Irish Whiskey Cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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 a cocktail.

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 and to prove this we've a selection of some of our favourite Irish whiskey based cocktails below.

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1920s Artist
With: Irish whiskey, Kirsch eau-de-vie, oloroso sherry. Dry vermouth, groseille syrup and Peychaud's Bitters.
We say: Despite its soft salmon pink hue this cocktail is boozy with Irish whisky and sherry to the fore. Oloroso sherry and dry vermouth balance each other harmoniously with red currant syrup adding flavour and richness.

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Artist's Special
With: Irish whiskey, Sherry Oloroso, 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.

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Blackthorn Irish
With: Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, Bokers bitters and absinthe.
We say: The original equal parts whiskey and dry vermouth recipe is way too dry, so in time for Saint Patrick's Dy 2016 we experimented and concluded that splitting the vermouth proportion evenly between dry and sweet vermouths was the 'perfect' solution, producing an aromatic balanced cocktail with faint hints of anise from the absinthe.

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With: Irish whiskey, Benedictine D.O.Mo. and dry vermouth.
We say: Dry vermouth balances the sweet notes of Benedictine over a boozy Irish whiskey base.

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Detroit Athletic Club
With: Irish whiskey, Green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and falernum.
We say: Irish whiskey with a splash of sweet vermouth, clove rich falernum and the all-important monastic liqueur.

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Dublin Minstrel recipe
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. Named after Frank Fogarty, a vaudeville performer known as The Dublin Minstrel. Fogarty is referenced in Ted Saucier's 1951 Bottoms Up! book a introducing the Last Word to the Detroit Athletic Club around 1920 and is possibly who the Last Word was originally named after.

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Gilbey Vintner's Punch
With: Irish whiskey, oloroso sherry, lemon juice, orange juice, orange sherbert and stout.
We say: Creator Chris Strong shows us how to make this one.

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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.

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

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Irish Coffee
With: Irish whiskey, Demerara sugar syrup, hot filter coffee and whipped cream.
We say: Our Irish coffee recipe is simply a coffee with a whiskey kick.

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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.

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Parle-vous Irish Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, cognac, Grand Marnier liqueur and Bénédictine D.O.M. liqueur.
We say: An after-dinner sipper of a cocktail with cognac and Irish whiskey stirred with rich orange and herbal liqueurs.

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Pickle Whack Cocktail
With: Irish whiskey, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white.
We say: An Irish Whiskey Sour made special and distinctive by a salty pickle influence. So much better than a Pickle Back and as its from Mojo, much more rock and roll.

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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.

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Tipperary Cocktail No.1
With: Irish whiskey, Green Chartreuse and sweet vermouth.
We say: Chartreuse fans will love this serious drink. The uninitiated will hate it.

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With: Irish whiskey, Lillet Blanc, triple sec and orange bitters.
We say: Irish whiskey with herbal complexity and zesty orange.

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Wild Irish Rose
With: Irish whiskey, lemon juice, sugar syrup, pomegranate (grenadine) syrup and soda.
We say: The gentle bite of Irish whiskey soured with lemon and sweetened with pomegranate syrup. The splash of soda which crowns this drink serves to lighten and add a touch of sparkle.

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