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 something like Knappogue Castle or Powers if that’s what you have on hand. It 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. Something like calvados or Applejack will taste noticeably different.
Since it’s a stridently Irish drink, it also gets a measure of Guinness, which adds a 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. The should be subtle but adds a unique umami to the flavor of the drink. 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 1/2 ounces Tullamore D.E.W. 12-year-old Irish whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Clear Creek eight-year-old apple brandy
- 1/2 ounce Guinness draught
- 1/4 ounce Barbadillo Pedro Ximénez sherry
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce white miso cane syrup*
- 1 teaspoon ginger syrup**
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
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.
Double-strain into a cocktail or coupe glass.
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 at 180 degrees, stirring frequently until the paste is completely dissolved. Add 4 cups cane sugar, and increase the temp to 210 degrees, bringing to a boil and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bottle, label and store in a refrigerator.
*Ginger syrup: Add 16 ounces ginger juice and 16 ounces white sugar to a stainless steel pot, and heat at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool at room temperature. Strain through a cheesecloth. Bottle, label and store in a refrigerator.