6 great whiskey cocktails and wines to say 'SlŠinte' to the Irish this St Patrick's Day

17th Mar 18 | Lifestyle

You don't have to have a taste for Guinness to toast the Emerald Isle.

Shamrock close up

Loved by drinkers around the world, St Patrick’s Day celebrations rarely come in small measures.

And with the rugby 6 Nations Championships title on the line on Super Saturday, March 17 offers even more of an excuse to imbibe the Irish spirit and dabble in some Gaelic fun.

To raise a glass to the land of the shamrock, here are three whiskey cocktails that are easy to master, and three red wines that work best with traditional Irish fare…


1. Jameson Ginger & Lime

Jameson Ginger & Lime

To kick off St Patrick’s Day revelry, Jameson have released Jameson St Patrick’s Day Limited Edition (currently reduced to £17 from £22.50 for 70cl, Tesco) to celebrate the “soul, warmth and wit of the Irish character”. With a label featuring a soaring eagle, and silhouette of three friends rallying around banners and symbols representing Irish tribes of past and present, it’s sure to inspire modern-day adventurers to come together and enjoy this approachable spirit.

Ingredients: 50ml Jameson Irish Whiskey, ginger ale, large wedge of lime.

Method: Fill a high ball glass with ice. Add the Jameson, top with ginger ale, stir briefly to mix. Take a large wedge of lime, give it a squeeze and drop it into the glass. Very refreshing!

2. Glendalough The Wicklow

Glendalough The Wicklow

One of Ireland’s lucky charms is its ancient art of distilling, and the craft specialists at Glendalough Distillery have bottled Glendalough Double Barrel (£33.34 for 70cl, masterofmalt.com), a single grain Irish whiskey matured in bourbon barrels before being finished in oloroso sherry casks. Today, they’ve teamed up with Merchant House to create this cocktail to toast their patron saint.

Ingredients: 50ml Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey, 15ml pineapple syrup, 15ml Lillet Blanc.

Method: Half fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add the ingredients, stir slowly until chilled, strain into a vintage stemmed glass if you want to impress your friends with fancy stemware.

3. Dubliner Sour

Dubliner Sour
(The Dubliner/PA)

Also uniting friends and thirsty crowds, horse-racing punters are warming up for the Cheltenham Festival and ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’, which takes place on March 15. A winning ingredient if you’re following the racing at home, try this sour recipe using The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, Bourbon Cask (£27.95 for 70cl, thewhiskyexchange.com).

Ingredients: 50ml The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, 20ml fresh lemon juice (half a lemon), 15ml sugar syrup, 20ml egg white, dash of Angustura Bitters.

Method:  Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Dry-shake to emulsify the egg white, then add ice and shake again. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lemon peel and a cherry.

Red Wines

1.  Morrisons The Best Gran Reserva Rioja 2011, Spain (£12, Morrisons)

Wm Morrison Marques de los Rios Rioja Gran Reserva, Spain

A perfect paring with roast leg of lamb, if you’re catering for a family with discerning tastes, this sturdy red, with its textbook vanilla oak, sweet spice, mulberry fruits and cassis and well integrated tannins, adds up to a wine that’s extremely flavoursome and reveals some of the mellowing that comes with a few years in the cellar.

2. Septima Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina (currently reduced to £7.99 from £9.99 until March 26, Wine Rack, in-store only)

Septima Malbec, Argentina
(Wine Rack/PA)

Malbec has a long history of being the best match with steak, and when it comes to beef and Guinness stew or steak and kidney pie, a juicy, medium-bodied style with fragrant brambly fruit, ripe, plummy notes, soft tannins and a freshness on the finish, will balance the dish beautifully. This bestseller makes a great choice.

3. Domaine Les Roches Bleues Brouilly 2016, France (11.99, virginwines.co.uk)

Domaine Les Roches Bleues Brouilly 2016, France
(Virgin Wines/PA)

If you want to step up your Irish game with a wine that makes corned beef and cabbage far more memorable, this delightful Beaujolais, with its bright cherry fruit, silky, plummy mouthfeel, fresh, juicy finish and pretty florals, is light on its feet but with enough concentration to balance the saltiness and earthiness of the dish.

© Press Association 2018