Though not quite as popular as bourbon or rye cocktails, Irish whiskey drinks have become increasingly commonplace in recent years. This is partly thanks to Irish bars like The Dead Rabbit, one of New York City’s most famous drinking establishments. One cocktail that exemplifies how good Irish whiskey can be in a drink is the Dead Rabbit’s McGlashan, from bartender Jack McGarry. Essentially a complicated twist on a Whiskey Sour, it combines some unconventional ingredients for a bright, vivid and layered result.
The base for the McGlashan is Knappogue Castle 12, a single malt Irish whiskey that’s both affordable and delicious, on its own and mixed in drinks. McGarry adds to this a measure of oloroso sherry. This dry, oxidized wine adds considerable depth to drinks like the McGlashan, as well as a subtle nuttiness and salinity. Lemon juice adds tartness and balance, but rather than rely on a traditional plain simple syrup, McGarry uses a ginger syrup for a touch of spice.
The sweetness, ginger spice and fruity acid is amplified by another unconventional ingredient: orange-ginger marmalade. That can be much harder to find than the more commonplace orange marmalade, so if you can’t find it on your neighborhood grocery store’s shelves, you can shop online or just use a regular orange marmalade. If go the latter route, consider increasing the ginger in the ginger syrup.
Finally, McGarry adds a few dashes of Dead Rabbit’s own Orinoco Bitters, which are available from Dr. Adam’s, a Scottish apothecary that made the bitters for the bar. The resulting drink is strong and layered with fruity, gingery and nutty flavors.
- 1 1/2 ounces Knappogue Castle 12 year old single malt Irish whiskey
- 3/4 ounce oloroso sherry
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce ginger syrup*
- 1 teaspoon orange-ginger marmalade
- 3 dashes The Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters
- Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg
Add the Knappogue Castle 12 year old, oloroso sherry, lemon juice, ginger syrup, orange-ginger marmalade and Dead Rabbit orinoco bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
*Ginger syrup: Combine 1 cup ginger juice, 1 cup granulated sugar and 4 cups water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before using. Will keep, refrigerated and tightly sealed, for up to 1 week.