Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

9 Essential Irish Whiskey Cocktails

Try these expert-approved drinks today.

Commander in Chief cocktail
Commander in Chief. Image:

Brent Herrig

Irish whiskey is having its moment. Thanks to a boom in distilling and an unquenchable thirst from abroad, the nectar of the Emerald Isle has become a staple of the modern cocktail movement. And it’s easy to see why. With a versatile flavor profile that ranges from light and fruity blends to rich single malts, Irish whiskey can work its magic in a variety of drinks.

Bartenders from all over the world are finding creative ways to use Irish whiskey, beyond just pouring it into a glass with some ice. From riffs on classics to inspired new creations, these are nine Irish whiskey cocktails to try now.

  • Black Barrel Old Fashioned

    Black Barrel Old Fashioned

    Jameson brand ambassador Killian Lee suggests using Jameson Black Barrel whiskey in this version of an Old Fashioned. The whiskey mingles with two different kinds of bitters and a little Bénédictine liqueur to amplify the whiskey’s malty sweetness, making this variation a worthy twist on the classic.

    Get the recipe.

  • Luck of the Irish

    Luck of the Irish cocktail / Tim Nusog

    John O’Connell of West Cork Distillers in Cork, Ireland, recommends this Irish version of a Manhattan. The cocktail consists of equal parts West Cork Distillers 10-year-old single malt, sweet vermouth and green Chartreuse, which lends a solid herbaceous note to the cocktail. Simply combine the three in a mixing glass, then stir, strain and serve over ice.

    Get the recipe.

  • True Blue

    True Blue cocktail
    Brent Herrig

    This crowd-pleasing cocktail comes from Harrison Ginsberg at New York City’s famed bar The Dead Rabbit, which is one of the country's best spots for sampling Irish whiskeys. The drink begins with Tullamore D.E.W. 12-year-old as its whiskey base. Bitters, ginger syrup, sherry, apple brandy and even Guinness join the party. All the ingredients are shaken, strained and served with a fragrant nutmeg garnish.

    Get the recipe.

  • Eye Opener

    Eye Opener cocktail / Tim Nusog

    For this cocktail, Lee uses Jameson Caskmates, which is regular Jameson that has been finished in beer casks. The “eye-opening” part of the drink comes from the addition of cold-brew coffee, which will give your morning (or evening) a caffeinated jolt. This is tempered by ginger-brown-sugar syrup and finished with a bit of stout for beer-y complement.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • Hearn

    Hearn cocktail

    If you love Manhattans, you’ll want to try this special creation from Jack McGarry, award-winning bartender-owner at The Dead Rabbit. Instead of American whiskey, it’s made with a base of Knappogue Castle 12-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey and a complex mixture of sweet vermouth, Green Chartreuse, The Dead Rabbit’s own Orinoco Bitters, absinthe and orange bitters.

    Get the recipe.

  • McGlashan

    McGlashan cocktail

    Jack McGarry shakes again: This sweet and spicy cocktail mixes Knappogue Castle 12-Year-Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey with oloroso sherry, fresh lemon juice, ginger syrup, orange-ginger marmalade and a few dashes of The Dead Rabbit’s Orinoco Bitters. It’s complex and refreshing with a spicy ginger kick.

    Get the recipe.

  • Isaiah Rynders

    Isaiah Rynders cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This savory take on the Dark ’n Stormy packs a wallop. It mixes Jameson Black Barrel and Connemara cask-strength peated Irish whiskey with Cardamaro, ginger syrup, lime juice, tamarind chutney, vanilla soda and the Dead Rabbit's Orinoco bitters.

    Get the recipe.

  • Irish Coffee

    Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    Wake up the right way with an Irish Coffee. This recipe is the best version we’ve tasted. It calls for Irish Whiskey, brown sugar for rich sweetness, coffee and freshly whipped cream. You’ll never look at Irish whiskey—or coffee—the same way again.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • Commander in Chief

    Commander in Chief cocktail

    Brent Herrig

    Jillian Vose, the bar manager at The Dead Rabbit, knows a thing or two about Irish whiskey and cocktails. This drink employs two expressions: Redbreast 12-year-old and Green Spot. Mix these with two kinds of brandy, verjus blanc, passion fruit syrup and bitters, and enjoy.

    Get the recipe.