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Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail

Jameson whiskey label (detail), photo © 2013 Douglas M. Ford. All rights reserved.

There are only a few cocktails based on Irish whiskey. My favorite? The Dubliner.

There are plenty of Dubliner recipes to choose from; the one that interests me is a recent invention, put together by Gary and Mardee Regan in 1999, and described in Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology. I don’t know much more about it, except that it’s a surprisingly easy-drinking riff on the Manhattan.

Photo of the Dubliner cocktail. Photo © 2013 Douglas M. Ford. All rights reserved.

The Dubliner cocktail

The Dubliner

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey (2 Gingers, Jameson)
  • ½ oz Sweet Vermouth (M&R Rosso)
  • ½ oz Grand Marnier
  • 2–3 dashes orange bitters (Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6)

Stir all ingredients with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail stem. Optionally, garnish with a green cocktail cherry.

Compared to, say, a straight shot of Irish whiskey, the Dubliner is noticeably sweeter; it is also more complex, with the herbal contributions of the sweet vermouth. In fact, it is easy for the vermouth to become the dominant flavor; you may want to adjust the proportions slightly to tune the drink for your preferred brands of whiskey and vermouth.

Generally speaking, I would say almost any Irish whiskey would work well in the Dubliner, with the possible exception of the smoky, peated Connemara.

It seems only right to use Regan’s own bitters in this drink, if you have them available.

Julep strainer (detail), photo © 2013 Douglas M. Ford. All rights reserved.Which brings us to the garnish. According to The Joy of Mixology,  the Regans invented the Dubliner for St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration infamous (in the U.S., at least) for over the top greenness—from beer (which some people drink despite the color) to the rivers of Chicago—and they showed a fine sense of humor recommending the radioactive green cherry garnish as a flourish. Amusing, yes; edible, no. There’s no way I’m putting one of those in something I intend to drink. Sometimes you just have to say no.

9 Responses to “Irish Whiskey and the Dubliner Cocktail”

  1. melsenpai

    This is speaks right to my husband’s heart! (He’s a big Irish whisky fan.) We’ll definitely have to try this out. :)

  2. Elizabeth Bourbon

    Can’t wait to try it! I’ve been looking for another good whiskey drink ever since falling in love with the utterly fabulous Cameron’s Kick.

      • Doug Ford

        Elizabeth, I’m delighted that you enjoyed the Dubliner, and I’m happy to learn that it works with Noilly Rouge (note to self).

        As for Cameron’s Kick, I’ve never tried it. I just looked it up (Savoy), and it sounds quite intriguing; I may give it a try later this evening.


  3. Anne Reuss (@AnneReuss)

    Hey Doug! I just came back from Ireland and I’ve been looking for the Dubliner Whiskey (made with honeycomb). I searched for it and came across your post – even though it’s a recipe for a drink, considering you fancy Irish whiskey too I was wondering if you know this one and if it can be found in the US? Thanks!

    • Doug Ford

      I was unaware of Dubliner until now, Anne. It looks like it comes from First Ireland Spirits; a check of their web page suggests they have no North American distributors. I hope someone brings it in for you soon.


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