Judging by the numbers—Irish whiskey sales are soaring and distillery expansion has revived the island's production—revelers are ready to celebrate with more than just green beer this St. Patrick's Day. The Irish cocktail list is ever expanding and now goes far beyond the classic, but caffeinated, Irish Coffee. Here's a few that will allow you to party and still get your sleep.
IRISH & GINGER
The happening-est of today's Irish cocktails also happens to be the simplest: Irish & Ginger. Variously called an Irish Buck and an Irish Highball, it's sometimes made with club soda, but the mix of spicy ginger, sour citrus and smooth whiskey are what make it captivating.
1 1/2 oz. Jameson's Irish Whiskey
Ginger ale or ginger beer
Pour whiskey over ice in a highball glass. Top to taste with your choice of ginger ale or ginger beer. Add a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with lime wedge.
The Blarney-est of the drinks of Erin is the Emerald. The deception's in the name. Reason will tell you it's really a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey. Your eyes will tell you it's not emerald colored. What's honest is its great taste. Because the bitters are orange, we suggest a whiskey from Northern Ireland.
2 oz. Bushmill's Irish Whiskey
1 oz. (or to taste) sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Pour whiskey, vermouth and bitters over ice in a mixing glass. Stir or shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.
You've heard of the black Irish? The darkest of Irish cocktails is the Blackberry Malt. The blackberry reference is for the fruit that colors it. The malt is for single-malt Irish whiskey, a better choice than a blend to stand up to a mesh of sweet and sour flavors.
2 oz. The Irishman Single Malt
1 tsp. simple syrup
Juice of one-half lime
12 fresh blackberries
Muddle berries in a mixing glass and add whiskey, syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice. Shave with ice and sieve with a strainer into a cocktail glass. Or serve over fresh ice in a highball glass with soda water.
Tullamore D.E.W.'s "Brew and a D.E.W." campaign pitches the beer-and-a-shot concept. Its Hard Shandy takes it a couple of steps further. Into a standard Shandy (beer and lemonade) it directly pours whiskey. We think it's a tastier way to add spirit to beer than the tastelessly named Irish Car Bomb.
50 ml. Tullamore D.E.W.
10 ml. cloudy lemonade
250 ml. wheat beer
In a pilsner glass, add Tullamore D.E.W. followed by lemonade and finish with beer. Garnish with a lemon wedge.