A couple years ago, I had the great opportunity to work in Dublin, Ireland for a summer. I was able to experience the country’s scenic landscapes and traditional Irish music and dancing. Of course, I also got a firsthand taste of its world-famous libations.
As you might imagine, Dubliners know how to have fun, or as they would say in traditional Irish, good craic. Sure, you can spend time enjoying many of Dublin’s popular attractions, including the River Liffey, Grafton Street, Trinity College, or St. Stephen’s Green, but the real craic can be found in the countless pubs scattered throughout the city. Dublin is home to the Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery, so drinks are evidently a large part of the culture.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I want to share a few of the cocktail recipes I learned after my time on the Emerald Isle. Sláinte!
For whatever reason, I’ve never really had a strong taste for beer. Well, when in Dublin, you have to drink a Guinness, specifically straight from the tap at the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse. But if you’re like me, consider adding some fruit flavor to your stout, though most true Dubliners would likely look down on you for diluting a classic.
1-2 oz. blackberry brandy
1 pint Guinness (or other stout beer)
Add blackberry brandy into a pilsner or tall glass, then slowly pour Guinness into the glass.
This Baby Guinness was particularly popular with tourists in the pubs. I’ll be honest; it took me a couple weeks to realize it was liqueur, not just a miniature-sized pint of Guinness. Even though it is served in a shot glass, it is generally sipped. The pictured shot glass is my most prized souvenir from my time spent in Ireland.
1 oz. coffee liqueur
.5 oz. Irish cream
Pour coffee liqueur into a shot glass. Pour Irish cream over inverted spoon into the shot glass, slowly to prevent the liqueurs from mixing together.
I definitely gained an appreciation for whiskey in the pubs. After a number of tastings, I developed a strong affinity for Irish whiskey over scotch or bourbon. While I generally prefer my whiskey neat, these recipes are great variants for an occasional change.
2 oz. Irish whiskey
2 oz. ginger beer
1 oz. grapefruit juice
Optional: Splash of grenadine for color and smoked salt to garnish the rim of the glass
Fill glass with ice. Add whiskey, ginger beer, and grapefruit juice, and mix well.
2 slices of cucumber
2 oz. Irish whiskey
2 oz. elderflower liqueur
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. simple syrup
Muddle cucumber into bottom of a shaker, then add whiskey, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously with ice, then pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with fresh cucumber.
Derek Deitsch is marketing director for Cuisine Unlimited and a contributor for the Salt Lake magazine blog.