Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion St. Patrick's Day

How to Make an Actually Delicious Green Old Fashioned

Image: Tim Nusog

Yes, the new-fangled Old Fashioned is indeed bright green, and it’s ideal for sipping around St. Patrick’s Day. It was developed by iconic bartender Dale DeGroff for a cocktail-pairing dinner hosted by NYC’s Wine and Food Society at Keens Steakhouse in January 2016.

In addition to libations to accompany each course, DeGroff surprised participants by offering a choice of three cocktails with the main course, depending on what each person had ordered. A crisp Martini variation to pair with the fish entrée; a classic Old Fashioned for a steak filet; and for those lucky enough to have ordered Keens’ famous lamb, a startling but delicious mint-green Old Fashioned.

The delectable house-made mint jelly served alongside the lamb inspired the drink, says DeGroff. In the end, the whiskey cocktail was made with mint three ways—mint jelly, mint syrup (for color) and, of course, fresh mint in the glass—plus an extra sprig to garnish the finished drink. Sláinte!

Mint Green Old Fashioned

Created by Dale DeGroff

  • 2 oz Dewar’s 12-year Scotch whisky
  • 1 quarter round piece orange
  • 1 Bordeaux maraschino cherry
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 1/4 oz Monin Mint Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp mint jelly*
  • 1 dash Fee Brothers mint bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Splash of water
  • 1 mint sprig

In a mixing glass, muddle all ingredients except whisky, carefully crushing into a paste-like consistency. After muddling, remove the spent fruit husks and crushed leaves/stems, but keep the flavor paste in the glass. Add the whisky and ice, and stir well to chill and dilute. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice, and garnish with the mint sprig.

*DeGroff used mint jelly from Keens, but you can make your own or use a good commercial brand.