Mr. Brownstone © Carissa O'Connor
Approachable Irish whiskey is often served straight, but the smooth, lightly spicy spirit is also delicious in cocktails. “It tastes like butterscotch and toffee,” says Erick Castro, bartender at San Diego's new soda shop-style bar Polite Provisions. “I have a lot of friends who aren’t cocktail drinkers, but they’ll take a shot of Jameson without hesitation.” Castro loves to mix it in cocktails like Mr. Brownstone, a fizzy drink that combines Jameson, housemade cinnamon syrup and Angostura bitters and is charged overnight with CO2 then served on draft. The result is a lightly boozy, caramel-tinged cocktail served on the rocks with a star anise garnish. Here, more cocktails that highlight easy-drinking Irish whiskey.
Fifth Floor, San Francisco
Bar manager Brian Means created a selection of Irish whiskey cocktails specifically for St. Patrick’s Day. The most original is the Little Banshee, made with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, bitter Cocchi Americano, fresh lemon juice and anise-tinged Herbsaint. The ingredients are stirred with ice then strained into a coupe for a vibrant, springy cocktail.