There are few days more celebrated in Ireland than St Patrick’s Day, which is held annually on March 17. In fact, the holiday is one of the most widely acknowledged national festivals in the world, with the US, UK, Canada and Australia all holding their own celebrations. And while Guinness may be the traditional drink to toast to the patron saint of Ireland, a cocktail is an equally welcome addition to any St Patrick’s Day party.
The holiday originated as a Roman Catholic day of feasting in the ninth or 10th century, but in the past couple of hundred years, it has developed into a celebration of Irish culture, tradition and identity. Whether you’re out reveling in the crowds or having a more reserved celebration at home, our round-up of St Patrick’s Day cocktail recipes – from a luxurious Champagne and Irish whiskey combo to a classic warming Irish coffee – will make for the perfect party companion.
[See also: The Difference Between Irish Whiskey and Scotch Explained]
Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Coffee
Dating back to 1829, Tullamore D.E.W has a long and varied history and a valid claim to being one of the oldest Irish whiskey producers. Now, the brand is committed to championing the traditional technique of blending and uses three types of Irish whiskey in its celebrated Original Irish Whiskey.
In its classic Irish coffee recipe, Tullamore D.E.W is teamed with coffee and cream, as well as a selection of spices to create a soul-warming Irish classic – think of it as the Espresso Martini’s older (and much more indulgent) older sibling.
- 1½ part Tullamore D.E.W. Original
- 1½ part strongly brewed coffee (Recommended: any premium dark roast)
- ½ part sugar (Recommended: Demerara Sugar)
- Lightly whipped heavy cream
- Cinnamon or nutmeg
Preheat a clear-stemmed glass with very hot water. Add the sugar and brewed coffee and stir well. Once the sugar has melted, stir in the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Gently whip the heavy cream until you have a loose, not stiff consistency. Pour the cream over the back of a hot teaspoon to top the drink (and prevent the cream from penetrating the top of the drink). Finally, garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon for a spicy finish.
The Tully Mule
Delicious as they are, there are only so many Irish coffees you can drink in one evening. Once the Tullamore D.E.W is open, switch over to a more refreshing Tully Mule to keep you going through the night. As an alternative take on the classic Mule cocktail recipe, the Tully Mule switches out vodka for Irish whiskey, which pairs perfectly with fiery ginger beer.
- 2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Original
- ½ parts fresh lime juice
- Ginger beer
- Lime wheel
Stir Tullamore D.E.W. Original and lemon juice in a mug filled with ice and top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel.
The Irishman by The Wigmore
With a huge community of Irish natives calling London their second home, it’s no surprise that the city comes alive for St Paddy’s Day. This year, The Wigmore, The Langham hotel’s upmarket take on a traditional pub, has added The Irishman cocktail to its menu, which features a blend of the country’s two biggest exports: whiskey and Guinness.
While the mix sounds unusual, the addition of herbaceous Aperol and sugary-sweet salted caramel takes this tipple to the next level. Although easy to create at home, a trip to The Wigmore shouldn’t be missed – be sure to order the signature three-cheese toasties to soak up your cocktails.
- 1¾ oz Jameson Stout Edition Irish whiskey
- ½ oz Aperol
- ¼ oz Monin Salted Caramel Syrup
- ¼ oz Martini Rubino
- 4 oz Guinness
Pour all ingredients except the Guinness into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and stir gently. Place the Guinness into an electric blender and mix until it forms a form. Gently pour the foam on top of cocktail.
The Glendalough Boulevardier
Sometimes, rather than trying out a flashy new cocktail recipe, sticking with what you know is best. One of our favorite takes on a classic is the Boulevardier, which trades out gin for whisk(e)y in a negroni recipe. In this case, it’s the Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey that takes the place of gin, which brings with it a hit of vanilla-ry sweetness thanks to its second ageing in Spanish oak Oloroso Sherry barrels.
- 1½ oz of Double Barrel Irish Whiskey
- 1 oz of Campari
- 1 oz of sweet vermouth
- Garnish: orange slice, lemon twist or cherry
Stir all ingredients well with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled coupe. Then garnish with an orange slice, lemon twist or fresh cherry.
The Grande Robin of Dublin by The Shelbourne
We recently named Redbreast as one of the best Irish whiskey brands in the world thanks to its dedication to producing single-pot whiskeys – a traditional production method unique to Ireland.
In this St Patrick’s Day cocktail recipe, the bar team at Dublin’s celebrated The Shelbourne hotel pair Redbreast’s 12 Year Old with the sweetness of pear puree for a refreshing tipple, finished with a dash of champagne for added indulgence.
- ½ oz of Redbreast 12
- 2 tsp of pear puree
- 2 tsp of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of honey
- Top off with sparkling wine (Prosecco, Crémant, Champagne can all be used)
- Apple fan as garnish
Shake Redbreast, pear puree, lemon and honey together. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top off with sparkling wine and apple fan.
Emerald Old Fashioned by Knappogue Castle
Knappogue Castle is another Irish whiskey held in high regard. Located in a 15th-century castle that dates back to Ireland’s clan era, Knappogue has been creating world-class whiskeys since the 1990s and is perhaps best known for bottling the Knappogue Castle 1951, which is regarded as one of the oldest and rarest Irish whiskeys on record.
In the Emerald Old Fashioned, Knappogue Castle offers a twist on the classic recipe with the addition of chartreuse ensuring it looks the part to celebrate its Irish home.
- 2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old
- 1 tsp honey syrup
- 1 tsp green chartreuse
- 1 tsp Dolin Genepi
- Mint to garnish
Pour all ingredients excluding mint into a rocks glass with ice. Stir for 10 – 15 seconds. Slap a sprig of mint across your palm to release aromas and add to the drink.
[See also: New Emerald Isle Whiskey Set Includes Fabergé Pieces]
Already Gold by Black Button Distilling
Although Irish whiskey is the natural choice for a St Patrick’s Day cocktail recipe, there’s no harm in a bit of experimentation. In this recipe, Irish whiskey is traded out for a sweeter American cousin – the award-winning Bespoke Bourbon Cream from Black Button Distilling.
Rochester-based Black Button Distilling adopts a grain-to-glass philosophy, sourcing over 90% of the ingredients for its whiskey, gin and liqueur ranges locally, championing both local businesses and agriculture. The hand-finished Bespoke Bourbon Cream uses cream from New York farms and offers a rich finish with notes of vanilla and caramel.
- 2 oz Black Button Distilling Bespoke Bourbon Cream
- 1 oz Peppermint Syrup
- 4 dashes of Chocolate Bitters
Combine all ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with edible gold glitter.
The Emerald Isle by Reyka Vodka
Whiskey not your thing altogether? No problem – Reyka Vodka has you covered with the aptly named Emerald Isle cocktail. Distilled in Iceland using only the purest lava-rock filtered glacier water, Reyka Vodka is impressively smooth with a noticeable crisp finish.
Teaming Blue Curacao with Kiwi puree and passionfruit liquor for a deliciously garish green result, the Emerald Isle cocktail will be a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at your St. Paddy’s Day party.
- 1½ parts Reyka
- ½ part Passou passion fruit liqour
- ½ part Blue Curacao
- 1½ parts Kiwi Perfect Puree
- ½ part fresh lemon juice
- ½ part simple syrup
- Lemon peel to garnish
Combine all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly. Double strain and serve in rocks glass over ice, garnishing with a lemon peel.