Here's a drink option that doesn't require you to drink a lurid green potion to show your Irish pride. The Paddy is a sweet Manhattan variation that uses Irish whiskey instead of rye or bourbon. I haven't had much exposure to Irish whiskey cocktails, even though Irish whiskey is supposed to be the fastest growing spirits category in the United States (check out the spirited discussion in the comment thread here at Drink Boston).
This drink is a really nice introduction to this category of cocktails. Make sure your vermouth is fairly fresh (yes, its charms can fade after opening, so if your bottle has been sitting, opened, in your liquor cabinet for the last year treat yourself to a new bottle).
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the drink in the picture is too light to have sweet vermouth in it. A ha! You are correct, for our first version of the Paddy, I grabbed the dry vermouth in error. This resulted in a very light-textured drink: easily quaffed and very smooth. Sweet vermouth produced a more complex drink and brought out the toasty notes in the Irish whiskey.
The Paddy Cocktail
Combine in an iced cocktail shaker:
- 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey (we used Bushmills)
- 1/2 ounce sweet vermout
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass.