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March 15, 2019updated Mar 08, 2019

Cocktail of the Week: Knappogue Castle Irish Whiskey

By Lauren Jade Hill

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend with Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey cocktails created by Joaquín Símo of Pouring Ribbons in New York City.

Crossing Currents

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Contratto Bianco
  • 1 tsp Kalani Coconut Liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

To make this cocktail yourself, combine all ingredients, stir and strain into a cocktail glass before garnishing with lemon peel that’s been trimmed and expressed.

Commenting on this creation, Joaquín Símo of Pouring Ribbons says: “This tropical reinvention of the classic Manhattan may convince you that the isle of Ireland could have once been part of the Caribbean. Knappogue’s honeyed richness pairs beautifully with the bianco vermouth’s herbal notes and Angostura’s allspice goodness, with a delicate note of toasted coconut arriving late at the finish.”

Sweater Weather

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
  • 1 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
  • 1 tsp Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Make the Sweater Weather drink at home by building the ingredients in a rocks glass with a cylinder of ice. Garnish with trimmed and expressed orange peel.

“A dozen years of oak aging gives Knappogue Castle 12 Year baking spices galore to layer atop hints of chocolate, maple and candied citrus peels,” says Símo. “This is an Old Fashioned to savor when a nip returns to the air, and malty whiskey seems like a far more preferable warming agent than a wool sweater.”

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Last Leg Julep

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
  • 0.25 oz Wildflower Honey Syrup (two parts honey, one part water)
  • 1 tsp Bigallet Thyme Liqueur or Thyme Syrup

Create the Last Leg Julep by first rubbing six to eight mint leaves in a Julep cup, then adding all the liquids and swizzling to incorporate. Fill two thirds of the glass with crushed ice and swizzle for 30 seconds. Finally, top with more crushed ice until mounding over the top. Garnish with bruised mint and thyme sprigs.

Símo explains: “You’ve got to have mint in a julep, but thyme’s savory edge adds tremendous depth to this honey-laced tipple without overpowering Knappogue’s fruity and confectionery notes. Just the thing to raise as your horse enters the home stretch.”

County Clare Cooler

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Unfiltered Apple Cider
  • 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Wildflower Honey Syrup (two parts honey, one part water)
  • 0.25 oz Benedictine
  • 1 oz Ginger Beer

To make the County Clare Cooler, pour ginger beer into a rocks glass, then shake and strain the remaining ingredients into the glass with a cylinder of ice. Garnish the drink with fanned apple slices.

“Knappogue Castle 12 Year is redolent with notes of honey, baked orchard fruits and gentle spices,” Símo tells us, “so this sessionable sipper doubles down on those flavors while adding bright citrus and fizzy ginger to keep things light and refreshing.”

MacNamara Rose

  • 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
  • 0.75 oz Lillet Rosé
  • 0.5 oz Aperol
  • 2 slices Muddled Cucumber slices
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt

Make the MacNamara Rose cocktail by muddling the ingredients together lightly, stirring and straining into a cocktail glass, then finishing with a skewered cucumber ribbon garnish with one drop of rose water.

Explaining the idea behind this last cocktail, Símo says: “Fresh cucumber and rose add delicate aromatics to this springtime riff on the classic Boulevardier. The barest pinch of salt balances the quinine bitterness, echoing Knappogue Castle 12 Year’s faint maritime salinity and complementing the fruity herbaceousness of the gentle modifiers. The name honors the original architect of Knappogue Castle.”

Images by Liz Clayman

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