Perhaps it’s the forecast of inclement weather, or the small fact that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but the moment feels right to revisit the whiskey cocktail.
Despite what you might initially think of when you conjure the earthy spirit, whiskies make for an apt year round base on which to build a cocktail – their strength and smokiness proving to be a perfectly robust companion to fresh citrus and sweeter fruit notes synonymous with warmer weather.
At The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in Manhattan, an Irish pub meets Manhattan cocktail bar, head bartender Jillian Vose has built an incredible menu of cocktails around the richly peated spirit, three recipes for which can be found below.
Opened in 2012 by two Belfast expats, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, the Water Street bar resides at that southernmost tip of Manhattan where once thousands of Irish immigrants arrived to start their lives anew. Their lingering influence is felt today, not only in the bar’s cozy Irish pub feel but also in its award winning cocktail menu (a 72-drink strong, leather bound graphic novel) and slew of international accolades, including the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail awards (where they took home World’s Best Cocktail Menu, Best American Cocktail Bar and International Bartender of the Year award for McGarry).
Add to that this month’s highest honour – World’s Best Bar according to the World’s Best 50 Bars – and it becomes harder to deny the evergreen merits of the spirit on which the bar is built.
Their advice? This weekend, consider the whiskey cocktail in a whole new light.
Thief of Thieves
15 ml Fresh Granny Smith Apple Juice
15 ml House made Macadamia Syrup
15 ml Manzanilla Sherry
22 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
45 ml Jameson Whiskey Makers Series Distiller’s Safe Irish Whiskey
“With the butter and bright fruit in the distillate, the rich and nutty macadamia paired with the fresh apple and citrus really highlights this high note style whiskey,” Vose tells GRAZIA. To mix, simply pour your ingredients into a shaker filled with cracked ice. Fine strain into a Sour glass ensuring that no ice escapes the shaker. To serve, simply garnish with a slice of fresh granny smith apple.
Tongue and Groove
0.5 teaspoon rich cane syrup
15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
22 ml Earl Grey Tea infused Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
45 ml Jameson Whiskey Maker’s Series Cooper’s Croze Irish Whiskey
“My inspiration for this drink was to capture the effect of wood on the whiskey,” says Vose. “The dried fruit notes and tannins from the aging process are paired with sweet vermouth and tea in a Manhattan style drink.” To make, stir ingredients with cracked ice in a blending glass. Serve the cocktail in a Nick & Nora glass, omitting any ice. Simply garnish with orange oil by holding a slice of orange peel over your glass and giving it a good squeeze to extract as much of the citrus oil as possible. “This whiskey can stand up and is complimented by the other bold flavours in this drink, ” adds Vose.
Copper A Bet
2 Dash Boker’s Bitters
1 teaspoon Rich Cane syrup
7.5 ml St. Germain
15 ml Apfel Apple Liqueur (American Fruits Aged Apple Cordial will work as well but up quantity to 22mL)
45 ml Jameson Whiskey Maker’s Series Blender’s Dog Irish Whiskey
“With its spiciness and roundness, I wanted to show the versatility of this whiskey, which can play nice with oral, bitters and apple notes,” says Vose. To prepare, stir with cracked ice, then pour over one fresh large ice cube into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon oil by squeezing a slice of lemon peel over your glass to extract.
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