Below you’ll find delicious and easy-to-make traditional Irish cocktails that I’ve been mixing up for the last 15 years.
Each of these Irish mixed drinks has been tried-and-tested and (the best part) they don’t require any fancy equipment or ingredients.
You’ll also find to-the-point, no-nonsense instructions for a mix of basic, fancy and classic Irish cocktail recipes – enjoy!
The best traditional Irish cocktails
The first section of the guide looks at what I think are the best Irish cocktail recipes. These are drinks that have been my go-tos for many years now.
Below, you’ll find everything from Irish whiskey cocktails to delicious desert cocktails that offer a delightful bit of indulgence.
1. Irish Whiskey Ginger
The Irish Whiskey Ginger is a beaut of a cocktail – it’s refreshing, zesty and ridiculously easy to make, which makes it perfect if you’re entertaining!
Ingredients wise, you’ll need a good Irish whiskey, premium ginger ale, a bag of limes and ice. Then simply add the whiskey, ginger and lime juice into a glass 1/2 filled with ice and stir.
This is one of my favourite Irish mixed drinks as it’s quick to make and the flavour profile packs a punch.
2. Irish Mule
The Irish Mule is a take on the Moscow Mule. It’s another of the more straightforward Irish liquor drinks and is made with whiskey, ginger beer, lime and ice.
This is a beautifully refreshing Irish cocktail that’s perfect for after dinner as it’s nice and light.
Simply chill your glass and add a shot of whiskey, two squeezes of fresh lime and fill with ice. Add ginger beer to taste (i.e. if you aren’t fond of strong Irish mixed drinks, add plenty!).
3. Irish Old Fashioned
The Irish Old Fashioned is quick-to-make, tasty and visually impressive, if you use a nice glass and garnish with an orange twist.
To make it, add whiskey, sugar syrup and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and orange bitter into a glass that’s 1/2 full with ice.
Gently stir it and garnish. This is one of the more potent Irish drinks, so drink slowly.
4. Irish Sour
The Irish Sour is one of the more popular traditional Irish cocktails and it can be dressed up (or down) depending on what you have on hand.
Add the ingredients to a shaker, shake hard, strain and let settle. There’s a lovely, zesty taste to this one and it’s one of the best Irish cocktails for before dinner.
5. Irish Maid
The Irish Maid is one of several Irish mixed drinks that has been doing the rounds for many years. This is a simple yet tasty cocktail that’s easy to whip up in a minute or two.
You’ll need whiskey, elderflower liqueur (grab it online if your store doesn’t have it), simple syrup, lemon juice and a few slices of cucumber.
Muddle 2 slices of cucumber in a cocktail shaker and pour in your ingredients along with a good handful of ice. Shake hard and strain into a glass with ice.
6. Irish Espresso Martini
Few traditional Irish cocktails are as indulgent as the Irish Espresso Martini. The Baileys gives this a delicious, creamy and velvety texture that makes it perfect for after dinner.
Ingredients wise, you’ll need freshly brewed espresso (not instant!), Baileys Irish Cream and vodka.
To make, add your whiskey, vodka and fresh espresso to a shaker with ice and shake hard. To serve, simply strain into a martini glass.
7. Irish Gold
The Irish Gold is another of the more popular traditional Irish cocktails and it’s its simplicity that makes it one of my go-tos.
For this one, you’ll need whiskey, peach schnapps, fresh orange juice, ginger ale and a lime. Pour your ingredients into a glass 1/2 filled with ice.
The cut two slices of lime and squeeze the juice from one into the glass and stir. Add the second slice to the top for garnish.
8. Irish Margarita
The Irish Margarita is a good option for those of you on the lookout for green Irish themed cocktails recipes
This ones easy to make and it’s a popular St Patrick’s Day cocktail (the photo above should tell you why!).
For this one, you’ll need whiskey, lime juice, orange-flavoured liqueur and simple syrup.
If you want to, you can also add green food colouring (I prefer it without it, to be honest!).
9. Irish Lemonade
If you’re looking for classic Irish cocktail recipes that you can make a batch of in advance of friends visiting, try the Irish Lemonade. This one is light, refreshing and very easy to sip away on.
All you need for this one is whiskey, soda water or ginger beer, lemonade, bitters, fresh mint and some ice.
You can make a big jug of this and plonk it in front of friends and let them help themselves.
10. Irish Martini
The Irish Martini is one of the strongest classic Irish cocktail recipes in this guide, and it’s best suited to those that like drinks with a strong taste of alcohol.
Strength aside, this is easy to make and you can give it a fancy finish with some sugar around the rim and a lemon twist.
You’ll need vodka, whiskey, dry vermouth, a lime and ice and about 60 seconds to mix it up and serve.
11. Irish Coffee
Classic Irish cocktails don’t come much classier than the humble Irish Coffee.
Invented at the Foynes Airbase in Limerick in 1943, this is a warming drink that’s perfect for a chilly winters evening.
Ingredient wise, you’ll need whiskey, ground coffee, Demerara sugar, freshly whipped cream and nutmeg and/or chocolate for garnishing (find info on measurements here).
12. Irish Mojito
The Emerald-Isle-take on the Mojito has a good kick to it and it’s one of my go-to Irish mixed drinks for parties, as you’ll find very few people that don’t like the taste.
Packed full of zesty flavour, the Irish Mojito contains whiskey, mint, lime, sugar, ginger beer (or club soda).
You’ll need to gently muddle the mint, sugar, and lime, first, with the end of a wooden spoon before adding in your liquids.
13. Irish Mudslide
The Irish Mudslide is arguably more of a desert than a drink, but it’s one I find myself returning to time and time again. Now, don’t be put off by its appearance – this is very easy to make.
The trick to giving it a fancy look is to chill the glass, first, and then to add a swirl of chocolate around the inside of the glass. Then place the glass in the fridge for 10 minutes until the chocolate firms up.
You then add your whiskey, Baileys, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, cream (or ice cream) and some chocolate for garnishing (see technique here).
14. Irish Slammer
Next up is one of the strong Irish liquor drinks – the Irish Slammer. This is a party-favourite that comes with a warning – if you let the baileys and whiskey sit in the Guinness for too long it’ll curdle!
To make this one, add a 1/2 shot of whiskey to a shot glass followed by 1/2 a shot of Baileys.
Then take a large glass and 1/2 fill it with Guinness. To drink, you drop the shot into the glass and knock it back.
15. Irish Trash Can
So, the original recipe for the Irish Trash Can involves leaving the can of RedBull sticking out of the glass but, personally, I prefer to just pour the RedBull in, as it’s less messy.
For the Irish Trash Can, you’ll need a light rum, some gin, vodka, peach schnapps, Bols Blue Curacao Liquer, Triple Sec, RedBull and ice.
This is one of the most potent Irish cocktail recipes in this guide, so please do ensure that you keep that in mind when you’re drinking.
16. Nutty Irishman
The Nutty Irishman is one of my favourite classic Irish cocktails and it’s ideal for after dinner, as it’s very indulgent (and it looks amazing!).
To make it, you’ll need Baileys Irish Cream, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, whipped cream, smashed hazelnuts for garnishing and ice.
It takes under 2 minutes to make and, although it’s nice and creamy, it has a nice kick to it. You don’t have to splash out on the spirit, either – you can use one of the more affordable Irish whiskey brands.
17. Irish Eyes
The Irish Eyes is one of several green Irish liquor drinks that’s popular around Paddy’s Day.
This is a quick and visually impressive drink that can be garnished with mint or shamrocks, if you have some.
It’s made using Baileys, whiskey, green Crème de menthe and fresh cream. Personally, I’m not mad on the taste of this one, but it’s very popular (I dislike the taste of Crème de menthe…).
18. Irish Negroni
Last but by no means least in our Irish cocktail recipes guide is the Irish Negroni, AKA the ‘Rosie Negroni’.
This one is pretty strong and it’s easy to make in under 60 seconds.
Take Campari, sweet vermouth, whiskey, fresh orange and ice and add the ingredients to a glass and stir.
Then strain this mixture into a fresh glass 1/2 filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
What great Irish mixed drinks have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some tasty traditional Irish cocktails from the guide above.
If you have any Irish cocktail recipes that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about Irish cocktail recipes
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the tastiest traditional Irish cocktails?’ to ‘Which Irish mixed drinks have the least calories?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best Irish cocktails that are easy to mix?
Irish Whiskey Ginger, the Irish Lemonade and the Irish Gold are three easy-to-make Irish cocktail recipes.
What are some good Irish mixed drinks for a party?
The Irish Slammer, the Irish Trash Can and the Irish Maid are three popular Irish liquor drinks for a party.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.