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ingredients

- 1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup hot Irish black tea

How to

Mix Whiskey and lemon juice in a mug, stir in honey to dissolve. Add hot tea and stir. Raise a toast to leipreachán-kind, then drink by the sip while still hot.

What's your favorite St Patrick's cocktail? Share with us in the comments below.



Cover image: Hyde Whiskey




By Nik Flegar

Nik Flegar

Nik is a glass-half-empty digital hobo composed of varying parts of self-deprecating writer, unwavering metalhead, pedantic translator/proofreader, overindulgent gamer, laboratory-scale homebrewer, occasional language teacher and quirky historical linguist. Oh, he sometimes drinks, too.

 

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