RCL Exclusive

The Perfect Cocktails for a Classy Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend

Whether you’re hosting the party or attending someone else’s, here’s what you need in your hand.

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What does a gentleman drink for St. Patrick’s Day weekend? We asked an Irish whiskey founder and a New York City bartender so you can spend your festivities classy but creative, with a taste in your mouth that’s a clip above what your peers are having.

But first, an introduction. Whiskey runs in Jack Teeling’s blood. A born and bred native of Dublin, Teeling launched the Teeling Whiskey Company with his brother Stephen in 2012 — but the Teeling name has been tangled up in the business since 1782, when Walter Teeling started a small craft distillery on Marrowbone Lane.

“Scots don’t like people to say it, but it was the Irish who invented whiskey distillation,” Teeling said, which we fact-checked and found is true. (Sorry, Scotch enthusiasts.) But arguments over origin aside, what’s the actual difference between Irish and Scottish whiskey?

“At the core of what’s different is our environment. You can take an Irish distillery and bring it to Scotland and produce it the same way, but what’s different is the maturation. You have that environmental influence that determines what the flavor profile will be,” Teeling explained. “In Ireland, it’s not too hot, not too cold. It’s a soft climate, and that produces a softer style of whiskey.”

But if you don’t like to drink it straight, Erik Trickett, a bar manager at the Holiday Cocktail Lounge in New York City, stopped by RealClearLife’s headquarters in Manhattan with Teeling to explain how to work Irish whiskey into a mixed drink and get the best of both worlds.

“When you’re making a cocktail with a new spirit, the first thing you want to do is spend time tasting and nosing it,” Trickett said. “The idea behind making a good cocktail is not to cover the spirit or make it disappear — it’s not the ‘80s, we’re not trying to hide booze — but the idea is to take a beautiful spirit and enhance it, and pick up on the little nuances. For instance, the vanilla and caramel that come out from the bourbon barrels (in Teeling whiskey).”

“It’s very drinkable,” Teeling said.

We couldn’t agree more. Take a look at some of the recipes below to taste for yourself.


The rarest Irish single malt in the world, this exclusive bottle of Teeling Whiskey goes for $5,000. (Diana Crandall/RealClearLife)

For those who like it straight: One of the rarest single malt whiskeys in the world, this exclusive bottle goes for $5,000. “This is very, very limited, there are actually only 38 to buy. I’m encouraging everyone to buy two — one to drink, and one to collect,” Teeling said.

(Diana Crandall/RealClearLife)

St. Patrick Meets St. Mark

Teeling whiskey: 1.5 oz

Lillet rosé: .75 oz

Raspberry preserves: 1 tablespoon

Lemon: 1 oz

Simple syrup: .25 oz

Shake with ice, strain up, and garnish with a lemon peel.


If you’re craving a cocktail that’s sweet, this rosé/raspberry concoction is perfect. (Diana Crandall/RealClearLife)

A Handstand Upside-Down

Teeling whiskey: 1.5 oz

Giffard apricot: .75 oz

Lemon: 1 oz

Simple syrup: .75 oz

Empire White 1 oz

First, dry shake the cocktail, then add 1 oz of Empire White. Then shake with ice, strain and top with reserved beer. For a dinosaur garnish, visit the Holiday Cocktail Lounge.

Beer replaces eggwhite in this whiskey sour-inspired cocktail. (Diana Crandall/RealClearLife)

Not in the mood for a cocktail after all? You can’t go wrong with a Guinness.

Is it really St. Patricks’ Day without Guinness? (Diana Crandall/RealClearLife)