Cocktail of the Month

We look at the growing use of Irish whiskey in cocktails today

Very early on in the game Jameson realised that the whiskey cocktail could be a lucrative lane to venture down and its Jameson & Ginger soon became a brand call staple in the on-trade.

But a growing interest in cocktails has also encouraged uptake in some premium spirits and liqueur segments – whiskey among them, reports the IWSR.

Such developments have also tempted in ‘younger’ consumers thus lowering the age profile for whiskeys, especially if those consumers have developed a taste for a good whiskey cocktail.

“Irish whiskey cocktails are a definite phenomenon,” agrees the Head of the Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle, “I picked this up in Canada while on a whiskey trade mission there recently.

“A lot of bars in and around Toronto are promoting Irish Whiskey cocktails;  it’s all about the whiskey cocktails according to one of the sales reps there.”

While it may be somewhat less mature as a phenomenon here, whiskey cocktails are developing globally in other jurisdictions, he told Drinks Industry Ireland, adding that, “This is likely to be because of the versatility of Irish whiskey which doesn’t have the sharpness and peatiness of Scotch.”

Here at home, whiskey cocktails are not as developed believes James Langan, General Manager of Peadar Kearneys Bar in Dublin’s Dame Street, well-known for its whiskey selection.

A Whiskey Sour would be an extremely popular cocktail, he says, “However you can never beat a neat Whiskey or – on a cold Winter’s day (seeing as they are becoming ever so popular) – a hot Whiskey or Irish Coffee.”

But down in Kilkenny’s Dylan Whiskey Bar it’s a different story.

“From the moment the words ‘whiskey bar’ were uttered, Old Fashioneds have been a staple order,” reports Chris Hennessy of the whiskey, sugar, water and bitters combination.

The bar also chooses to craft a serve comprising Pot Still Irish whiskey blended with bourbon, with a mix of muscovado, demerara & house aromatic bitters.

“To this day, whiskey has dominated our cocktails over any other spirits & long may it reign,” says Chris.

As a definite Irish category Pot Still whiskey, particularly former bonded whiskey, has taken centre stage over the last few years, he adds.

“People from across the globe grace our doors, with a substantial volume coming from the States. Whiskey is ingrained into their heritage like our green Isle. If they’re used to the concept of neat whiskey then perhaps a splash of water may flow. However, we’ve seen a rise in curiosity around Irish whiskey, this is where cocktails dominate the scene. Cocktails are viewed as softer, rounded & easier to grasp than the rising aromas of neat whiskey. Sours are the leader in converting the masses to the palate of whiskey.

“Whiskey is a very versatile spirit that continues to surprise consumers. As Irish distilleries grow, each will find cocktails a curious avenue to follow. For some, cocktails will appear more approachable, leading to easier sales & volume that both bars and sellers will vastly appreciate. Cocktails will be a huge factor of the spirits growth in years to come, no doubt,” he says.
As it stands, twists on classics are always a good starting point for any bartender, advises Chris.

“Exploring the category will open up vast possibilities. Whiskey is also a great base for infusions to help create dimensions for the palate. Tannins from tea with Pot Still whiskey, tropical fruit with malts & fat washing with blends can be utilised to set flavours apart from the expected traits of whiskey neat.

“Education for bartenders is becoming more accessible, distilleries are opening their arms in welcome, with liquid flowing more freely,” he concludes, “We’re here for the long haul, investing our time into our spirits history like liquid ambassadors for our country…”


Tipperary Boutique Distillery

Tipperary Boutique Distillery was founded in March 2016 by Jennifer Nickerson, her Father Stuart, an internationally-recognised Master Distiller and her husband Liam Ahearn whose family have farmed the land at Ballindoney for five generations.



Jennifer Nickerson and Liam Ahearne of Tipperary Boutique Distillery.

Jennifer Nickerson and Liam Ahearne of Tipperary Boutique Distillery

TBD recently secured €5 million investment funding to go directly towards development of its own distillery in Tipperary. The new distillery, to be located on the grounds of the nearby Dundrum House Hotel Golf & Leisure Resort and will open in early 2019.





Tipperary Boutique Distillery Whiskeys

To date the Distillery has produced three premium Irish whiskey ‘expressions’ – carefully selected mature Irish single malts which it has selected and bottled itself. It has also released several single cask expressions finished in its own Rioja red wine and port casks, with several more unusual finishes to come in the near future.

  • The Rising – the 11 Year-Old triple-distilled single malt won an International Wine and Spirits Award. Just 1916 bottles of the Rising were produced in honour of Ireland’s centenary of the Rising – all sold out
  • Watershed – the non-aged single malt Irish whiskey won a Double Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Awards
  • Knockmealdowns – the 10 Year-Old single malt Irish whiskey won a Gold Medal in the LA International Spirits Competition.


Tipperary Boutique Whiskey Cocktails with Bumblebee Farm

Tipperary Boutique Distillery recently collaborated with Emma Riordan of Bumblebee Farm, Co Cork, to produce a series of cocktails inspired by nature, using the best home-grown produce in season. It will soon be a full ‘field-to-bottle operation’ with its first ‘new make’ spirit from barley grown on the land already in maturation.


Blueberry Basil Margarita

Tools: Cocktail shaker with strainer, muddler

Glass: Margarita glass (chill glass for 2-4 hours)

Ice: cubes


Garnish: Basil mint, 2 Rosa rugosa petals, rose petal salt1½ parts TBD Watershed whiskey

1 part Bumblebee Farm Deep Rose Syrup

1 part freshly-squeezed lime juice

6 blueberries

Basil mint

1 Rosa Rugose petal


Tear the basil mint and add to the shaker with the blueberries, lime juice and rose petal and then muddle the ingredients together.

Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker to two-thirds with ice.

Shake firmly for 30 seconds.

Twist the rim of the glass in the rose petal salt

Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with basil mint and rose petals.




Strawberry Summer Whiskey

 Tools: Cocktail shaker with strainer, muddler

Glass: Flute (chill glass for 2-4 hours)

Ice: cubes

Garnish: Strawberry Mint Sprig, Rose petals

1½ parts TBD Watershed whiskey

1 part Bumblebee Farm Deep Rose Syrup

1 part freshly-squeezed lime juice

Strawberry mint

1 Rosa rugose petal


Tear the strawberry mint leaves and add to the shaker with lime juice and rose petal, muddle the ingredients together.

Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker to two-thirds with ice.

Shake firmly for 30 seconds.

Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with flowering strawberry mint sprig and rose petal.



TBD Punch Bowl

1 part TBD Watershed whiskey

½ part Ginger Ale

½ part Dahlia Cordial


Garnish: Dahlia Head, Rose Head, Marjoram, Achillia.


Dahlia Delight

 Tools: Cocktail shaker with strainer, muddler

Glass: Gencairn (chill glass for 2-4 hours)

Ice: cubes

Garnish:  Flowering Marjoram Sprig, Blueberries

1½ parts TBD Watershed whiskey

1½ parts Dahlia Cordial

½ part freshly squeezed lime juice

Marjoram leaves



Add the marjoram leaves, blueberries and lime juice to shaker and muddle.

Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker to two-thirds with ice.

Shake firmly for 30 seconds.

Strain into the chilled glass and garnish with flowering marjoram sprig and blueberries.








In 1852 Patrick Egan Sr established P&H Egan Ltd in Tullamore, the beating heart of 19th Century Ireland. This spirited enterprise quickly became one of Ireland’s foremost merchant houses, spanning a range of commercial endeavours that included malting, brewing and bottling. Today the Egan legacy is carried forward by a family with Irish whiskey in their blood.

The Egan family set about resurrecting their family brand in 2013. Family members from across the globe came together and reformed P&H Egan’s Ltd. To much acclaim, they launched their first expression, Egan’s 10 Year-Old Single Malt, in 2014.

Egan’s Vintage Grain – a celebration of the extraordinary industry and endeavour of their forefathers – is their latest release.

Egan’s Vintage Grain is an exceptionally smooth and characterful Single Grain Irish Whiskey, brimming with charming sweetness and warm spices. It’s a celebration of the extraordinary industry and endeavour of their forefathers and their passion for the craft of malting, brewing and bottling.

Casked in American Oak Bourbon barrels for eight years, this Single Grain Irish Whiskey was meticulously hand-selected by Jonathan Egan, the 6th generation of this Irish whiskey family.






Crafts & cocktails: introducing the Roe & Collective


Local creators and artists are coming together to introduce a new creative workshop series: The Roe & Collective.

Premium Irish whiskey Roe & Co celebrates its one-year anniversary ahead of the launch of its vibrant new distillery, due to open in the former Guinness Power Station on Thomas Street next Spring.

Bringing people together for an afternoon of creativity, craftmanship and to learn new skills, the Roe & Collective aims to inspire, educate and engage guests in the true spirit of collaboration whilst enjoying some world class Roe & Co cocktails. At the first event in the series guests will gain an insight into different forms of craft-making including how to build your own terrarium, the art of silkscreen printing and a cocktail masterclass.

Professional urban gardener and stained glass artist Alison Byrne hosts an introductory workshop on terrarium-building during which guests will create their own miniature garden in upcycled Roe & Co whiskey bottles.

Championing the art of print, Damn Fine Print’s guests will learn the skills to start screen-printing independently.

A cocktail masterclass hosted by Roe & Co Brand Ambassador Peter O’Connor will teach guests how to create world class Roe & Co cocktails. They’ll also learn about the history of Roe & Co, why it’s so synonymous with The Liberties and the golden era of Irish whiskey.

#RoeandCo #RoeandCollective

Follow on Instagram @RoeandCoWhiskey



Slane Irish Whiskey

Slane Irish Whiskey is a unique, triple-casked blend, with a smooth balance of the highest quality grain and malt Irish whiskies born on the historic grounds of Slane Castle Estate, County Meath.

Created by Brown-Forman and the Conyngham family of the legendary Slane Castle Estate, this unique Irish whiskey combines the traditions of the past with the emergent Ireland of today.

Slane Irish Whiskey takes many of its complex and smooth qualities from its signature triple-casked process. The whiskey is aged in three varieties of casks: virgin and seasoned casks raised by hand at the venerated Brown-Forman Cooperages and Oloroso sherry casks by way of Jerez in Spain. Once the liquid has been aged to perfection, it’s masterfully blended to create an exceptional Irish whiskey.

In September 2017, following two years of renovations, Slane Distillery opened its doors to the public. Located on the historic grounds of Slane Castle in the Boyne Valley, the new Distillery offers guests guided tours with an interactive visitor experience as well as a first-hand look at the unique creation process involved in producing Slane Irish Whiskey.

For more information about Slane Irish Whiskey and Distillery visit



River Boyne Fizz

Inspired by the historic winding River Boyne that flows through Slane and feeds Slane Distillery, the River Boyne Fizz is a refreshing mix of Slane Irish Whiskey, fresh citrus and honey (for sweetness and length) topped with tonic and garnished with the aroma of fresh rosemary.

Created by Will Lynch, Brand Ambassador for Slane Irish Whiskey, it’s a refreshing cocktail inspired by the mythic and winding River Boyne.



1 1/2 parts Slane Irish Whiskey

3/4 part Oloroso Sherry

1/3 part Orgeat (Almond) Syrup

3/4 part Lemon Juice

Dash of Orange Biters




Shake the first five ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with fresh rosemary.





‘Connemara 12’

Inspired by Ireland’s ancient distilling traditions, Connemara’s smooth sweet malt taste and complex peat flavours makes it a truly unique Irish whiskey. Connemara is the most decorated Irish whiskey with a huge collection of Gold Medals and it has been honoured as the ‘World’s Best Irish Single Malt’. Connemara allows you to unearth the peated pleasures of Ireland.

This cocktail was voted Ireland’s Best Irish Whiskey Cocktail at the Irish Cocktail festival that took place last October.  It was a 32-county event and all the Irish whiskey producers were involved.  It was won by Johnny Burke from The Lodge at Ashford Castle.


‘Wilde’s Atlantic Way’


50 ml Connemara 12 Year-Old Peated Single Malt Whiskey

two cubes brown sugar

four dashes Angostura bitters

dried dillisk (Irish seaweed)

two spoonfuls Atlantic sea salt

10 ml filtered water

square of turf.

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