March marks Irish-American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on and celebrate Irish immigrants and their descendants’ contributions to American society.
While many will be celebrating just on St. Patrick’s Day, join in the expression of cheer and high spirits the Irish are known for all month long by commemorating the occasion with a glass or cocktail of some of the best Irish spirits.
From the first recorded Irish whisky brand to a collection of three classic whiskey styles and a small, family-run whiskey distillery on the coast, Irish whiskey lovers will be sure to find the right bottle for celebration.
While we can’t all have the palette for enjoying whiskey neat, don’t fret! There are plenty of cocktails to choose from along with a gin from Western Ireland.
McConnell’s Irish Whisky
First established in 1776 in Belfast, Ireland, McConnell’s is the first recorded Irish whisky brand. A series of industry changes and company misfortunes, including the introduction of prohibition in the US and a warehouse blaze, saw a decline in Irish whisky and McConnell’s as a brand.
With a new century came a celebrated moment – the official comeback of McConnell’s. McConnell’s is reborn after 90 years for a new generation of whisky enthusiasts. McConnell’s lineup features the Flagship McConnell’s Irish Whisky (SRP: $34.99), which is a fine blend of Irish malt and grain whiskies that have been gently rested in select bourbon casks, bringing beautiful overtones of vanilla sweetness, ripe fruits, butterscotch and pepper spice. McConnell’s also produces a Sherry Cask Finish Irish Whisky.
- 1.5 oz McConnell’s Irish Whisky
- .5 oz Simple syrup
- 2 oz Espresso (or cold-brewed coffee)
- 2 oz Whole milk
- Garnish cinnamon
Directions: Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a large snifter and dust a pinch of cinnamon over the drink.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
From the curious mind of P.J. Rigney and The Shed Distillery in Ireland comes the acclaimed Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. The first distillery in the West of Ireland to open in over 101 years, The Shed Distillery marks a return to doing things the right way.
Slow distilled by hand in medieval copper pot stills, The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin range fuses spices from the Orient with local Leitrim botanicals and gunpowder tea. This slow-dried green tea takes its name from the practice of rolling its leaves into small, shiny pellets and contributes a critical fresh spiciness to the blend. In addition to the flagship bottle, the Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin collection includes Drumshanbo with Sardinian Citrus and the new Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin California Orange Citrus. Best enjoyed on the rocks or in the signature gin & tonic, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is the perfect gin for celebrating Ireland.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish G&T
- 1.5oz Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
- Top off with chilled premium Tonic Water
- Fresh Ruby Red Grapefruit to garnish
Directions: Fill a glass tumbler with cubed ice. Add a generous measure of Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Top with chilled premium tonic water. Garnish with a thick wedge of fresh, Ruby Red Grapefruit to emphasize the refreshing citrus notes.
A small, family-run, state-of-the-art distillery located on the Irish coast, Clonakilty Distillery prides itself on being Ireland’s maritime distillery. The Scully family has farmed the coastal land overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for nine successive generations. They consider their homes one of the most beautiful locations in the world, and it is their mission to create Irish whiskeys utilizing the best resources that nature has to offer, including prime land, pristine water and salty sea air.
Clonakilty Distillery has produced numerous award-winning spirits, such as the Single Batch Double Oak Irish Whiskey (SRP: $49.99), matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in virgin American oak, before being shaved and toasted in ex-red wine European oak casks. Clonakilty Distillery also produces Minke Irish Gin, a Single Malt and a Port Cask Finish Irish Whiskey.
Clonakilty Chocolatey Spicy Cocktail
- 1oz Clonakilty Double Oak Cask Whiskey
- .5oz Campari
- 2 drops Mozart Chocolate Bitters
- .25oz Vanilla Extract
- 2 dashes Cherry Bitters
Directions: Add all the ingredients into a cocktail mixer and stir gently. Serve with a square of dark chocolate and cherry.
As you might know, the centuries-old production of whiskey in Ireland has always consisted of three classic styles: Single Grain, Single Malt, and Single Pot. The Busker’s Single Collection is the ultimate expression of the soul of the Royal Oak Distillery, where three classic Irish whiskeys are produced all under one roof.
The Busker Discovery Pack (SRP: $33) features three selections of Busker Irish Whiskey’s Single expressions. The package features Busker Single Malt, Single Grain, and Single Pot 200ml. World Class Whiskey adventure in an easily carried package! The Discovery Pack can take you on a journey of traditional Ireland, with the much-needed contemporary twist that The Busker brand brings to the table.