St. Patrick’s Day countdown: Irish Whisky tastings, recipes and Ginger mixers to try

The legend of St. Patrick, who allegedly came to Ireland in the fifth century to spread the word of Christ and banish snakes from its shores, is a tall tale according to historians.

Regardless, we Americans love a party, and St. Patty’s day is the main event on March 17 all over, whether you’re Irish, Mexican or a typical “Heinz 57″ mix of nationalities and races as so many Americans are.


Monsters and Critics put out the clarion call for the best in new drink ideas, party food fare, fashion, party favors and more to ring in St. Patrick’s Day 2013 with some style.


The great Irish Whiskey taste test of 2013 pits Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey up against Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey.  Each has unique quaities that make them great for different drinks and presentations.

For sipping straight up, Tullamore Dew won the round.

Tullamore Dew recently took five awards at this year’s prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), including ‘Gold Best in Class’ for its highly acclaimed Tullamore Dew 10-Year-Old Reserve. The brand has now achieved an impressive record of 29 gold medal awards in the last 10 years.
For us, the blended version of Tullamore Dew was best enjoyed straight up. It’s light bodied, sweetish, buttery and rounded with light citrus fruitiness.

Then we tried the Kilbeggan, which was best for mixed drinks. These are the best we tried of the St. Patrick’s Day recipe roundup:

Fans of classic cocktail “Rusty Nail” will love the “Celtic Cross”


1 1/2 oz. Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz. Drambuie Liqueur
Instructions: Pour Irish whiskey over ice in a lowball glass. Float Drambuie on top.

Kilbeggan® Irish Breakfast Shot
    – ½ part Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
    – ½ part DeKuyper® Buttershots® Liqueur
    – 1 part Orange Juice
    – 1 slice of Bacon
To Serve: Enjoy the Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey and DeKuyper® Buttershots® Liqueur followed immediately by the orange juice. Finish with a slice of bacon.
Kilbeggan® Shamrock Spritzer
    – 1 part Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
    – 4 parts Apple Juice
    – Lemon-Lime Soda
To Serve: Pour Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and Apple Juice over ice in a tall glass. Top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a lemon.
Kilbeggan® Irish Mule

    – 3 parts Kilbeggan® Irish whiskey
    – 2 parts Triple Sec
    – 2 parts Simple Syrup
    – Lime Juice
    – Ginger Ale
To Serve: Combine Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Triple Sec, simple syrup and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake for 60 seconds. Strain over ice into a tall glass. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with lime wedges.
Kilbeggan® Dubliner (Kilbeggan’s signature Irish version of The Manhattan)

    – 3 parts Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
    – 2 parts Sweet Vermouth
    – 1½ parts Cherry Syrup
    – 1½ parts Cranberry Juice
    – Dash Simple Syrup (optional)
To Serve: Combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake for 60 seconds. Strain neat into a martini glass. Garnish with a black cherry.
Kilbeggan® Irish Storm
    – 1½ parts Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
    – 3 parts Ginger Beer
    – 1 part Fresh Lemon Sour
To Serve: Build all ingredients over ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Bonus St. Patrick’s Day mixer Intel:
Powell & Mahoney, Ltd. cocktail mixers

If you love ginger, this mixer is pure heaven. It’s handcrafted in Vermont and much like a craft beer, it’s done in small batches by hand.

For St. Patricks day, their Old Ballycastle Ginger Mix pays homage to the traditional 1851 recipe from the “old Sod,” where ginger ale was invented in County Antrim, Ireland. It pairs perfectly with Kilbeggan or any other dark irish spirit. Spicy and clarifying, I loved it.


Ginger Highball

1 part P&M Ginger Mixer
1 part Irish whiskey

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Here is a bonus recipe from Dean Castelli at Nick’s Cove in Marshall, Calif. using their housemade Spiced Stout Syrup:

The Pogue Mahone

1/2 ounce Spiced Stout Syrup (recipe to follow)
2 ounces Irish Whiskey

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with cubed ice, gently stir and serve up with an orange twist.

Spiced Stout Syrup Recipe

In a stainless saucepan add:
12 ounces Anderson Valley “Barney Flats” Oatmeal Stout
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp allspice
zest of 1/4 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring the ingredients to a simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and strain.

The Spiced Stout Syrup is great to have on hand for any number of cocktails, especially bourbon or whiskey based ones, like Manhattans.


Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.