Week 11 in the Year Of Drinking Adventurously! Irish Whiskey. (I hope I got my Irish translation right!)
That’s me waving to you from the cliffs of Dun Aengus on Innis More, one of The Aran Islands off the West Coast of Ireland. I’ve been to Ireland three times and I’m sure we’ll go again. I’m trying to figure out how to move there permanently, that’s how much I love it.
So Irish Whiskey… It’s a permanent fixture in my liquor cabinet. Most of the time I have a bottle of regular old Jameson’s in my stash.
Sometimes I splurge and buy the Red Breast, which is a “single pot still” style. A pot still is like a huge kettle where the batch is boiled, the vapors rise, are collected and cooled to produce the whiskey. Since the pot has to be cleaned after each use, only one batch of whiskey is produced from the single pot.
My imbibition of Irish whiskey generally involves a glass and some ice. Sometimes not even the ice. Occasionally not even the glass! (Just kidding!) However, I have a fun, terribly-named, politically incorrect cocktail for you to try. Actually, I’m not sure this qualifies as a cocktail. If you go to Ireland, do not ask for this drink. You will be deported. And for Paddy’s sake, don’t tell anyone you learned it from me or they’ll never let me back in.
The Irish Car Bomb: (Don’t say I didn’t warn you…)
Fill a shot glass with a half shot each, Jameson’s Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Cream
Drop the shot glass into a pint glass of Guinness and watch it “explode”
Chug the whole thing in one fell swoop so you don’t lose a drop!
Enjoy responsibly! Oh wait, too late for that…
When we travel to Ireland, it’s primarily for my husband’s work. His company has a facility in Galway. I get to tag along, but that means that for most of the time, I’m off traipsing around by myself. That’s not a recipe for disaster, no. The girl who fancies herself a writer wandering around the gorgeous countryside, listening to fairy tales and visiting the pubs on her own? Not to mention the lovely
men people and some of the best whiskey on the planet. What could possibly go wrong?
There are pubs that cater to the foreign visitors and there are those that are more for the locals. In Galway, I like to go to this place called Garavan’s – definitely more of a local hangout than a tourist place – where they pretend to want your business but they really don’t. And they haven’t forgiven England for… well, everything. Even stuff that’s not their fault.
So anyway, it’s dark inside, the tables are all close together with little stools crowded around. They still have a small room at the front where ladies used to have to sit separately from the main part of the pub. I think sometimes the bartender wants me to go have a seat in there. But then I can’t see the hurling match on TV. And ask him lots of questions while he tries to ignore me.
Garavan’s has a collection of 125 different whiskeys and a whiskey tasting menu. The last time I was there I tried the Irish writer’s collection – a sampler of 5 different whiskeys from a few of Ireland’s most famous writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats. I forget what all I tried. But I definitely remember that the one I liked best was The Yellow Spot 12-year-old single pot still whiskey. And I remember something about the Women’s Rugby World Cup – Ireland versus England. And that they turned the TV off during “God Save the Queen.” Things got ugly when Ireland started to lose. And I made the mistake of asking for an
Irish Car Bomb…
Go visit Lula and see if she found the pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow!