A delightful way to enjoy Irish whiskey
St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon. So we’ll need to have a drink. Or three.
And what better drink than Irish whiskey? It’s good on its own, of course. But if you’re inclined to fill your shaker with ice, the Irish Rose is one of best cocktails you can mix up to celebrate March 17th.
It’s a beautiful drink, too. And as we know, pink and green pair nicely.
Recipe: The Irish Rose Cocktail
This drink is a close cousin of the Jack Rose Cocktail. But the Irish Rose substitutes Irish whiskey for apple brandy and often adds sparkling water to the mix.
The color and sweetness in this drink are added by grenadine or raspberry syrup. Commercial syrups work fine, but you can also make your own. See our recipes for Homemade Grenadine and Homemade Raspberry Syrup (read down to the Notes of the linked Clover Club Cocktail post for the syrup recipe).
Our recipe for the Irish Rose is adapted from that of cocktail historian extraordinaire David Wondrich.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves one.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey (any brand that strikes your fancy; see Notes)
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (may want to increase to ¾ ounces; see Notes)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grenadine or raspberry syrup (to taste; we prefer 2 teaspoons)
- ~½ ounce sparkling water (optional; see Notes)
- garnish of lime twist or wheel (optional)
- Add the Irish whiskey, lime juice, and grenadine or raspberry syrup to a cocktail shaker that’s half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with sparkling water (if using) and optional garnish. Serve.
- Commercial grenadine and raspberry syrup may be sweeter than homemade. So if you’re using commercial, you may want to go with less than we recommend.
- Or you could use a bit more lime juice. The trick with this drink (as with so many cocktails) is to balance the sweet/sour ratio of the ingredients.
- We like to serve this drink “up” in a cocktail glass. But it’s also good on the rocks, served in a rocks (Old-Fashioned) glass.
- Sparkling water gives the drink some fizz. We add it after shaking the drink and straining it into a glass. Because shaking fizzy water can get . . . messy.
- In the US, the brands of Irish whiskey you’re most likely to find are Jameson and Bushmills. Both are good – and are available just about everywhere liquor is sold. Bushmills and Jameson both make basic blended versions (their less expensive offerings), as well as more expensive premium bottlings. Either version will work in this drink.
- There are other brands of Irish whiskey, of course. And if you like the smooth flavor of Irish whiskey, you’ll probably want to experiment. Ask your friendly local spirits dealer for suggestions.
“Gorgeous cocktail!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I’m in the pink.”
“Color me happy,” I said. “Your cheeks are certainly rosy.”
“My nose will be too,” said Mrs K R. “If I drink too many of these.”
“But I can talk you into just one more?” I said.
“Of course,” said Mrs K R. “We may start our own color revolution.”
Man the barricades. We’re letting our hooch flags fly!
You may also enjoy reading about:
Jack Rose Cocktail
Black Velvet Cocktail
Clover Club Cocktail
Leap Year Cocktail
Or check out the index for more
I love this, and I've got all the ingredients on-hand. I'm going to have one tonight.
Hi Jeff, nice, huh? Enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.
We currently have some very high-end Japanese whiskey — so good it’s not available any more. But I think we’ll drink it undiluted!
Happy St. Pat’s day with this cocktail.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, I think I'd drink it undiluted, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks so very beautiful and I bet it's tasty :-) Thanks for sharing, John, and as always, great shots!
Wow! That is beautiful and perfect for St. Pat's day....who needs suds when we can have this Irish Rose cocktail. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Angie, it's a really good drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pat, much better than green beer. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a beauty!
Hi Pam, it is, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Seriously, this is a beautiful looking cocktail! Never heard of adding grenadine to whiskey!
This is a nice change from all the green St. Patty's day drinks! I'm not a fan of green beer at all!
Beauty. Looks delish.
Hi Laura, isn't it pretty? Good, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ashley, green beer isn't our favorite either. This, though, is just our cup of tea. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, it IS delish! Thanks for the comment.
Oh that’s beautiful,is it rose flavored or just rose colored?
*smile* Some of us are wet blankets ! Often straight, regularly in beloved Irish coffee and the very occasional Black Velvet . . . c'est tout ! Boring maybe, but not for me !!
Hi Balvinder, just rose colored. The whiskey flavor comes through, but there's a distinct undertone of sweet/sour. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Eha, wasn't for us either until about 15 years ago when we got really interested in cocktail history -- the stories are fascinating! -- and decided to start tasting some of that "history." :-) Black Velvet is a really good drink (and has great history). Thanks for the comment.
This sounds refreshing KR:). I do like a bit of the ol’ Jamesons!
Hi Sherry, Jameson whiskey is good stuff -- it's actually what we used when we made this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is perfect for St Patricks Day and it is so beautiful
Love the color, so pretty!
I love it when great tasting drinks are pretty too. :)
Hi Dahn, isn't it pretty? And good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Natalia, that color is amazing! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Judy, gives pretty in pink a whole new meaning. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is orders of magnitude better than green beer! I can't wait to celebrate the 17th with an Irish Rose.
So perfect for St. Patrick's Day! Cheers!
Hi Lisa, orders of magnitude! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Denise, Cheers! And thanks for the comment.
Well color my shamrock! This cocktail is a stunner! How was your holiday? Can't wait to hear about it. Hope you and Ms. Riff are doing well. Take Care . Shared!
Hi Bobbi, we had a wonderful trip! One of the best ever. :-) Thanks for the comment.
As usual, beautiful cocktail John. And I appreciate the tip on that commercial Grenadine - I'm one who doesn't like "too sweet".
Hi Lea Ann, we often make our own grenadine just so we can control the sweetness. :-) And the homemade tastes much better. Thanks for the comment.
Hooch! That's a good word and a good way to celebrate. GREG
Hi Greg, hoist your hooch flag! :-) Thanks for the comment.
My Irish eyes are smiling just thinking about this one. OK, I'm not Irish, but I'm still smiling. Great color for a cocktail and great images. I might just have to break out that bottle of Jameson that is collecting dust in the liqueur cabinet.
Hi Ron, a bottle of Jameson should never collect dust! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the color and sound of this cocktail, John! I specially like that you have a recipe for homemade grenadine… Mark and I will definitely be making that for our “hooch cabinet.“
Hi David, homemade grenadine is really worth making. :-) As is this drink! Thanks for the comment.
Had a couple of these last nighy. Quite nice!
Hi Jeff, we had a couple Friday night. Likewise! :-) Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed this.
I've actually had this cocktail at a bar that was called Jack Rose. Sadly, it no longer exists. But I'm glad the cocktail -- and the memory of the place -- live on.
Hi Carolyn, this drink definitely deserves to live on and be celebrated! Thanks for the comment.
Beautiful cocktail John, I would make with extra lime juice...I will definitely try it since I have all the ingredients.
Have a wonderful week!
Hi Juliana, isn't this pretty? Enjoy! And thanks for the comment.
A gorgeous cocktail! And I welcome this stunning color with just the touch of green lime for St. Patrick's Day. So unique and fun! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, really fun drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks like such a lovely cocktail, I love the contrast of the red and green. I'm always drawn to more vibrant cocktails, I don't know why! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us, I've added it to my cocktail print out folder :)
Hi Gemma, some cocktails are SO colorful, aren't they? Like this one! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Irish whiskey, woo hoo! And this cocktail looks too pretty to drink. I'll take 3 or 4! Mmmmmm, a must try!
Hi Pam, 3 or 4 coming up. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a pretty cocktail. Though I am not a whiskey drinker this one looks so rosy I just might have to give it a go! Happy st. Patrick’s Day!
Hi Abbe, Happy St. Pat's! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the color of this drink. I don't think there would be a better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than to enjoy one of these Irish Rose Cocktails.
Hi Dawn, look good, tastes better. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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