Experts Share 8 Ways to Drink Irish Whiskey on St. Patrick’s Day

Cocktail recipes, specialty drinks, and the perfect flight.

Cocktail accoutrements at Salt & Sundry, where you'll find the best products for producing a whiskey and ginger cocktail. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, we have Irish whiskey on the brain. So we asked local spirits gurus to share some ideas on how to drink it. Read on for cocktail recipes, special drinks, and more. Sorry in advance about your Monday morning hangover.

1) Go on a flight.

Here’s an idea: If you’re having a St. Paddy’s party, why not offer guests the opportunity to try a flight of Irish whiskeys? We asked Bill Thomas, who keeps an enormous collection of whiskeys at Jack Rose Dining Saloon (where he is planning a blowout rooftop party on St. Paddy’s), to pick three bottles that would work well. “I chose these three because they represent three different styles and ages,” says Thomas. He likes to finish with the Jameson 18-Year since the brand is familiar to people. “The 18-Year has a richer palate,” he explains. Check out his tasting notes below.

Irish Whiskey Flight

Bushmills Black Bush, a blended Irish whiskey
Nose: malt, spice, toffee
Palate: oak, spices, raisins

Redbreast 12-Year-Old
Nose: fruity and oaky
Palate: vanilla, spices, oak

Jameson 18-Year-Old Limited Reserve
Nose: oak, honey, leather
Palate: cereal, vanilla, caramel

2) Drink some liquid luck.

At the Eddy Bar at Hank’s on the Hill and Buffalo & Bergen in Union Market, Gina Chersevani is offering a special cocktail through the end of the month. Called the Lucky One, it costs $7 and combines Jameson with lemon, ginger, and Harp beer.

3) Make An Irish Parrott.

“You can name it,” Jake Parrott, the regional brand manager for spirits importer Haus Alpenz, told us when he shared this simple recipe for a refreshing St. Patrick’s Day cocktail. Okay then, we’re calling it the Irish Parrott. He suggests using John L. Sullivan Irish whiskey.

The Irish Parrott

1½ ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth
½ ounce lemon juice
Simple syrup to taste

Combine all ingredients in a glass full of ice, stir, and serve. (We’d probably add a lemon twist for garnish).

4) Try an Irish mojito.

Matt Perkins, the bar manager at Cedar in Penn Quarter, subs Jameson for rum to create the Dirty Mojito, with lemon juice, mint, and honey from his brother-in-law’s West Virginia farm. It’s $11 and available all the time.

5) Get scrappy.

At her Union Market shop Salt & Sundry, Amanda McClements stocks a collection of cocktail products that are almost too pretty to use. But if you can bring yourself to break into the Morris Kitchen ginger syrup and Scrappy’s fragrant cardamom bitters, try her recipe for a whiskey and ginger cocktail.

Whisky and Ginger

1½ ounces Irish whiskey
½ ounce Morris Kitchen ginger syrup
Club soda or seltzer
Scrappy’s cardamom bitters

Pour the whiskey and ginger syrup over ice in a rocks glass. Top with club soda and two drops of cardamom bitters. Stir once or twice to mix, and enjoy.

6) Wait a day.

Estadio bar manager Adam Bernbach has a St. Paddy’s tradition: He likes to put an Irish whiskey cockail on the menu the day after the holiday. Head out on the 18th and ask him to make you a Too Little, Too Late: Jameson 12-Year-Old, Cardamaro, black tea syrup, and lemon juice.

7) Booze like a bartender.

Everyone knows bartenders like beer backs—a.k.a boilermakers—so we recently asked Quarry House Tavern bar manager Gordon Banks to share some of his favorite beer-and-Irish-whiskey combos. He went above and beyond with a blind staff tasting. Try one (or two) of the resulting pairs on St. Paddy’s.

8) Go green.

Chartreuse gives a drink called the Tipperary a festive green hue. Back when she was bar manager at Jack Rose, Rachel Sergi showed us how to make a perfect rendition.