This drink features Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth (so it resembles a Celtic Manhattan). But there’s also green Chartreuse liqueur in the mix – which makes for an extra tangy drink.
And who can resist tangy?
This drink made its print debut in Hugo R. Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks, published in 1917. The original version contained equal parts Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth, and green Chartreuse.
Over time, bartenders adapted the formula to create a drink that is drier and (in our opinion) better balanced. We prefer the modern version to the original, so that’s what we use.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- ¾ ounce sweet (Italian) vermouth
- ½ ounce green Chartreuse (see Notes)
- 2 dashes Angostura or orange bitters (optional; see Notes)
- garnish of lemon twist (optional; may substitute orange twist)
- Add all ingredients (except garnish) to a mixing glass half filled with ice. Stir briskly until the contents are well chilled (30 seconds or so).
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that’s been chilled. Add garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- Why stir rather than shake this cocktail? Because all the ingredients are clear. Shaking creates small oxygen bubbles, which can temporarily cloud the drink. This isn’t a problem if some of the ingredients are opaque (as is the case with drinks containing citrus).
- But go ahead and shake if you want. We often do.
- This drink traditionally is served up in a cocktail glass. Though we also like it over ice in a rocks glass.
- The original version of this drink didn’t contain bitters. But we think bitters enhance the flavor noticeably. We prefer Angostura bitters, but orange bitters also work.
- Chartreuse liqueur dates back to the 1730s, when French Carthusian monks began making it in the town of Voiron (which is close to Grenoble in southeastern France).
- Chartreuse has a strong herbal flavor (it’s made from 130 herbs, roots, and leaves). Green Chartreuse is the classic version (and its hue inspired the name of the color chartreuse). There’s also a yellow version, which is milder and less edgy than the green.
- So how did this drink originate? Legend says it was inspired when a gent, seeking to wet his whistle, walked into a bar humming the popular World War I song, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” The barkeep was prompted to create this cocktail – and to name it after the song.
- The song, which references the Irish town of Tipperary, was composed around 1912 as a music hall ditty. It became a popular marching song for British soldiers during World War I.
“What a swell drink!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Can’t believe it’s taken us this long to feature it on the blog.”
“Well, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary,’” I said.
“That may be your worst attempt at a joke ever,” said Mrs K R. “Scary how your mind works.”
“Just remember, when I make mistakes, ‘It’s the pen that’s bad,’” I said. “’Don’t lay the blame on me!’”
“Stop already!” said Mrs K R. “You have ‘fairly drove me silly.’”
That’s Mrs K R all right: “The sweetest girl I know!”
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