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Tag Archives: irish whiskey

Shamrock

The Twilight Lounge – March 12, 2016

Continuing on the Irish whiskey theme I stumbled upon the Shamrock while thumbing through The Ultimate Bar Book this afternoon.  In addition to being a whiskey drink, it would help use up the Crème de Menthe I’d been sitting on for far too long.  It’s not often outside of Christmas that I get to use it!

The Shamrock

  • 1-1/2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Crème de Menthe
  • 2 oz heavy cream
  • maraschino cherry

Combine all the ingredients except the cherry in a shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a old fashioned glass filled with ice.  Garnish with the cherry.

It is minty and it is creamy…and the whiskey is well hidden behind those two.  Aside from it being green and sweet, I’m not sure what else to think about this cocktail.  If we weren’t heading into St. Patrick’s day I’m pretty sure this would not have ever found a way into a glass raised to my lips.  But I suspect if you are a fan of ice cream drinks then you’ll enjoy this one.

Cheers!

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The Twilight Lounge – March 12, 2016

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and as is usual, I’ll be pub crawling all day with my pal Mike.  We’ve been doing our St. Patrick’s day drink fest for 6 or 7 years and this year will be no different.  We’ll start at 6am at Bub’s Irish Pub in Germantown, work our way to Erin for post parade fun at the Tally Ho and then work back towards town.  There will be plenty of Irish whiskey, Guinness, corned beef and fair lasses in green to be sure!

As a prelude to the glorious day itself, I’ve been enjoying Irish inspired cocktails.  This one in particular caught my eye as I perused the Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich.

Dancing Leprechaun

  • 1-1/2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Drambuie
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • ginger beer

Add the whiskey, Drambuie and lemon juice to a shaker with ice.  Shake then strain into an ice filled Collins glass.  Add ginger beer to the top, stir and garnish with a lemon twist.

I used Tullamore Dew whiskey, which I like as much for it’s reasonable cost as I do it’s slightly smoky flavor.  Irish whiskey and ginger beer has long been a favorite of mine, and this cocktail is a nice twist on the typical Irish and ginger beer.  The Drambuie gives a bit of sweetness and a spicy, nutty flavor that I enjoyed.  It’s a refreshing cocktail that would be fun on a warm summer day (soon to be here) as well as on St. Patrick’s Day.

Cheers!

 

Gloom LifterRockford, IL – December 2, 2014

Business recently took me to Rockford, IL and there I discovered Alchemy.  It’s part craft beer, part craft cocktails and part craft pizza.  While I enjoyed the pizza I had, I really enjoyed the cocktails!

First was the Gloom Lifter.  It starts with Tullamore Dew as the base, but what really caught my eye was the egg whites.  It also has lemon juice, raspberries and flamed bitters in the mix.  Served in an elegant coupe this was a very well balanced and proportioned cocktail.  Cinnamon and cardamom on the nose the cocktail was light, slightly sweet and smokey.  I was a little disappointed that there was no spiciness in the taste, but it was overall an excellent cocktail and will be sure to lift the gloom of winter!

The second cocktail I enjoyed was the Cold & Heavy Snow.  Using Milagro silver tequila as its base I was drawn to it with the house made ginger beer.  Finishing off the cocktail is lime juice, cider and cinnamon.  I really enjoyed the this cocktail – the ginger beer was spicy and well made and the cider and cinnamon added a bit of holiday cheer.  Another winner.

If your travels take you to Rockford, Alchemy is worth a stop!

Day 325, Cocktail 329

The day before St. Patrick’s day and I was going to have one last Irish cocktail to prepare myself for my all day pub crawl with my buddies Mike and Brett.  As I thumbed through the Ultimate Bar Book I found a cocktail named Everybody’s Irish.  How could I lose with this cocktail, right?  Well, I lost.  Big time.  For once my thought that there’s no way this combination of ingredients can taste good came true.  I’m going to post the recipe here, but I can not suggest that you actually try this one, unless of course, some person in the distant future attempts to recreate my journey because I’ve become famous.  Even then, though, I’d give dispensation to skip this drink!

So, without further adieu, I give you Everybody’s Irish.

  Everybody’s Irish

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • 1/4 oz green Creme de Menthe

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a green olive.

Overwhelming mint and anise flavors just knocked me on me ass with this one.  While I did drink it all, it was awful, with the brine from the olive just adding injury to the insult of this cocktail.  I think it’s whole purpose is to be green, which it is – a very bright, almost flourescent, green!  One last note, Chartreuse is one of the few liqueurs not in stock at the Twilight Lounge, so substituted Pernod.  The flavors of the two are very similar although the Pernod is not green like the Chartreuse.

My next post will get into our adventures from St. Patrick’s day.  Until then…

Cheers!

Day 319, Cocktail 322

Ok, so not everyone is into Nutty Irishmen or Car Bombs (or Guinness for the matter) for St. Patrick’s day.  Some of us are looking for leprechaun’s and their pots of gold.  Poor little buggers, working their fingers to the bone making shoes, only to have some blundering idiot steal their earnings!

Whew!  Well, I had come across a cocktail called the Dancing Leprechaun in the Ultimate Bar Book while getting ready for last Saturday’s NID.  It looked good, but a little to complicated to mess with at a dinner party, so I didn’t use that night.  However, it was just the drink for Thursday night.  So I mixed one up and hoped to find a leprechaun’s pot of gold…

  Dancing Leprechaun

  • 1-1/2 oz irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz Drambuie
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • ginger ale

Combine the ingredients, except the ginger ale, in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to combine then strain into a collins glass filled with ice.  Top with ginger ale and garnish with a lemon twist or wedge.

This would make a very good mid day break from the Guinness on St. Patrick’s day.  Light, refreshing with just a hint of whiskey and the honey sweetness of the Drambuie.  There’s even a connection between the Scottish Drambuie and the Irish whiskey – both Ireland and Scotland have chafed under British rule, so it’s natural that they join forces, at least in a cocktail!

Cheers!

Day 314, Cocktails 318 & 319

So just where did this whole thing about the Irish being drunkards come from anyway?  I spent some today trying to find out and … I really didn’t find anything conclusive.  The best explanation is a combination of what does seem to be an above average per capita consumption of alcohol (although not as high as the Russians) along with a cultural bias against the Irish, particularly as they were emigrating to America in the early 19th century.  Painting the Irish as drunks and brawlers made it easier for other groups competing with the new immigrants for jobs to demonize the Irish as a group.

So, enough of the history.  Back to last Saturday’s NID, where I was doing my best to fulfill the Irish stereotype.  I had started the night off with a couple of convential cocktails.  By the time I got to cocktail number three I was ready to wing it a bit.

  Bombed Nutty Irishmen

  • 1-1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1-1/2 oz Frangelico
  • 1 oz Irish whiskey

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake to combine and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass with additional ice to fill the glass.

A much more potent version of the Nutty Irishmen, yet still very, very drinkable.  The whiskey gives it a bit of a bite, but not so much that I would call this a boozy cocktail.  More like dangerous…as in tasty yet potent.

By now the creative juices were really starting to flow.  So for my next and final number I did a take on the Irish Car Bomb.

  Irish H-Bomb

  • 1-1/2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1-1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 4 oz stout

Combine the whiskey and Baileys in a shaker with ice and shake to chill and mix.  Pour into a collins glass, add a bit more ice and top with stout.  Gently stir to mix and enjoy!

This is the Car Bomb on steriods.  What I’ve always found interesting about this combination is how it ends up so smooth and chocolatey!  In fact, this may be just a little too smooth as again the flavor masks just how much booze you get in this drink.

Cheers!

Day 314, Cocktails 316 & 317

I know, I know…corned beef is not Irish.  At least not Ireland Irish.  It was the Irish immigrants living next to their Jewish neighbors in New York that picked up the corned beef that we now all eat on St. Patrick’s Day (yet another holiday the native country knows nothing about while we all get slightly inebriated).  Not that corned beef is a bad thing – personally I love it.  The fact that I get to have some Irish whiskey or beer with it just makes it all the better!

So just where the hell is this going?  Well, last Saturday was another installment of the Newcomers International Dining group and the theme was…Irish food.  Despite my protests that it wasn’t Irish, corned beef was on the menu, along with several other authentic Irish dishes.   Kudos to Gwen for an Irish bread pudding that required 10 days of fermentation time with half a liter of Irish whiskey in it!  This also proved to be an ideal opportunity to try out Irish drinks and get them published before St. Patrick’s day.  As it turned out, I put together a total of four Irish cocktails.  Thus, a two part night for the blog.  I started the night with two standard recipes and then adapted them with two off the cuff drinks.  This post will cover the standard recipes and I’ll fill you in on the off the cuff drinks in the next post.

  Nutty Irishman

  • 1-1/2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1-1/2 oz Frangelico

Combine in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a rocks glass with ice.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this classic.  A nice, creamy, slightly chocolately and distinctively hazelnut flavor greats your palate as you sip this.  While more appropriate as an after dinner drink, I actually started the night of with this cocktail. 

  IRA

  • 1 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream

Combine in mixing glass with ice.  Stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a shooter straight up.

We’re not talking about retirement here.  Named for the old Irish Republican Army, which those readers of a certain age will remember, this is a cousin of the Irish Car Bomb.  (Bonus drink – use 1/2 oz each of the Baileys and whiskey in a shot glass, then drop the shot glass into a rocks glass filled with Guiness for the Irish Car Bomb.)  The Bailey’s tones down the whiskey considerably (I was using Clontarf, a serviceable 80 proof whiskey) but this still packs a punch.  We ended up sipping on this since tossing it back would have led to drinking three more which then leads to table top dancing.  That’s never a good idea (unless your name is Andrea). 

With the IRA we also wrapped up the appetizer and soup courses.  Next, I’ll get into the dinner and after dinner drinks.

Cheers!

Days 262 & 263, Cocktails 261 & 262

This post features a couple of Toms that I became acquainted with over the last two of days.

On Wednesday I tried something called the Tom Johnson Cocktail at the Twilight Lounge.

  Tom Johnson Cocktail

  • 1 oz Scotch
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.

This drink is another one of those ones that when I looked at the ingredient list I thought “you’ve got to be kidding me!” … except this time I was right.  The flavor profile initially was lime with the vermouth and then scotch following it.  As I sipped on this drink the lime was always there, giving it a distinct margarita feel.  The scotch was barely present, which in my book is a waste of scotch!

Thursday night was, as usual, trivia night at Ivee’s.  My cocktail for the evening was the Tom Moore.

  Tom Moore Cocktail

  • 1-3/4 oz Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Essentially this is a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey, and I enjoyed it.  In the future I’d probably cut the vermouth down to 1/2 oz, but since I enjoy sweet vermouth with my whiskey it wasn’t a problem.  The bitters add just the right touch of spice to this cocktail.

So there you have it, a tale of two Toms.

Cheers!

Day 226, Cocktail 224

I know, I know, I just popped my best Dean Martin line as a post title.  But will the cocktail stand up to a kick in the head?  Let’s find out.

Tuesday’s cocktail was something called Cameron’s Kick.  It’s another classic, prohibition area cocktail with a murky past.  It did appear in the Savoy cocktail book, published in London in 1930 and considered an iconic recipe book for bartenders and enthusiasts alike.  The recipe I used is pretty close to the Savoy version.  However, if you google Cameron’s Kick Cocktail you’ll find all kinds of variants both in ingredients and in proportion.  Of course, that’s what makes cocktails so much fun!

  Cameron’s Kick

  • 1 oz blended scotch
  • 1 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake, shake, shake to mix and chill.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Garnish with an orange peel or orange twist if desired.

Yes, this is another one of those cocktails that when I first looked at the ingredient list I though “you’ve got to be kidding!”.  To be honest, my first sip wasn’t all that pleasant either.  The flavor profile went from the scotch to the whiskey to the lemon to the almond of the orgeat…to, I don’t know, maybe baby puke?  The interesting thing was that as this had some time to sit in the glass and blend it got better.  By the time I was halfway through I was quite pleased with this drink.  Not too sweet, not too boozy, it was just right.  And to my suprise (well, maybe not, I’ve gotten used to unusual ingredient combinations) this unusual blend of flavors worked well together.

Do you have an odd drink?  Let me know and I’ll try it out!

Cheers!

 

Day 198, Cocktails 192 & 193

And so my exploration of cocktails named Buck continues this week.  Tonight was a face off (no, it did not involve John Travolta and Nicholas Cage) between Irish and Scotch Whiskey.  As with last night’s cocktail, each cocktail features a 2 oz pour of the liquor in question along with the juice a lemon wedge and 5 oz or so of ginger ale.  And as with last night’s cocktail, each is cleverly named.  Let’s see how they fared.

  Scotch Buck

  • 2 oz scotch whiskey
  • 5 oz ginger ale
  • lemon wedge

Fill a collins glass with ice and squeeze the lemon wedge over the top.  Add the scotch and top with the ginger ale.

I used Cutty Sark for this one and I have to admit, it just didn’t click for me.  The smokey, peaty flavor of the scotch (and Cutty is by no means a strong scotch) did not blend well with the ginger ale or lemon.  It seemed like one big bar brawl in the glass.  I’ve come around to the idea of mixed drinks that use scotch, but this is one that won’t be on my list at the Twilight Lounge.

  Irish Buck

  • 2 oz irish whiskey
  • 5 oz ginger ale
  • lemon wedge

Fill a collins glass with ice and squeeze the lemon wedge over the top.  Add the irish whiskey and top with the ginger ale.

I used Bushmills for this cocktail and, wow, what a difference!  The lemon, ginger ale and Bushmills all come together to create a light, citrusy cocktail that was delicious and very smooth.  This is one that I would have again!

Cheers!