Irish cocktails to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

“Party drinks” have become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, but there’s no need to opt for overly complicated cocktails filled with artificial colors or sugar. After all, Ireland produces some of the best spirits in the world, so why not mix up a drink that celebrates those complex flavors rather than masking them. These classic drinks reflect the artfully crafted spirits across the country and are just the drinks to showcase your skills at your next party, say, your St. Patrick’s Day party.

Irish coffee

Brent Hofacker/Getty Images


This list wouldn’t be complete without Irish coffee, but avoid Bailey’s. This recipe is a classic that calls for real whipped cream, Irish whiskey, good coffee and sugar.

Gaelic Punch

© Tina Rupp

Looking for a crowd pleaser for your no-frills St. Patrick’s Day party? The Gaelic Punch is the answer. This make-ahead recipe serves 14 and is sure to be a hit. Pro tip, use young Irish whiskeys for your hot punches. Heat intensifies the tannic edge of older whiskeys, while young ones remain smooth.

Once upon a time there was a Parisian bar

Frederick Hardy II / Food styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Don’t let the name of this cocktail fool you, created by Oisin Kelly at Dublin’s Sidecar Bar, Once Upon a Paris Bar is a riff on the classic Sidecar. The cocktail showcases the Irish whiskey (the Sidecar team prefer Roe & Co., but another fruity or vanilla Irish whiskey will do) and the presentation is first class.


Frederick Hardy II / Food styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Accessories styling by Christine Keely

Ariel Sanecki spent years overseeing the drinks program at Adare Manor, one of Ireland’s most revered luxury hotels, earning a reputation as one of the country’s finest bartenders. He now makes cocktails at Hilliard’s in Killarney, a newly opened restaurant and cocktail bar in an iconic department store. He shared one of his favorite drinks that combines the richness of chocolate bitters and coffee, and showcases the complexity of Scotch.


Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Since Ireland produces some of the finest whiskeys in the world, we wanted to showcase the spirit in the drink as much as possible. We use an ounce and a half of Irish Whiskey, along with equal parts Green Chartreuse and Sweet Vermouth to complement the sweet and spicy flavors. Then just two dashes of Angostura bitters to add some extra bite and an expression of orange peel oils to brighten it up.

Aisling Hums

© Lucas Allen

New York mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer describes this hot Irish whiskey drink as perfect on a freezing day. According to Wiznitzer, many women in the 1700s and 1800s slipped whiskey into their hot drinks. “Thank goodness there’s nothing taboo about a woman enjoying a hot whiskey drink these days,” she says.

hot toddy

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Although this recipe calls for bourbon, complementing it with an Irish whiskey adds an extra kick of flavor. And while most think of a Hot Toddy on cold winter nights, it could (and should) be enjoyed all year round. It’s too good to be relegated to one season a year.

Irish Buck Cocktail

Eva Kolenko

Light yet woody, Irish whiskey teams up with tangy lemon juice, honey and spiced ginger beer in this refreshing and bubbly basil-scented Irish Buck cocktail.