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Irish whiskey cocktails: Whiskey-spiked sips for St. Patty’s

Toast to St. Patty with Celtic-tinged cocktails, stirred up with whiskey hailing straight from the motherland.

 (Photograph: Krista Schlueter)
Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Mrs. Doyle at Death and Company

Although it’s named after the kooky old housekeeper from Irish sitcom Father Ted, bartender Eryn Reece’s boozy sipper is way sexier than the TV character (no disrespect, Pauline McLynn). A curvy coupe glass brims with silky, honey-hued elixir, its base consisting of bartender favorite Redbreast 12-year, with mellow touches of toffee and molasses. The pot-still whiskey—a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley—is the straight man to zany Kronan Swedish Punsch, providing a smooth base that lets the punsch’s funky, smoky character shine. Bright lemon juice and simple syrup temper Kronan’s offbeat fruitiness, transforming the full-figured frame into a downright knockout. 433 E 6th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-388-0882, deathandcompany.com). $14.

 (Photograph: Krista Schlueter)
Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Irish Twin Coffee at Peels

In a city where coffee and cocktails are equally exalted, whiskey-fueled Irish coffee is barely a blip on a serious tippler’s radar. Enter Peels’ version: Beverage director Yana Volfson starts with a muscular, no-nonsense Americano made from La Colombe beans. The java’s spiked with a full slug of Jameson—its nutty, vanilla tang melds easily with the brew. Capped with a house-made Irish-cream float, the communion of dark and light in this eye-opening drink is highlighted by its tall glass mug. 325 Bowery at 2nd St (646-602-7015, peelsnyc.com). $13.

 (Photograph: Krista Schlueter)
Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Blackthorn at the NoMad

The Blackthorn, attributed to legendary 19th-century American barman Harry Johnson, exists in plenty of incarnations, but the NoMad’s version—made with Bushmills—recalls the Celtic tradition. Noilly Prat’s chamomile-heavy dry vermouth and sweet-fennel absinthe bolster the whiskey’s mossy, earthy aroma, while Angostura bitters provide a zesty finish of cinnamon and clove that mimics its spicy throat. A titanic, glass-hogging ice cube graciously soothes the Bushmills’ aggro ABV bite. 1170 Broadway at 28th St (347-472-5660, thenomadhotel.com). $15.

 (Photograph: Filip Wolak)
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Irish Ale at the Guthrie Inn

A lip-smacking, dark-spirit cousin to the vodka-based Moscow Mule, this light, tart cocktail is primed for novice guzzlers shy of whiskey’s alcoholic punch. Guthrie’s tenders use a double-distilled, lightly peated Michael Collins—named after the 20th-century Irish revolutionary— an easy-to-down blend with hints of honey and caramel and a white-pepper kick. The zippy hooch is smartly punctuated by piquant Regatta ginger beer and shaken with lime juice, lightening the whiskey heft of this spiced quencher. 1259 Park Ave between 97th and 98th Sts (212-423-9900). $10.

 (Photograph: Krista Schlueter)
Photograph: Krista Schlueter

The Partisan at the Beagle

Head barkeep Dan Greenbaum packs a whole lot of cross-cultural appeal into this aromatic quaff, blending touches of Spain, France and the Emerald Isle in one Nick-and-Nora martini glass. The cocktail’s backbone is Bushmills Black Bush, a dark, velvety Irish whiskey boasting slight sherry sweetness, thanks to aging in Spanish oloroso oak casks. Greenbaum mixes the spirit with sherry’s rustic cousin, pacháran, a Basque sloe-flavored liqueur that complements the whiskey’s fruit tones. French aperitif Lillet Blanc adds bitterness, and an orange twist finishes it off with a citrusy nose. 162 Ave A between 10th and 11th Sts (212-228-6900, thebeaglenyc.com). $13.

Forgo green-tinged Guinness or Baileys-imbued bomb shots—this St. Patrick’s Day, give a hearty “Sláinte!” to the Emerald Isle with Irish whiskey-based cocktails. Mixed with Celtic standbys like Jameson, Redbreast and Bushmills, the proverbial redheaded bastard of the whiskey category gets its moment in the spotlight with these elegant tipples.

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Laura Jayne Martin
Laura Jayne Martin

The descriptions of these cocktails were extremely enjoyable, nearly poetic, writing. Thanks.