There are a handful of very simple Irish whiskey cocktails that have been my ‘go-tos’ for the last 10 years.
As a youngfella growing up in Ireland, my first encounters with Irish whiskey drinks involved mixing very cheap whiskey with cola – my tastebuds did not thank me!
As I got older and my wallet and palate matured, I began to try many different Irish whiskey brands and, as a result, many different whiskey-based-cocktails.
Below, you’ll find my go-to collection of cocktails with Irish whiskey that are easy-to-whip-up and very tasty. Cheers!
The best Irish whiskey cocktails
The first section of our guide looks at what I think are the best Irish whiskey drinks. These are Irish cocktails I’ve had many… many times over the years.
Below, you’ll find everything from the Irish Maid and the Irish Mudslide to some often overlooked Irish whiskey cocktail recipes.
1. Irish Coffee
Arguably the best-known out of all of the mixed drinks with Irish whiskey in this guide, Irish Coffee has been doing the rounds since 1943.
You don’t have to splash out with the spirit for this one – there’s plenty of cheap Irish whiskey brands that are more than suitable.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, ground coffee, demerara sugar, fresh cream, nutmeg and dark chocolate for garnishing
- Why it’s my go-to: It’s an easy, warming and visually impressive drink that goes down a treat after-dinner
2. The Irish Maid
Few Irish whiskey cocktails can go toe-to-toe with the Irish Maid when it comes to taste and simplicity.
The only effort required is the muddling of the cucumber (use a shaker). You then add your ingredients (measures here), shake well and strain into a glass 1/2 filled with ice.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, some fresh lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, simple syrup and some cucumber
- Why I’ve been drinking it for 10+ years: Aside from how quick it is to rustle up, the Maid is refreshing and smooth
3. The Irish Lemonade
Irish Lemonade is one of the more simple Irish whiskey cocktails and, if I’m having friends over, I’ll generally mix up a big jug of it and let people help themselves.
It’s not the most visually impressive cocktails with Irish whiskey, but what it lacks in appearance it more than makes up with taste.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, ginger beer, bitters and fresh mint and a glass 1/2 filled with ice
- Good for parties: Once you get the measurements right, you can easily make a big batch of this
4. The Irish Whiskey Ginger
You just need to add all of the ingredients below into a glass 1/2 filled with ice, stir and you’re good to go.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, ginger ale, lime and ice
- Very hard to get wrong: If you want cocktails with Irish whiskey that are nearly impossible to mess up, look no further
5. The Irish Mudslide
Few Irish whiskey cocktail recipes are as indulgent as the Irish Mudslide and it’ll suit those of you looking for a cocktail to serve up for desert.
There’s a cream and an ice cream version (I find the cream version more straightforward). This Irish whiskey recipe is guaranteed to impress and, although it might look tricky to make, it really isn’t.
- Ingredients needed: Baileys, whiskey, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, chocolate for garnishing and either cream or ice cream
- Dressed to impress (without the stress): This one looks tricky, but it’s surprisingly simple once you chill the glass
6. Irish Eyes
To make it, add the ingredients below to a shaker that’s 1/2 filled with ice. Shake hard and strain into a glass with ice.
- Ingredients needed: Green Crème de menthe, cream, whiskey and Baileys
- One for those fond of a strong tasting tipple: There’s a fair taste of alcohol off this cocktail, so serve accordingly
7. The Irish Mule
The Irish Mule is one of the more straightforward drinks with Irish whiskey and, thanks to its relatively light and refreshing taste, it’s an easy sip even for those that aren’t fond of whiskey.
To make it, add ice, whiskey and the juice from 1 slice of lime to a medium sized glass. Then pour in your ginger beer and stir. Add an additional slice of lime for garnish.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, ginger beer, lime and ice
- Why it’s my go-to when friends are over: I bought copper mugs years ago and, while they were cheap, they make this cocktail look very impressive when served
8. Irish Sour
The Irish Sour is one of the more popular Irish whiskey cocktails and, while it looks elegant and impressive, it’s a relatively easy one to knock up.
Add the ingredients below to a shaker 1/2 filled with ice, shake hard and strain into a glass. Top with a twist of lime.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, egg whites, lemon juice, simple syrup, some Angostura bitters and ice
- The egg whites are key: The egg white froth on top is what makes this one impressive
9. Irish Gold
I’ve made the Irish Gold more than any other Irish whiskey mixed drinks in this guide. Mainly as it’s easy to rustle up, but also as it’s refreshing and has a good kick to it.
Pour the ingredients below into a glass 1/2 filled with ice and squeeze in the juice from 1 slice of lime. Stir and garnish with another slice of lime.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, peach schnapps, fresh orange juice, ginger ale
- A ‘gateway’ cocktail: If you have someone that’s on the fence about drinks with Irish whiskey, this is an excellent tipple to introduce them to
10. The Irish Margarita
Yes, it’s time for more green Irish whiskey drink recipes, but this time it’s a classic! The Irish Margarita can be made with or without the green food colouring and it’s one of the more potent cocktails in this guide.
Dress up the rim of the glass with sugar (here’s how) and then add all of your ingredients to a shaker. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lime and you’re all set.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, lime juice, orange-flavoured liqueur, simple syrup and green food colouring (optional)
- Packs a punch: If you’re after a ‘livener’, there is a fair kick to this one
11. The Irish Slammer
There aren’t many cocktails with Irish whiskey that pack a punch as much as the Irish Slammer (you just need to be very careful that it doesn’t curdle!).
1/2 fill a large glass with your favourite Irish stout. Then take a shot glass and fill it with equal parts whiskey and Baileys (add the whiskey first).
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, stout and Baileys
- Make sure it doesn’t curdle: The cream and the whiskey can curdle quick, so you need to knock it back
12. The Irish Old Fashioned
Next up is another of my favourite cocktails with Irish whiskey – the Irish Old Fashioned. This is an Irish take on a classic cocktail and it’s one for those of you that enjoy a strong taste of whiskey.
Add your ingredients into a chilled glass that’s 1/2 full with ice. Stir and add an orange twist to the top.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, sugar syrup, orange bitters and Angostura bitters
- For those that like a stiff drink: There’s a very strong taste off this one
13. The Irish Mojito
The Irish Mojito is a take on the summer-time classic! This is another of our go-to Irish whiskey cocktails for parties, as even those that don’t like whiskey find this one tasty.
The one warning I’ll give you is to be careful when muddling the mint, limes and sugar (info as to why here).
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, lime, fresh mint, sugar and either ginger beer or club soda
- Ginger beer works best: You can use club soda, but splash out on the ginger beer and you’ll thank me later
14. The Irish Trash Can
Next up is one of the most potent Irish whiskey drink recipes – the Irish Trash Can. This is one for those rowdy nights with friends.
It can be served with a can of RedBull sticking out of it, but I prefer to pour the energy drink in.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey or gin, light rum, vodka, peach schnapps, Bols Blue Curacao Liquer and Triple Se
- Drinkers beware: This is a very strong drink. Always drink responsibly
15. The Irish Negroni
Last but by no means least in our guide to the best Irish whiskey drinks is the Irish Negroni (AKA the ‘Rosie Negroni’).
To make it, you add the ingredients below to a large glass and stir. Then strain the mixture into a fresh glass with ice and serve topped with a twist of lemon.
- Ingredients needed: Whiskey, campari, sweet vermouth, a fresh orange and ice
- One for mature palates: This is one of the stronger cocktails with Irish whiskey – definitely not for novice drinkers
Have any Irish whiskey recipes you’d like to recommend?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant Irish whiskey recipes from the guide above.
If you have any Irish whiskey drinks that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about the best Irish whiskey cocktails
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are the most potent drinks to make with Irish whiskey?’ to ‘Which Irish whiskey drinks are best for parties?’.
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 whiskey cocktails?
In my opinion, few Irish whiskey cocktail recipes can go toe-to-to with the Irish Sour, the Mudslide and the Irish Eyes.
What Irish whiskey mixed drinks are good for parties?
The Irish Lemonade, Irish Maid, Irish Gold and Irish Trash Can are 4 good Irish whiskey drink recipes for parties.
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.