This gem of a drink delivers full Irish flavor for St. Patrick’s Day
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. Always a day of rollicking good fun.
This year we’ll be enjoying the Emerald Cocktail – to celebrate the Emerald Isle.
So drink one of these, and your Irish eyes will be smiling.
Recipe: The Emerald Cocktail
The Emerald Cocktail is an Irish whiskey version of the Manhattan Cocktail. It's extremely similar to another Irish whiskey version of the Manhattan, the Paddy Cocktail.
The Emerald Cocktail contains orange bitters, while The Paddy uses Angostura bitters. Other than that, the drinks are identical. But if you ever wondered what bitters contribute to a drink, taste these two side by side. The difference in flavor is subtle, but distinct.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth (red Italian vermouth)
- 1 to 2 dashes orange bitters
- garnish of orange or lemon peel (optional)
- Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir briskly until the contents are well chilled.
- Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that has been chilled). Add garnish, if desired, and serve.
- Why stir rather than shake? Because all the ingredients in this drink are clear. Shaking introduces tiny oxygen bubbles, which can cloud the drink. But we often shake anyway. And the bubbles dissipate quickly in any case.
- It’s traditional to serve this drink “up” in a cocktail glass. But we also like to drink it over ice in a rocks (Old-Fashioned) glass.
- A lemon garnish is traditional for this drink, but we prefer orange peel (which subtly echoes the flavor of the orange bitters). We do not recommend using a maraschino cherry, which is the traditional garnish for a Manhattan (its flavor just doesn’t work well with this cocktail).
- There are several brands of orange bitters on the market, and every decent liquor store will carry one or two. Our favorite is Regans’ No. 6, but there are plenty of other fine choices.
- Irish whiskey often has a milder, less aggressive flavor than rye or bourbon. The two brands of Irish whiskey that you’ll see everywhere are Jameson and Bushmills. Either one works well in this drink. But explore the Irish whiskey section at a good liquor store – you may be surprised at how many good choices there are.
“Scintillating flavor!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “And so appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day.”
“Definitely a jewel of a drink,” I said.
“It sparkles like a gem,” said Mrs K R. “Despite not being green.”
“After a few of these, you might not notice the difference,” I said.
“Yup, everything would be rose colored,” said Mrs K R.
And we’d be green around the gills.
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LOL....the conversations between you and Mrs. KitchenRiffs are just so fun. You two both have a good sense of humour. The drink is brilliant!
Hi Angie, we really enjoy writing those endings. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I think we have everything in the cabinet to make this. I agree with the orange peel garnish. That's good!
Hi Debra, orange all the way! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love anything with orange bitters. Even though beer is most often associated with St. Patrick's Day, I'd take this cocktail over that any ol' day!
What a beauty! My husband and I would both enjoy this cocktail.
Beautiful and yummy
Beautiful drink and just in time for St. Patricks Day
Hi Carolyn, there aren't a lot of cocktails that use Irish whiskey, but we always enjoy those that do. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, wonderful color, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi R, really yummy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pat and Dahn, timing is everything. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the dialogue y'all write as well as the puns.
I bought my corned beef today, might as well start gathering anything necessary to have this pre St. Paddy's dinner.
Hi Anne, we love puns. :-) And St. Patrick's Day fare! Thanks for the comment.
Another beautiful drink. I love cocktails with vermouth. Happy early St. Patrick's Day! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, so many great cocktail have vermouth! And it's never to early to celebrate St. Pat's. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Are you green around the gills yet? :) I can see how that could happen with this cocktail. It's been years since I've had Irish whiskey, but if I were to have it now it would be in this cocktail.
Hi MJ, not yet. :-) This is good -- you'd like it. Thanks for the comment.
such beautiful photos KR. I make Irish cream every christmas and it has to be Jamesons! i tried it with Scotch whiskey once and it just wasn't the same. I love the name of this one; so evocative. Cheers!!
Hi Sherry, we've never made Irish cream -- probably should one of these days. Sounds like fun! :-) Thanks for the comment.
My Scottish eyes are smiling at this drink as well, although I do have a glint of the Irish. Looks delicious. Wonderful repartee as usual at the end as well.
Hi Pauline, we do have a bit of Irish in us, but even if we didn't we'd be Irish on St. Pat's Day. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh my. So much classier than green beer!
Hi Abbe, that's us, classy all the way. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Once again, a beautiful cocktail. And I've been on a bitters binge and always looking for new ways to use them.
Hi Lea Ann, bitters are worthy of a binge! They have such interesting flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
My daughter's birthday is on St Patrick's Day, so this drink would be a nice one to celebrate with!
Hi Fran, Happy (early!) Birthday to your daughter. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Gorgeous photos, John! This sounds really good. Like you, I'm sure I'd definitely prefer this with a twist of orange rather than lemon. I hate maraschino cherries.
Hi Jean, the maraschino cherries preserved in brandy are pretty good, but otherwise all they add is color, IMO. Thanks for the comment.
What a pretty drink and that glass is gorgeous. Ah St. Patrick’s Day, we’re still in lockdown number 2, at 100 days. Doubt there will be any great pubs in business after this mess.
Hi Eva, isn't that a great glass? It's a Nick and Nora glass -- love the shape of it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is so perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
Hi Ashley, this has lovely flavor -- nice way to use Irish whiskey. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I am not familiar with Emerald Cocktail (Probably because I am not much into strong liquors), but I must admit the color is beautiful! Indeed, the combination of whiskey, vermouth, and orange bitters sounds delightful!
Hi Ben, this isn't that well known of a cocktail. But it should be. :-) Thanks for the comment.
For once, I actually have all the ingredients on hand to make this, John! I have to teach a cooking demo tonight for a sorority fundraiser and, after, I will need a treat. The Emerald Cocktail it will be! Thanks!
Hi David, after attending a fundraiser you'll definitely need one of these! :-) Thanks for the comment.
So beautiful with your perfect orange twist! Sounds like the ideal cocktail to sip on St. Patrick's Day!!
Hi Liz, this will be lovely on St. Pat's. Or any other day. :-) Thanks for the comment.
My husband would love this. I was confused at first because I thought it would be green... but oh, the Emerald Isle!!!
Hi Mimi, when we first saw the name we thought "green" too until we read the list of ingredients. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm surprised it's not green! Even the Chicago River is green then. 😉 But Emerald Isle it is! Bet the drink is delicious as a Manhattan is one of my faves. And you're right, after a few of these, the color doesn't matter. Thanks!
I'd love to taste this alongside the Paddy Cocktail! What a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It does sparkle like a gem.
Definitely better that any green coloured drink!
Hi Pam, since you like Manhattans, you'll like this. Very smooth flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Lisa, we really like doing that sort of taste test. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Raymund, yup! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Have you heard the news? Whiskey will start to be cheaper these upcoming months as they have cut some of the tariffs on delivery from the UK. Perfect timing for this delicious and elegant cocktail.
Hi Bobbi, I didn't know they had actually cut the tariffs. Knew it was being discussed, though, and glad to see it happened. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have the end of a bottle of Red Breast Irish Whiskey that's begging to be turned into this cocktail. It sounds wonderful. Hopefully it will bring some luck of the Irish with it.
Hi Laura, sounds like a great use for that bottle. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Well, I'm getting to this too late for St Patrick's Day, but I love the combination of flavors here. A Manhattan is one of my favorite cocktails...
Hi Frank, the Manhattan is one of our favorites, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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