St Patrick’s Day is a spirited holiday – in that it has quite a few drinks and cocktails associated with it. They range from the simple (a freshly poured Guinness) to the silly (green beer) to the indulgent (Irish cream over ice). This cocktail, the Emerald, is a more crafted cocktail that is an elegant way to raise a glass with friends and family this St Patrick’s Day. The cocktail is a riff on a classic Manhattan, a stirred cocktail that is traditionally made with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and aromatic bitters. This version uses Irish whiskey instead of rye and adds orange bitters to the mix.
Irish whiskey tends to be a bit lighter bodied than bourbon or rye whiskey with a softer finish and a much less distinct wood/oak notes in their flavor profiles. From brand to brand, of course, the whiskeys will taste quite different. Jameson is a staple that works well here and that is what I used in this drink. If you’re looking to expand your Irish whiskey horizons, I’m partial to Redbreast, whisk is a little bit pricier than the Jameson, but offers more complex flavors. I used Cocci de Torino sweet vermouth and would also recommend Carpano Antica. If you like Manhattans and similar cocktails, it’s worth getting a good vermouth for your drinks.
The cocktail is a stirred drink, so combine the whiskey, vermouth and a few dashes of bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. I usually aim for about 30 seconds or so, but a quick taste will tell you if you need to stir a bit more or a bit less. Garnish this cocktail with an orange twist to bring out the orange bitters, giving the surprisingly mellow and easy-to-sip cocktail a nice citrus finish.
2 oz Irish whiskey
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
In a mixing glass, combine Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. Fill with ice and stir with a long handled mixing spoon for about 30 seconds, until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.