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St. Paddy’s Cocktail – The Emerald

All the liquid ingredients needed to make the Emerald cocktail recipe

I don’t post many cocktail recipes here. The last couple of years I’ve been drinking (and therefore writing about) mainly beer and wine. But, we served these at a dinner party we hosted a couple weekends back, they were a big hit, and I think are excellent alternative to the very worst holiday drink of all: green beer.

Roughly speaking, the Emerald should be a sort of Irish take on the Manhattan. As in Irish whiskey stands in for rye. Trying to concoct an Emerald that looks like it’s name by mixing in blue Curacao, green creme de menthe, or even worse–much worse–melon liqueur is an abomination.

As I usually have found Dave Wondrich at Esquire knows what he’s talking about when it comes to cocktails so I used his recipe (along with this one) as my guide.

Oh, and yes there is orange in my St. Patrick’s Day cocktail of choice but if it makes you feel any better note that the orange is bitter. Also, it just makes the damn thing taste better.

The Emerald Cocktail

Adapted from the Dave Wondrich recipe on

The Emerald is my St. Paddy's cocktail of choice.

The Emerald cocktail is first cousin to the Manhattan and makes a perfect stand-in for green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.

Yield: one cocktail

  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz good-quality sweet vermouth like Carpano Antiqua
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 vanilla brandied (or other preserved) cherries
  • Combine all ingredients except the cherries with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir for ten to twenty seconds.
  • Pour through a stainer into an Old Fashioned glass (who wants to bother with the dexterity required for a cocktail glass on St. Patrick’s Day?) and garnish with the cherries.



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One Comment

  1. Danguole says:

    Love this idea! So much better than green beer.

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