Jack McGarry is the Dead Rabbit's head bartender and has been named International Bartender Of The Year at Tales Of The Cocktail. Before opening the bar in New York with fellow Irish bartender Sean Muldoon, he tended bar at Milk & Honey in London and in his native Belfast at The Merchant Hotel.
Jack guides us through his favorite Irish whiskeys for both mixing in cocktails and sipping neat.
Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel
For drinks of the shaken nature, which are generally lighter and more citrus-led, I'd go for Black Barrel. It not only performs as an Irish whiskey, but can also put on the bourbon coat. We are all about showcasing Irish whiskey, so this avenue of introduction is really helpful and it works really well due to the popularity of bourbon. The Bankers Punch, for example, is one of our best sellers and it’s a mix of Black Barrel, Dead Rabbit Jamaican Rum Mix, Grahams LBV Port Wine, fresh lime juice, raspberry cordial, and Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters.
~ $35 | BUY
Redbreast 12 Year Old
For stirred drinks, I'd go for Redbreast. It’s a pure pot-stilled Irish whiskey and is very robust. It can stand toe-to-toe with most ingredients. Drinks like the Tipperary go down a treat with Redbreast. We get asked a lot for Manhattan-style drinks and this is the one we constantly recommend. The Tipperary is made with equal proportions of Redbreast 12 Year Old, Dolin Rouge Vermouth and Green Chartreuse with Orange Bitters and Pernod Absinthe.
~ $50 | BUY
Powers Gold Label Original
For pure versatility purposes, I use Powers Original Irish Whiskey. Irish whiskey is generally viewed as a slightly sweeter style of whiskey and also viewed (which is changing) as a shot. That market is dominated by Jamesons Original. Powers is the Irish whiskey which can hold its own in the mixed drinks arena, but I'd love to see people start taking shots of it also, just because its slightly drier.
~ $30 | BUY
Locke’s 8 Year Old
Unfortunately, it's not available in US and it's probably not going to be made anymore due to the acquisition of the Cooley Distillery by Jim Beam. It's a powerfully rich Irish whiskey with a good dose of peat and smoke.
~ $40 | BUY
Tyrconnell 10 Year Olds
It comes in different wood finishes: Madeira, Sherry and Port. They are beautiful whiskeys and really demonstrate how the different wood expressions influence Irish whiskey.
$70 - $100| BUY
Dead Rabbit's Bankers Punch
Recipe courtesy of bartender Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit
Yield: Serves 1
Glass: Tea Cup
Ice: Cracked Large Cube
Garnish: Grated Nutmeg
- 1 oz. Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
- 1 oz. Dead Rabbit Jamaican Rum Blend
- 1 oz. Graham’s LBV Port
- 1 oz. raspberry cordial
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3 dashes Dead Rabbit Orinoco Bitters
1) In a cocktail shaker, add ingredients, then fill with ice.
2) Shake vigorously and strain into a punch goblet with one cube of cracked ice.
3) Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
The Good Cork
Recipe courtesy of Philip Ward of Mayahuel
Yield: 1 drink
Ice: Large Cube
Garnish: Apple Slice
- 1 oz. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
- 1 oz. Red Breast Irish Whisky
- 1/2 oz. Benedictine
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1) Stir ingredients over ice.
2) Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
3) Garnish with an apple slice.