20 best Irish whiskey cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

20 best Irish whiskey cocktails image 1

Irish whiskey tends not to be peated so usually lacks the subtle smoky notes associated with Scotch whisky, so making its presence somewhat subtler in cocktails.

To quote David Embury from his seminal 1948 The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, "Now, if you really like the peat-smoke taste of Scotch, you may prefer it to Irish, just as you may prefer smoked ham to fresh ham. From every other point of view, however, I believe that Irish is infinitely superior to Scotch."

Irish whiskey mixes brilliantly with a wide array of ingredients, as our 20 best Irish whiskey-based cocktails ilustrate.

ency 56 image
Artist's Special
With: Irish whiskey, oloroso sherry, lemon juice and red currant (groseille) syrup.
We say: Irish whiskey is often matured in oloroso sherry seasoned casks so it's no surprise that whiskey and sherry blend harmoniously in this cocktail, with lemon tartness balanced by rich red currant syrup.

ency 96 image
Blackthorn (Irish)
With: Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, Boker's bitters and absinthe.
We say: The "Black Thorn Irish" first appears in Harry Johnson's 1900 Bartender's Manual.

ency 19 image
With: Irish whiskey, Bénédictine and dry vermouth.
We say: Dry vermouth balances the sweet notes of Bénédictine over a spirituous Irish whiskey base.

ency 22 image
Dublin Minstrel
With: Irish whiskey, Chartreuse Green, maraschino liqueur and lime juice.
We say: A riff on the classic Last Word cocktail substituting Irish whiskey for gin.

ency 89 image
Dublin Spider Highball
With: Irish whiskey, Angostura Aromatic Bitters and ginger ale.
We say: Ginger ale and aromatic bitters lengthen and colour Dublin's finest – blended whiskey.

ency 83 image
Hearn Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, Orinoco bitters, absinthe and orange bitters.
We say: Stirred and boozy with Green Chartreuse and bitters adding herbal spice to Irish whiskey.

ency 20 image
High King
With: Raspberries, Irish whiskey, red aperitivo liqueur, lemon juice, pink grapefruit juice, sugar syrup, Creole-style bitters and soda water.
We say: Berry fruit and citrus gently caressed by mellow Irish whiskey with a splash of enlivening soda.

ency 37 image
Holy Joe Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, apricot brandy liqueur and artichoke amaro.
We say: An Irish whiskey-based, bittersweet aperitif cocktail that works equally well as a nightcap.

ency 80 image
Irish Boulevardier
With: Campari, Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth.
We say: Blended Irish whiskey replaces richer bourbon in this mellow yet dry riff on the classic Boulevardier.

ency 90 image
Irish Buck
With: Irish whiskey, lime juice and ginger ale.
We say: Simple but surprisingly delicious and very refreshing thanks to cleansing lime sourness.

ency 55 image
Irish Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, orange curaçao liqueur, maraschino liqueur, absinthe and Boker's bitters.
We say: A delicious way to chase a good evening.

ency 14 image
Irish Coffee
With: Irish whiskey, Demerara sugar syrup, hot filter coffee and whipped cream.
We say: Like most great ideas, this one is very simple. Coffee with a whiskey kick.

ency 26 image
Irish Old Fashioned
With: Irish whiskey, sugar syrup, orange bitters, and aromatic bitters.
We say: A mellow and refined Old Fashioned.

ency 43 image
Irish Maid
With: Irish whiskey, cucumber, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and sugar syrup.
We say: Fresh, juicy cucumber and elderflower with Irish whiskey and zesty lemon.

ency 20 image
Lone Oak
With: Irish whiskey, Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, pistachio sugar syrup, orinoco bitters and curry leaf.
We say: Herbal Chartreuse, Irish whiskey with zesty lemon and creamy nutty pistachio.

ency 14 image
Parle-vous Irish
With: Irish whiskey, cognac, Grand Marnier, and Bénédictine liqueur.
We say: A spirit-forward after-dinner sipper.

ency 21 image
Psycho Killer Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, cocoa nib-infused Campari, crème de banana, crème de cacao and absinthe.
We say: This short bittersweet spirituous cocktail makes for a very tasty aperitif.

ency 85 image
Ronan Collins
With: Irish whiskey, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and soda water.
We say: Not just a Collins with Irish whiskey but a Ronan Collins. Set apart by a pineapple wedge.

ency 13 image
Tipperary Cocktail No.1
With: Irish whiskey, Green Chartreuse and sweet vermouth.
We say: Chartreuse fans will love this Irish whiskey-forward nightcap.

ency 74 image
With: Irish whiskey, apricot brandy liqueur, sugar syrup, lime juice, and saline solution.
We say: An apricot-flavoured whiskey sour named after Sir Terry Wogan.

ency 47 image

Join the Discussion

... comment(s) for 20 best Irish whiskey cocktails

You must log in to your account to make a comment.

Report comment

You must be logged in to upvote or downvote a comment

Click here to login
Welcome to Difford's Guide

All editorial and photography on this website is copyright protected

© Odd Firm of Sin 2024