6 ways to say sláinte to the Irish
Loved by drinkers around the world, whether you have Irish roots or not, St Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to dabble in some Gaelic fun.
And with this annual festival landing on a Friday (March 17), the long weekend is a perfect excuse to raise a glass (or two) to the Emerald Isle.
To mirror the welcoming manner of the Irish, this colourful parade of cocktails and whiskey will get the music, dancing and feasting off to a flying start…
To get you in the green groove, this cocktail lends itself to patriotic bashes. With Blue Weber agave at the heart of Crystal Head Onyx Vodka (£44.49, 70cl, House of Malt), there’s a touch of sweet spice with subtle earthy notes lingering on the finish, enhancing the taste sensation. Here’s the recipe to rally your friends…
Ingredients: 30ml Crystal Head Onyx, 15ml melon liqueur, 15ml green apple liqueur, 22ml fresh lime juice, 8ml simple syrup, 1 egg white, 4-5 basil leaves.
Method: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add ice and shake vigorously. Remove the ice and shake again. Double strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a basil leaf crown and green apple fan.
2. Coole Grasshopper
Cream of the crop, Coole Swan Cream Liqueur (£26, 70cl, Tesco) combines single malt Irish whiskey and perfect introduction to this versatile spirit; especially in a Grasshopper cocktail… sweet, minty and one for post-parade and festival drinks.
Ingredients: 35ml Coole Swan, 20ml white crème de cacao, 20ml green crème de menthe. Grated chocolate (optional) and/or mint sprig to garnish.
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass, add garnish of your choice.
3. Drinks by the Dram 12 Dram Irish Whiskey Collection, £49.95, Master of Malt
One of Ireland’s lucky charms is its ancient art of distilling – and these ‘doors to discovery’ are a brilliant introduction. A great way to unite friends and family and share a few favourites, behind each window is a 30ml wax-sealed dram from some of the country’s top producers.
4. Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 10 Year Old, (70cl), £35, Waitrose
With a long history, Bushmills is Ireland’s oldest working distillery – and this triple-distilled 10 year old is a crowd-pleaser. It’s soft and fruity with butterscotch and honeyed notes, sweet with a touch of sherry wood and lingering spice. Serve neat over ice, it’s an ideal match with Irish nosh such as corned beef and cabbage, or sharp Irish cheddar with soda bread.
5. Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, £45.95, (70cl), The Whisky Exchange
Matured in American bourbon and sherry casks, Green Spot is a fully-flavoured pot still style of whiskey – made from a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still – and delightfully rich and peppery with spice, apple and clove notes, a fruity sweetness finishing with some sherry nuttiness. Add a dash of water to open up the aromas and layers of flavour.
6. JJ Corry The Battalion, Batch 3, Blended Irish Whiskey, £52.95, (50cl), The Whisky Exchange
A modern whiskey bonder, JJ Corry has revived the craft of creating special blends by sourcing spirits from carefully selected distilleries and maturing, blending and bottling them into bespoke flavour profiles.
The third batch of its limited edition The Battalion, this six-year-old offering is matured in bourbon casks and finished in tequila casks. The result is a silky smooth whiskey which delights with its zesty freshness, oaky spice, caramel, grassy agave notes and touch of touch of sea salt on the finish. In a word: Gorgeous.
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