Features Spirits


Cocktails follow trends – both fashion trends and seasonal trends. So what options are available for fans of Irish whiskey when it comes to summer?

Think Irish whiskey and unsurprisingly one of the first drinks to associate with the spirit is the Irish Coffee. It’s all well and good having one of those heart and body warming drinks during winter, but when the mercury creeps north of 30 degrees in the South African summer, something more refreshing is required.

And that’s when some interesting alternatives need to be added to the summer cocktail repertoire. The whisky sour is an obvious one – but perhaps too obvious. It’s a drink which is customarily made with two parts American bourbon, to one of lemon juice, a half part each of simple syrup and egg white for the trademark frothy top after all the ingredients are shaken together and served over ice, garnished with a maraschino cherry or an orange slice. There are some similarities between bourbon and Irish whiskey but the American spirit’s trademark caramel sweetness and nutty nuance is far more obvious and “in-your-face” than whiskey from the emerald isle. The result is a sour cocktail in which the lemon zip and tang is more pronounced.

So what could celebrate the triple-distilled spirit more sympathetically? One suggestion is the Irish Gold which honours the lighter, subtler side of Irish whiskey according toSpruceEats.com. It’s a fruity highball which can be enjoyed at any time of the day as a long, refreshing drink. It’s even possible to scale the recipe up and make it by the jug for those long, lazy weekend lunches with friends and family.

Irish Gold

60 ml Irish whiskey

15 ml peach schnapps

1 splash orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)

120 to 150 ml ginger ale, to personal taste

Citrus slice to garnish – optional

Start with the whiskey in a highball glass, add the schnapps and orange juice before topping off with ginger ale and ice. The garnish is entirely optional.

(Once mixed, the alcoholic strength of the drink will be in the region of about 13% alcohol by volume – equivalent to that of wine.)


The Irish Smash is a twist on a Mint Julep, another famous American bourbon cocktail. It too involves muddling mint leaves to extract the bright, distinctive flavour before building the drink in a glass.

Irish Smash

60 ml Irish whiskey

¼ lemon, sliced into two wedges

5 large mint leaves

30 ml simple syrup (made by mixing equal portions of dissolved sugar and water) or maple syrup

Soda water and crushed ice for serving (optional)

Put the lemon wedges and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle or crush to extract the flavour.

Add the whiskey and sugar syrup or maple syrup to the shaker and fill with ice.

Shake until suitably chilled and then strain into the glass of your choice.

If you’d like to dilute the drink slightly, top off with soda water to your taste, as well as crushed ice.


Forbidden Fruit is a short cocktail created by a Tullamore D.E.W. ambassador, Tim Herlihey, and is to be sipped and savoured. It will be popular with fans of bitter cocktails such as the Negroni.

Forbidden Fruit

45 ml Tullamore D.E.W. whiskey

30 ml Aperol

1 dash orange bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.

Stir and strain into a coupe glass.