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.