St. Patrick’s Day is arguably the most famous drinking holiday, at least in the United States, and there are more than a few cocktails that celebrate it—there’s the Irish Shot, Irish Coffee and the Tipperary, for starts. However, you don’t need the excuse of an over-indulgent holiday to mix an Irish whiskey cocktail. Though the spirit family is less commonly used in drinks than its American counterparts like bourbon and rye, the wide-ranging world of Irish whiskey lends itself well to cocktail bartending.
One such drink that serves as a fun St. Patrick’s Day libation as well as a pleasing year-round beverage is the Frisky Whiskey. This Irish whiskey cocktail comes from Allen Katz, an experienced bartender and co-founder of the New York Distilling Company. The Frisky Whiskey features a number of unconventional ingredients, namely Irish whiskey, honey liqueur and orange juice rather than the more typical lemon or lime juice. This Irish sour is further sweetened with simple syrup and gets botanicals and depth from Angostura bitters.
Katz does not specify a brand of Irish whiskey, and there are plenty of stellar options out there, from the more familiar like Jameson and Powers to a suite of new expressions and brands. As the whiskey is mixed with other potent ingredients, including orange juice and honey liqueur, its flavor will be muffled, so it’s best to save the top-shelf labels for sipping on their own or for use in an Irish Old Fashioned.
For the honey liqueur, however, Katz calls for Bärenjäger. This German honey liqueur is related to Jägermeister in name only; jäger is “hunter” in German, and the honey liqueur’s name translates to “bear hunter.” Made with real honey, it also goes into drinks like the Bee Sting. However, since this is an Irish cocktail, a honey liqueur like Celtic Honey, made entirely with Irish ingredients, would be an appropriate substitute. If using that or another alternative, be sure to taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly before serving. You may find that you don’t need the simple syrup, or that you need more than is called for, depending on the sweetness of the honey liqueur (and orange juice).
- 1 ounce Irish whiskey
- 1 ounce Bärenjäger honey liqueur
- 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add the Irish whiskey, honey liqueur, orange juice, simple syrup and Angostura bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.