With St. Paddy’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to do a cocktail that would let the whiskey talk. The whiskey smash is a pretty iconic cocktail. It’s kind of like the mint julep’s more citrusy cousin. A typical smash includes fresh herbs and/or fruit. Since we’re at the tail end of winter right now, there isn’t much in the way of in-season fruit, aside from the tropical stuff that we are importing, so I wanted to make something that would be easy to execute and let the whiskey shine.
Green tea and Irish whiskey may seem like a strange combo, but it really works. There is an earthy, vegetal quality to green tea that matches well with the malty, cereal quality of Irish whiskey. It will depend on what kind of green tea you use when making the drink. Some may have a more seaweedy, umami quality to them, and others may be milder and brighter by comparison. Fortunately, switching out the tea and the whiskey to see what you like best is a fun experiment.
I decided a little bit of Kilbeggan was the way to go for this one. It has some wonderful notes of citrus, and is fresh and light, which made it a great fit for a whiskey smash. Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey is a blended Irish whiskey, meaning that it uses both grain whiskey and malt whiskey, blended together. It’s double distilled in copper pot stills, which sets it apart a bit from many other Irish whiskies. Most Irish whiskies are triple distilled, which some say can remove the more interesting flavors from the spirit. But Kilbeggan’s grainy, cereal quality makes it stand out in this cocktail, and I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I love the way the mint plays up all those green, vegetal, and citrus notes. Mint, lime, and Angostura are a common flavor combo in a lot of tiki cocktails, and I thought it would be an interesting flavor profile for a late-winter whiskey cocktail. I think it turned out bright and fresh, and I think you’ll enjoy mixing these up this St. Paddy’s Day. Sláinte everyone!
‘Beggan For More
2 oz Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz green tea syrup*
1/4 oz Amontillado sherry (or other dry sherry)
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
5-7 mint leaves
Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
*Green Tea Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teabag green tea
Instructions: Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add teabag. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove teabag and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
Emily is a bit of a Jane of All Trades. She started her career as an opera singer in NYC, and over time gravitated to the Food & Beverage Industry. Over the span of her professional life she has performed at Carnegie Hall, founded her own Whiskey Society, represented numerous...