We asked a trio of NYC’s most adored Irishmen—Donal Brophy, (owner of Highlands), Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, (owners of The Dead Rabbit, seen in the photo at the top of this post) what they would like to see New Yorkers doing on St Patrick’s Day. According to these fellas, the real way to celebrate St. Paddy’s day isn’t with green beer or shamrocks, it’s with great local food, Irish music, and of course Irish whiskey! Here are their recommendations:

Drink: The Dead Rabbit’s Signature Irish Coffee with Bushmills Irish Whiskey, this will provide extra energy for traipsing around the city.

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Eat: Highlands’ House-made Sausage Rolls and Braised Lamb Shank Pie, good way to end the day with a late-night supper.

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Listen: Real loud, real Irish music, like that of Dublin’s Kid Karate, a Dublin rock trio with a true headbanging rock and roll, with an almost haunting sound. Check out their songs on this playlist.

PART II: COCKTAIL IDEAS

And if you need any more cocktail ideas for Irish whiskey, check out this grouping from artisanal Irish whiskies Knappogue and Slane.

Knappogue is available in 12, 14, and 16 year old versions. They also offer a limited edition 21-year old, for those who wish to just sip in style, a blending of two single malts matured in ex-bourbon casks – one for 23 years, the other for 21 years. Mixologist Joaquín Simó offers a bunch of creative cocktails using with the 12 year old. Here are five to choose from.

Crossing Currents

“This tropical reinvention of the classic Manhattan may convince you that the isle of Ireland could have once been part of the Caribbean. Knappogue’s honeyed richness pairs beautifully with the bianco vermouth’s herbal notes and Angostura’s allspice goodness, with a delicate note of toasted coconut arriving late at the finish.”

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
.75 oz Contratto Bianco
1 tsp Kalani Coconut Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Glass: cocktail
Garnish: lemon peel: trimmed, expressed, inserted
Method: stir & strain
— Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Sweater Weather

“A dozen years of oak aging gives Knappogue Castle 12 Year baking spices galore to layer atop hints of chocolate, maple and candied citrus peels. This is an Old Fashioned to savor when a nip returns to the air, and malty whiskey seems like a far more preferable warming agent than a wool sweater.”

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
1 tsp grade b maple syrup
1 tsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
1 tsp Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Glass: rocks
Ice: cylinder
Garnish: orange peel  trimmed, expressed, inserted
Method: build in glass
— Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons

Last Leg Julep 

“You’ve gotta have mint in a julep, but thyme’s savory edge adds tremendous depth to this honey-laced tipple without overpowering Knappogue’s fruity and confectionery notes.”

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
.25 oz wildflower honey syrup (2 parts honey : 1 part water)
1 tsp Bigallet Thyme Liqueur OR thyme syrup

Glass: julep
Ice: crushed
Garnish: mint sprigs and thyme sprigs, spanked & inserted right next to straw
Method: Rub 6-8 mint leaves in Julep cup. Add all liquids and swizzle to incorporate. Fill 2/3 with crushed ice and swizzle for 30 seconds. Top with more crushed ice until mounding over top of cup.
— Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

MacNamara Rose

“Fresh cucumber and rose add delicate aromatics to this springtime riff on the classic Boulevardier. The barest pinch of salt balances the quinine bitterness, echoing Knappogue Castle 12 Year’s faint maritime salinity and complementing the fruity herbaceousness of the gentle modifiers. The name honors the original architect of Knappogue Castle.”

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
.75 oz Lillet Rosé
.5 oz Aperol
2 slices muddled cucumber slices
1 pinch Kosher salt

Glass: cocktail
Garnish: skewered cucumber ribbon w/ 1 drop rose water
Method: Muddle lightly. Stir. Double-Strain.
— Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons

County Clare Cooler 

“Knappogue Castle 12 Year is redolent with notes of honey, baked orchard fruits and gentle spices, so this sessionable sipper doubles down on those flavors while adding bright citrus and fizzy ginger to keep things light and refreshing.”

2 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
.75 oz unfiltered apple cider
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz wildflower honey syrup (2 parts honey : 1 part water)
.25 oz Benedictine
1 oz ginger beer

Glass: rocks
Ice: cylinder
Garnish: fanned apple slices
Method: Add ginger beer to bottom of rocks glass. Shake & strain remaining ingredients.
— Joaquín Simó, Pouring Ribbons

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Knappogue cocktail photos by Liz Clayman

Slane Irish Whiskey is a bold new take on Ireland’s legendary spirit. Using virgin, seasoned and sherry casks, the resulting spirit is bold, yet smooth and more complex than a traditional blended Irish whiskey. They also honor a host of eco-friendly practices in their distillery, kitchen, and bar. The Conyngham family, who operate out of a castle in Slane, are committed to no-waste practices. Alex, a spirits industry visionary, wants to create a sustainable legacy in the village. His expertise spans distillation, farming and environmental stewardship. His wife Carina is an organic farmer and eco-tourism innovator (think glamping at a castle on 90 acres with accompanying organic farm), and his brother, Chef Wolfe, is an advocate for reducing and reusing excess food and one of London’s most renowned private chefs. Here’s a sampling of the cocktails I enjoyed at a recent event at Saxon and Parole:

Citrea Fermentare

1.5 oz Slane Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz sustainable meyer lemon sherbet
3/4 oz meyer lemon juice
1 spoon of sustainable meyer lemon preserve + pickled blueberry
Garnish with pickled blueberry

Method: Pour all the ingredients in the shaker and add ice, strain into a rock glass and garnish with the pickled blueberry.
—Maxime Belfand of Saxon + Parole

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Square Root

1.5 oz Slane Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz sustainable ginger beer cordial
1/2 oz malic acid solution
top with carbonated NY tap water

Method: Build in a glass over ice and top with NYC carbonated tap water
—Maxime Belfand of Saxon + Parole

hobnobmag Irish Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Renewable Energy

1.5 oz Slane Irish Whiskey
4 oz coffee
simple syrup to taste
spiced cream
Garnish with roasted coffee grind

Method: build in a glass, first warm the glass with hot water then pour the coffee, Slane Irish Whiskey and simple syrup, then add the cream on top and garnish with roasted coffee grind.
—Maxime Belfand of Saxon + Parole