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Sláinte – Irish Whiskey Cocktail

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Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Leah Hall

 This simple four ingredient boozy Irish whiskey drink is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! Make the cold disappear this winter with this tasty sip!


This Irish whiskey cocktail is definitely an unlikely combination of ingredients. But, it’s all booze, so there’s that. (Try our Irish Coffee).

ice being placed in glass with ice tongs

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We combined some Irish whiskey with chocolate liqueur (white creme de cocao) Cynar (artichoke liqueur) and absinthe, which brings hints of anise to the drink.

Irish whisky being poured into glass from mixing glass

This is also not the typical chocolate cocktail with super sweet or creamy liqueurs, either. Instead, it has a drier, smooth taste with a dash of sweetness to make it slightly indulgent! Sign me up!

Irish whisky being poured into glass from mixing glass

We based this cocktail off of the 19th Century cocktail, which we have done riffs on in the past for cocktail classes that we do here in Omaha. It’s an easy drink and super fun to play with the flavors, and can be a little interchangeable.

19th Century Cocktail

The 19th Century is a bourbon based variation on the 20th Century cocktail. The 20th Century is gin, Lillet Blanc, white creme de cocao and lemon juice.

Cocktail in glass with ice
19th Century was first created in New York City by Brian Miller at the Pegu Club in 2016. It is slightly less chocolaty than the 20th, and we think this one has better balance and flavors. Although we love bourbon and gin almost equally!
The 19th Century switches the gin for bourbon. I have seen recipe versions with both cocktails with dark creme de cocao, or white. So, it’s up to you in these cocktails, but the darker is slightly more bitter. (We used white in the Slainté since we knew we were adding color with the Cynar, but loved the sweeter flavor by using the white as well)
Top shot of Irish whisky cocktail
Also, Jim Meehan, also from Pegu Club, is responsible for the 21st Century cocktail, using tequila as the base spirit with creme de cacao, lemon juice and Pernod. This 21st Century has now become a classic itself.


Creme de Cocao

If you look back at the bar culture of the 80s and 90s, many people associate creme de cacao with chocolate martinis and dessert cocktails. (Even now, sometimes) These could be drinks like the Brandy Alexander or basic chocolate martini. 

Top shot of Irish whisky cocktail

Creme de cacao is made in one of two ways: percolated or distilled. Percolated, (like coffee), is where there is a filter with cacao beans, but instead of dripping water through, you drip alcohol. This version is dark in color and has a bitter cocoa flavor.


Distilled is made by distilling the cacao itself and macerating the distillate in more cacao and sometimes vanilla beans. The distilled version is white creme de cacao for it being clear and has a milk chocolate flavor.

Top shot of Irish whisky cocktail

This liqueur has a lot of uses, it just may be overlooked because of the perceived view of it! But, no longer overlooked because of sweetness, creme de cacao is fun to use in experimentation in cocktails! We think it’s a fun ingredient to use, and encourage you to try this cocktail with it!


Irish Whiskey Drink

We really enjoyed this one, and while we think it’s great for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s even better all year long! We love the absinthe in it, and it’s such a fun flavor to play with for sure! We hope you try out this great white creme de cacao, Irish whiskey and absinthe cocktail! Make sure to check out our Bailey’s Irish Cream Recipes, St Patrick’s Day Vodka Drinks or Irish Cream Cocktail Recipes, too!




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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

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Cocktail in glass with ice
Yield: 1

Sláinte - Irish Whiskey Drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This delicious Irish Whiskey cocktail is perfect for celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the great flavors of absinthe and chocolate!


  • 1.50 ounces Irish Whiskey
  • .50 ounce Creme de Cocao
  • .25 ounce Cynar
  • spray of Absinthe


  1. Rinse glass with absinthe, or atomoize into glass filled with ice.
  2. Add other ingredients into shaker with ice, shake to combine. (Can be stirred in a mixing glass, but we preferred it shaken).
  3. Strain into glass.
  4. Cheers!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 3.4gCarbohydrates: 12.2gProtein: .7g

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