The Kentucky Maid was created by Sam Ross, the acclaimed New York bartender formerly of legendary hotspot Milk & Honey who is also responsible for modern classics like the Penicillin and the Paper Plane. The drink features bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup, mint and cucumber and is a refreshing way to quench thirsts—and kill time.
After its debut, the Kentucky Maid kicked off a versatile family of cocktails, in which a base spirit is combined with fresh, seasonal ingredients, including cucumber. Sub gin for bourbon, and you have an Old Maid. Use Irish whiskey, and you’re now face-to-face with the Irish Maid.
The Irish Maid is similar to a Whiskey Smash, which calls for muddling lemon wedges in a shaker before combining the remaining ingredients: whiskey, sugar and mint. The Irish Maid, though, calls for muddling cucumber slices to release their fresh juices before shaking the remaining ingredients—St-Germain elderflower liqueur, citrus and simple syrup—with ice and straining the contents into a rocks glass.
The cocktail is floral and refreshing. With its burst of aromatics and the cooling touch of cucumber, it makes a convincing case for whiskey as a summer drink. Serve the Irish Maid to guests at your next backyard barbecue or enjoy it by yourself on a warm afternoon. For the full effect, consider draining a glass while seated on a porch swing or playing a game of horseshoes.
- 2 slices cucumber, cut into quarter-inch slices
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- 1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- Garnish: cucumber slice
Muddle the cucumber slices in a shaker.
Add the Irish whiskey, St-Germain, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Fine-strain into a chilled rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a cucumber slice.