Put Down The Guinness And Drink This ACTUALLY Irish-Made Booze Instead

There are plenty of other Irish drinks for St. Patrick's Day.

Guinness is a fantastic beer made in Ireland. It’s also made in Baltimore.

So while it remains an undeniably delicious brew, it’s not quite as uniquely Irish as it used to be. And with a flood of booze made in Ireland washing up on U.S. shores, now is the perfect time to drink something other than that tremendous stout on St. Patrick’s Day.

To help you to figure out what to drink ― which will likely be from home this year, thanks to many bars being close due to the coronavirus ― we surveyed U.S.-based Irish bartenders on what to drink this St. Paddy’s Day that’s not Guinness. Sláinte!

“Gin accompanied with flavored tonic is the go-to drink in Ireland,” says bartender Darragh McConnon.
“Gin accompanied with flavored tonic is the go-to drink in Ireland,” says bartender Darragh McConnon.

Exceptional Irish whiskey brands, including labels like Bushmills and Redbreast, have won fans the world over. But despite whiskey’s popularity, gin is having quite a moment in the Republic.

“Gin accompanied with flavored tonic is the go-to drink in Ireland,” said Darragh McConnon, Sligo native and bartender at Jackdaw NYC, which serves a gin and elderflower tonic cocktail. “Its resurgence is partially because Irish whiskey must be distilled for at least three years and one day. That disrupts cash flow, so distilleries began producing gin.”

Luckily for those distilleries, the Irish began to love and appreciate gin on another level. It also doesn’t hurt that gin and flavored tonic is delicious, as this recipe from NYC’s Mustang Harry’s proves. Robby Linnane, the County Clare native who pours drinks at the sports bar, told HuffPost that the cucumber tonic water “brings out the crispness and the botanicals in the Drumshanbo.” Even better: It’s simple to prepare.

Drumshanbo Gin and Tonic

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

  • 4 ounces Fever-Tree cucumber tonic

  • Grapefruit wedge

Directions

1. Combine ingredients and serve over ice in a highball glass.

2. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

The Irish Sunset is an ideal drink to greet the warmer temperatures of spring.
The Irish Sunset is an ideal drink to greet the warmer temperatures of spring.

Ian Montgomery moved to the U.S. from Dublin 13 years ago, and has since opened a pub in Dublin … Ohio. He’s currently a partner in Fado Pub and Kitchen there, which does a brisk business on St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the drinks the pub plans to sell plenty of is the whiskey-focused Irish Sunset. “We use Teeling Small Batch in it,” Montgomery said. “It’s an old distillery in Dublin that went out of business a few years ago, and the great-grandkids of the owners of the distillery brought it back to life. They make really good whiskey.”

He said the name of the cocktail is related to the bright orange color of the drink. And because it includes pineapple puree and fresh lime juice, it’s the ideal drink to greet the warmer temperatures of spring.

Irish Sunset

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Teeling Small Batch whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce Aperol

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce pineapple puree infused syrup (instructions below)

Directions

1. Prepare pineapple puree syrup by heating 8 ounces pineapple juice and 1/3 cup of brown sugar on a stove to reduce. Let cool.

2. Combine 1/2 ounce of syrup with all other ingredients over ice, and serve cold.

Jameson and Crabbie's uses Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, which is made with real ginger.
Jameson and Crabbie's uses Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, which is made with real ginger.

Sometimes the tastiest drinks can be exceedingly easy to prepare. “Our most popular whiskey drink is a simple one,” Montgomery said. “Many years ago, we came across Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer. It’s made with real ginger and it’s amazing. And it’s two drinks in one, so you have to be careful!”

Full disclosure: Crabbie’s was formulated in Scotland and is produced in England. But considering Jameson is an Irish-made booze and a whiskey/ginger is one of the more perfect drinks to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll make an exception.

Jameson and Crabbie’s

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Jameson

  • 1 bottle Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Directions

Combine over ice and serve in a highball glass.

Magners is known as Bulmers in Ireland.
Magners is known as Bulmers in Ireland.

Magners Irish Cider

For some reason, cider isn’t as popular in the U.S. as it is in the U.K., and is less available at bars and restaurants. But since you’ll likely be posting up at an Irish pub this St. Patrick’s Day, take the opportunity to order an Irish cider. Just don’t ask for a Bulmers.

“Magners is from County Tipperary in the middle of Ireland,” Montgomery said. “In Ireland, it’s called Bulmers. I’m not sure if it’s because of a trademark in the name, [but] it’s the same drink.”

And he’s right, it’s the same cider with a different name! It’s only called Magners in the U.S. because the company that produced it only owned the rights to the Bulmers name inside Ireland.

West Cork Irish Whiskey, at right, is an ingredient in the Harry's Barrel Aged Tipperary cocktail.
West Cork Irish Whiskey, at right, is an ingredient in the Harry's Barrel Aged Tipperary cocktail.

Another gem from the folks at Mustang Harry’s, this is an Irish whiskey-based cocktail that you don’t need to barrel-age to enjoy it (though if you order it at the pub, they’ve aged it four weeks).

“This is one of our signature cocktails, and an ode to our hometown in Ireland,” Linnane said, referring to County Tipperary. “It’s strong and aromatic.” Those strong flavors are partially due to the addition of West Cork Irish Whiskey.

“The big distillery everyone’s heard of that makes Tullamore Dew and Jameson is in Middleton in East Cork,” explained Colm O’Neill, a longtime bartender and entrepreneur who developed the Irish whiskey cream Hard Chaw. “But West Cork also has its own distillery. It’s got a little map of West Cork in its label, so it’s quite distinctive, and it’s gotten pretty good reviews.”

Harry’s Barrel Aged Tipperary

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces West Cork Irish Whiskey

  • 3/4 ounce Green Chartreuse

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 2 dashes angostura bitters

  • Lemon peel

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir for a 17-count.

2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

3. Rub lemon peel around glass rim. Use as garnish.

Guinness Recipes