For a holiday that is all about drinking, most of the cocktails consumed during St Patrick’s Day are shockingly terrible! Some blame Irish whiskey as challenging to work with because of its strong flavor profile. Others point out that the day is often more fixated on extreme inebriation than it is on the best cocktails you’ve ever had. But I think they are all wrong. Irish whiskey is a fantastic spirit to build a cocktail with and can be infinitely drinkable if done cleverly. The most elegant cocktails often use only a few ingredients, perfectly balanced for a unique and satisfying experience. And the emerald is just a such a cocktail. The bonus of only using a couple ingredients? They remain simple cocktails to make, even when celebrating at the height of inebriation.
- 2 ounces Irish Whiskey
- 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- garnish with a piece of orange peel
Begin by selecting a cocktail or coupe glass and filling it with ice to chill. Set this glass aside and grab a mixing glass to build your drink. If you don’t have any dedicated mixing glass, any pint glass or even the bottom portion of a shaker will work quite nicely. Fill the mixing glass with ice. Then pour in the Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth. Next add two generous dashes of bitters and stir for at least 30 seconds. Dump the ice from the now chilled glass and strain in the emerald. Finally, finish this elegant cocktail with a piece of orange peel for garnish.
What Irish Whiskey Should I Use in the Emerald?
There are an amazing number of delicious and affordable Irish whiskeys. My absolute favorite budget Irish whiskey is, without a question, is Trader Joe’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey. Not only does this delicious whiskey have an age statement of 8 years, but also can be had for around $15/fifth. Stunningly smooth with delicious notes of caramel, I have yet to find any Irish whiskies that can challenge the Trader Joe’s bottle at this price, at least outside of Ireland. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you that sells spirits, Jameson and Paddy are both good options, though they come at a higher cost with arguably less flavor. If you think you have a better option, pick your favorite Irish whiskey and let me know how it tastes in this emerald by dropping a comment below.
What Vermouth Should I Use in this Emerald?
The trick with vermouth is that it is less about which vermouth you use and more about how long it has been open. The shelf life of vermouth is incredibly long until it is opened and exposed to oxygen. Then it only lasts a couple of weeks to a month (at most). This means that getting smalls bottles is a great idea. Brands that come in 375ml bottles are thus preferred and if you want a good product at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with Dolin for your all your vermouth needs. Want to spring for a more expensive option? Than look no further than Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. It might be three times the price, but you’ll be shocked at just how amazing vermouth can be. And in a simple, elegant cocktail like the emerald, the quality and freshness of vermouth is incredibly important.
Total cost per drink? ~$1.15