Whether you’re one of the millions who can trace their Irish heritage or not, the great thing about St. Patrick’s Day is that everyone is welcome to celebrate. There’s usually a set of rules to follow: Drink Irish things like whiskey and Guinness; break out all the green you have in your wardrobe; eat underseasoned boiled meat and cabbage. It’s gotten a little outlandish from there as bars pour light beer soaked with green dye and serve neon-emerald Jell-O shots.
But this year we’re doing something different.
Instead of going the traditional route of Irish-only products, we’re making four wildly different cocktails using spirits from all over the world: Johnnie Walker Black Label, Bulleit Rye, Don Julio Blanco, and Crown Royal Regal Apple.
Why? Because it’s definitely time to grow up and move on from the Jell-O shots to make something tastier.
The other reason?
Well, spoiler alert, St. Patrick, RIP, wasn’t even Irish! It’s true. Ole Paddy boy, who was purported to drive the snakes out of Ireland (also: he didn’t) was actually born to Italian parents in England back in the 4th century. His first time in Ireland happened because Irish pirates kidnapped him into slavery. With that newfound bit of trivia under your tweed cap, there’s no need to feel bad about not stickin’ to the Irish stuff.
So without further ado, here are four cocktails to add to your repertoire.
Happy Paddy’s Day!
Whether you’re heading to a parade, having friends over for brunch, or just looking to get your day started with a cocktail pick-me-up, you can’t go wrong with a Scottish Coffee. Substituting the Irish whiskey with its liquid equivalent from Bonnie Scotland, Johnnie Walker Black Label will add notes of vanilla, baking spice, and smoky peat to your favorite drip coffee. For an even deeper flavor, use a brown sugar simple syrup as it helps to lengthen and elevate the baking spice notes, vanilla notes, and caramel notes from the Johnnie Walker Black Label.
- 1 ½ ounces Johnnie Walker Black Label
- ½ ounces brown sugar simple syrup
- 4-6 ounces coffee
- Lightly whipped cream
- Garnish: 3 coffee beans, chocolate shavings
- Preheat your glass or mug with hot water.
- Once sufficiently warm, remove water and add all ingredients except for cream.
- Lightly whip cream until desired consistency.
- Slowly pour over the back of a spoon to top the cocktail.
- Garnish with three coffee beans and shaved chocolate flakes.
It’s March, so unless you’re sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, you likely might need something to warm up on a cold day. Enter the Macintosh Toddy. This cocktail uses a mix of Canada’s finest Crown Royal Regal Apple whisky and Crown Royal Deluxe. The baking spices of clove and star anise mixed with the crisp tart apple and caramel flavors of Crown Royal Regal Apple whisky make this a lovely drink on St. Patrick’s Day. Add a squeeze of lemon to insert a little jolt of acidity to even out the sweeter flavors.
- ¾ ounce Crown Royal Regal Apple Whisky
- ¾ ounce Crown Royal Deluxe Whisky
- ½ ounce honey syrup
- Squeeze of lemon
- Hot water
- 3 cloves
- 2 star anise
- Garnish: apple slice
- Preheat your toddy glass or mug with hot water.
- Once warm, remove water from the glass and add whisky, honey, lemon juice, and baking spices.
- Pour over hot water to top off, then stir to integrate flavors. Garnish with a slice of your favorite apple of choice.
Bulleit Rye whiskey is made using a recipe with a uniquely high rye content and malted barley. Bulleit Rye’s high rye content boasts oaky aromas and an exceptionally smooth taste with hints of vanilla, honey, and spice. The flavors of Bulleit Rye perfectly align with the spiced flavors from the ginger beer and bold ginger syrup in this Bulleit Buck cocktail.
- 1 ½ ounces Bulleit Rye
- ½ ounce ginger syrup*
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- Soda water/ginger beer to top
- 2 dashes of bitters
- Garnish: candied ginger/lemon twist
- Fill your Collins glass with rye whiskey, ginger syrup, bitters, and lemon juice.
- Add ice, soda water, and ginger beer to top off.
- Stir to integrate the flavors.
- Garnish with a piece of candied ginger and a lemon twist. (For a super-spicy drink, skip the soda water and stick with all ginger beer)
*To make ginger syrup, put equal parts granulated sugar and water into a small saucepan. Peel and chop pieces of ginger root, and add to pan. Dissolve sugar over medium heat while infusing ginger. Once dissolved, let steep for 10 minutes or until desired spiciness.
If you’re into boozy, spicy tomato sauce accompanied by crunchy vegetables and a sprig of bacon or two, there aren’t many things that are better than this brunch favorite. Substituting tequila for the usual serving of vodka gives grassy vegetal notes to accompany your spicy, flavorful Bloody mix. Be sure to add some fresh horseradish to really clear the nostrils and kick the drink up a notch.
- 1 ½ ounces Don Julio Blanco
- 6-8 ounces Bloody Maria mix
- Extra Worcestershire (if desired)
- Hot sauce (if desired)
- Garnish: crunchy pickled vegetables, lime wedge
- Add tequila to Collins glass.
- Top with ice and pour desired amount of Bloody Maria mix.
- Stir to combine. Garnish with the assortment of vegetables and a lime wedge.
- Be sure to add more spice if need be.
This article is sponsored by Diageo.