Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

True Blue

A deep coupe glass rests on a hard wood surface with a wood backdrop. The drink within is dark red-brown.
Brent Herrig

This crowd-pleasing cocktail comes from Harrison Ginsberg, who created it while working at The Dead Rabbit in New York City. A deeply unconventional drink, it combines multiple ingredients including Irish whiskey, sherry, brandy and even Guinness. The result is complex, layered and decidedly Irish.

The base of the True Blue is Tullamore D.E.W 12-year-old, an excellent and generally affordable Irish whiskey. You could substitute a bottle like Knappogue Castle or Powers if that’s what you have on hand. The cocktail also gets Clear Creek eight-year-old apple brandy from Hood River, Oregon. This delicate yet assertive apple brandy has its own defined flavor profile, but, if need be, the closest analogue would be an apple brandy from California’s St. George Spirits. Calvados or Applejack will taste noticeably different.

Since it’s a stridently Irish drink, there is also a measure of Guinness, which adds chocolatey nuttiness and richness. The nuttiness is enhanced by a scant measure of Pedro Ximénez sherry, which rests on the sweeter side of the sherry spectrum. The sweetness is enhanced by an unconventional ingredient: white miso cane syrup. A bit of ginger syrup adds more complexity and a hint of spice, which is balanced with lemon juice.

Finally, a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters give the drink a subtle rosy hue and additional depth of flavor. The result is totally different than any other Irish whiskey drink out there, and though it takes a bit of effort to put together, it might become your new favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition.



  1. Add the Irish whiskey, apple brandy, Guinness draught, Pedro Ximénez sherry, lemon juice, white miso cane syrup, ginger syrup and Peychaud’s bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a cocktail or coupe glass.

  3. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

*White miso cane syrup: Place 16 ounces water and 2 tablespoons white miso paste in a stainless steel pot, and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the paste is completely dissolved. Add 4 cups cane sugar, and increase the heat to high, bringing to a boil and stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bottle, label and store in the refrigerator.

*Ginger syrup: Add 16 ounces ginger juice and 16 ounces white sugar to a stainless steel pot, and heat over medium-low for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain through a cheesecloth. Bottle, label and store in the refrigerator.