St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most widely celebrated drinking holidays in the country. In Shreveport-Bossier City, we like to celebrate it just as much. We may not have a parade or dye a river green but in just about every bar or restaurant you step into on March 17, you can find green beer and Guinness cocktails. This got me thinking that there has to be more to Irish cocktails than just Jameson and Bailey’s Irish Cream (not that there is anything wrong with those).

Firstly, a few specifications on Irish whiskey since it is the dominant spirit coming from Ireland. Obviously to be Irish whiskey, it has to come from Ireland. Irish whiskey has a great reputation for being very smooth and having a slightly sweet finish. It’s a great beginner whiskey for someone that is looking to explore whiskey. Be warned though; some never venture further because the Irish do such a good job. The most well-known distiller is Jameson and they kind of have the market cornered for the category. There are some other producers that have been in the game a long time like Kilbeggan, Bushmills, Midleton, and Red Breast. There are even newcomers like UFC fighter Conner McGreggor’s A Proper Twelve. 

Not everyone is a fan of drinking whiskey on the rocks or just neat. Here are a couple of great Irish cocktails to showcase your mixology skills and favorite Irish whiskey:

  • One of the all-time greatest after dinner drinks or brunch cocktails is the Irish Coffee. It looks great and is easy to make. Take your coffee cup or Irish Coffee mug and pour piping hot water into it to warm the glass. Brew a fresh pot of coffee. Dump out the hot water from your mug and add 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite Irish whiskey and 1 oz of brown sugar simple syrup (Boil water with an equal amount of brown sugar until it dissolves. Do this ahead of time so it has plenty of time to cool down.) Then top with fresh, hot coffee. Give it a quick stir and add a little whipped cream. It looks amazing and tastes even better.
  • The next cocktail is a more traditional one — the Tipperary. It includes one of my favorite liqueurs of all time: Green Chartreuse. It’s a unique liquor that has an herbal flavor to it. This cocktail requires stirring instead of shaking. It’s all booze so you want to make sure you have the right amount of dilution from the ice. Shaking would break up the ice into smaller pieces and water the cocktail down. Combine 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey, 3/4 ounces Green Chartreuse, 3/4 ounces Sweet Vermouth, and a few dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters with ice in a mixing glass. Stir until blended and chilled. Next, strain that into a chilled cocktail glass with no ice (It’s already chilled and diluted.). Take a large swath of orange rind, express the oils in it over the cocktail and drop it in. 

These are just few ways to enjoy Irish whiskey that doesn’t require you to shoot it or be a whiskey connoisseur. Try it with different cocktails because it definitely plays very well with other liquors.