When Saint Patrick’s day rolls around everyone wants to be Irish for a day! Our Facebook feeds and Instagram accounts are filled with green clad folks and equally green drinks. While the occasional green drink can be fun (like our Roquette,) for a lot of us we want to celebrate being Irish with something a bit different than your typical green beer! Wanting to come up with something different, we thought about a way to use some of the great Irish whiskey that we had.
A good starting point was the classic whiskey drinks is the Whiskey Sour, a combination of whiskey, lemon juice and sugar that is one of the oldest cocktails around. Wanting to put an Irish twist on the cocktail, we started out with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, a supple rich whiskey that has hints of floral and citrus tang, with a warm toasted note of grain and malted barley. Distilled since 1608, Bushmills is one of the quintessential Irish whiskeys, making it the perfect way to bring Ireland to the drink. We swapped some of the typical lemon juice for some fresh squeezed grapefruit, which added a slightly bitter sourness to the drink. Wanting a bit more depth, we added a bit of Maraschino liqueur which adds a nutty sweetness. We topped the drink with a float of grenadine to add a bit of color and flavor. If you use real grenadine like we did that doesn’t have a high sugar content, it will sink into the drink, but if you opt for the bright red stuff, it will float on top!
While our sour was well on its way, but the balance was a bit off, leaving the drink a bit one note-ish. Wanting a bit more sweet, and while simple syrup works, we wanted something that would add sweetness and layers of flavor. We recently had been given a sample of La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc to try out, we thought its flavors of grapefruit, herbs and hay and a woody note that punched up some of the barrels used to age the Irish whiskey. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc is a French vermouth, blending fine wines and Pineau des Charentes (a French aperitif fortified wine) from the Cognac region of France. The vermouth has a beautiful aromatic perfume that complimented the flavors in the Irish Sour and made the drink come alive. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc can be found nationally at fine wine or spirits stores (disclaimer, while we were provided free samples, all opinions are 100% ours!)
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 3/4 oz La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc
- 1 bar spoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 3/4 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
- 1/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Dash of club soda
- 1/4 oz grenadine
- Place the whiskey, vermouth, Luxardo, citrus juices, and bitters in a shaker with ice.
- Add ice to a Collins glass allowing the glass to chill
- Shake and strain into a Collins glass.
- Add a dash of club soda.
- Add a float of grenadine (if you use real grenadine like we did it will sink, if it is the bright red stuff, it will float!)