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Cocktail Special

Shillelaghs

Shillelaghs

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Shillelagh cocktail!

Named for the Irish tool, a wooden cudgel, the Shillelagh (pronounce shee-lay-lee) comes in two versions.  The first is technically known as an Irish Shillelagh, and the second is simply a Shillelagh.  Both drinks have been around for some time—since at least the 1990s.   You’d think an Irish Cream would be used, but neither recipe calls for it.

What you’ll need:

Version #1 (pictured above, at left):  Irish Whiskey, Sloe Gin, White Rum, Sugar (fine), and Lemon Juice

In a shaker over cracked ice, pour in 1 1/2 ounce Irish whiskey, 1/2 sloe gin, 1/2 white rum, and 1/2 ounce lemon juice (props if it’s fresh!).  Add in a teaspoon of fine sugar and shake vigorously.  Strain into a rocks over cubed ice.  Garnish with raspberries.

Version #2 (pictured above, on right):  Spiced Rum, Green Creme de Menthe, and Sweet & Sour mix

No need for a shaker, just add 3 ounces sweet and sour, 1 1/2 ounce spiced rum, and an 1 ounce green creme de menthe (ideally in that order) to a collins glass.

Alternative versions of this second recipe call for white rum in place of spiced, and lime juice in lieu of the sweet and sour.  Optionally, you may garnish with a green cherry.

How I like it:  Personally, I prefer version one, the Irish Shillelagh.  The blend of flavors is better, and it’s not so sweet.  For the whiskey, I used Irish Mist which “contains Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices.”  It’s sweet enough that I didn’t need sugar.  Since I didn’t have fresh raspberries on hand—who does in early March?—I added a couple dashes of Chambord.

As for version two, I’m not a huge fan of sweet and sour mix and tend to substitute lime juice.  Ideally, Rose’s Lime Juice (or equivalent) would work best here.  Otherwise the drink seems quite tart to me.

Regardless of preference, I would recommend sticking to one or the other for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Mixing the two isn’t a good idea.

Even the Irish sometimes drink responsibly!

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