Irish coffee

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Drinks for Your World Whisky Day Menu

Drinks for Your World Whisky Day Menu

by David Klemt

Whiskey in Fine & Rare NYC glass

This Saturday is the eleventh annual celebration of World Whisky Day, the perfect day to highlight your whisky and cocktail menus.

One revenue-generating method of drawing in guests is a promotion showcasing popular, lesser-known, or rare whiskies. Operators can also create a whisky and beer combo promotion.

Of course, there’s also the specialty cocktail menu. There are a few different approaches to this promotion.

An operator and their bar team can focus on one specific cocktail, offering three or four “takes” on it. Another way to make this work is to take the same cocktail and feature a different whisky in each one.

A different approach is to create a World Whisky Day menu consisting of three or more of the most popular whisky cocktails. To help you identify which drinks to feature we looked into the top whisky drinks. Check them out below.

Old Fashioned

C’mon—you knew this was going to be on the list before you read past the title of this article. Drinks Digest ranked the Old Fashioned the number-one cocktail of 2021.

VinePair‘s list didn’t rank their most-popular cocktails overtly but this classic got its expected mention.

Manhattan

Just like the Old Fashioned, you expected this drink to make this list. While it can certainly be made with bourbon or an array of single malt American whiskies, the Manhattan shines when made with rye.

Whisky Sour

As Drinks International points out, the Whisky Sour may not be the top drink in most bars. In fact, it may not make it into their top three.

However, the simple but refreshing Whisky Sour is at least in the top ten of several bars, making it a solid choice for your specialty menu.

Boulevardier

Want to get some of the cocktail aficionados among your guests to flip out? Tell them loudly and confidently that the Boulevardier is better than the Negroni. That’ll certainly get them talking.

Or, hey, don’t do that. Just perfect this bourbon cocktail, a cousin of the Negroni, and highlight your build for World Whisky Day.

Mint Julep

The Kentucky Derby may be over but summer is just around the corner. People are still craving this centuries-old cocktail and VinePair called it “essential” last year.

Sazerac

Like many classics, the Sazerac was “medicinal” when it was first created in the 1830s. In 2008, this drink was made the official cocktail of New Orleans by the Louisiana state legislature.

The Sazerac is another cocktail recipe that VinePair said was an essential one for bars in 2021.

Vieux Carré

It’s difficult to overstate the important role New Orleans has played and continues to play in American cocktail culture.

The recipe, created about 100 years after the Sazerac, combines American whisky (rye, traditionally), Cognac, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, and Peychaud’s bitters.

Penicillin

Created by Sam Ross when he was behind the stick at Milk & Honey, this is my favorite whisky cocktail. The recipe was one of Punch’s most popular last year, and it was on Drinks International’s top 50 list for 2021.

On a personal note, this is one of my all-time favorite whisky cocktails. In fact, the Penicillin is one of my favorite cocktails in general.

Honorable Mentions

These may not be top sellers for most bars (if any) but they’re worth consideration for World Whisky Day.

The Chauncey is a 1:1:1:1 combination of rye whisky, Cognac, gin, and sweet vermouth plus two dashes of orange bitters, served up.

Of course, there’s also the Mule, which lends itself to an incredible number of riffs. Select a whisky or two to come up with specialty Mules of your own.

Irish whisky stands out in an Irish coffee, which can be served iced/frozen when it’s hot outside.

And then we have the Rob Roy. If you want to be glib about it, this is a Manhattan made with Scotch rather than rye whisky.

Your Own Data

There’s an excellent resource for determining what drinks to feature at your restaurant or bar. It’s quite literally at your fingertips: your POS.

If you want to know what your guests are drinking and what they want, run a report.

How deep you get into the data is up to you, of course. Monthly, quarterly, seasonally, annually… There are myriad methods to determine your World Whisky Day’s best options.

Sure, you can probably safely assume that your top whisky cocktails are the same as those above. But why not be absolutely certain with your own data? You invest money and time into your POS—wring everything you can out of it.

Also, your bar team and servers. Ask them what whiskies guests have been asking for that you don’t have.

Use your POS to identify the whiskies gathering dust in your stockroom, then find a way to move them quickly (a well-priced LTO should work) and replace them with what guests want.

Image: YesMore Content on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Launch of the Irish: Whiskeys You Want

Launch of the Irish: Whiskeys You Want in 2022

by David Klemt

Jameson Orange Irish Whiskey bottle and cocktails

Tomorrow is National Irish Coffee Day. What better time to take a look at the Irish distilleries and releases to look out for in 2022?

From the looks of things, Ireland’s distillers are set to unleash a flood of enticing whiskeys this year. This bodes well for whiskey lovers, Irish coffee and St. Patrick’s Day fans, and your menu.

Below you’ll find ten bottles to update the Irish whiskey section of your menu. Sláinte!

Jameson Orange ($24.99 SRP)

From arguably the most recognizable name in Irish whiskey comes Jameson Orange . You can check out the bottle in the image above. With natural orange flavor, Jameson says Orange works well neat, on the rocks, and in cocktails. In particular, simple drinks like Jameson Orange and Cranberry.

Bushmills Causeway Collection 27-Year-Old Bourbon Cask ($745 SRP)

You can take two things away from this Bushmills bottle’s name. First, this ultra-premium Irish whiskey comes with hefty price tag. Second, the maturation process involves bourbon barrels. In fact, the first 21 years of maturing takes place in first-fill bourbon casks from Kentucky.

Tullamore DEW XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish ($39.99 SRP)

Looking to switch things up with your tiki or nautical bar menu? Want to offer a new take on tropical drinks? Replace the rum with Tullamore DEW XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish. To craft this unique expression, Tullamore DEW finishes their whiskey in former demerara rum casks, which impart notes of bananas, dates, and raisins.

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kylebeg Wood, Tree No. 2 ($352 SRP)

An important element of the whiskey experience—all spirits, ideally—is getting a taste of the region from which originates. With Dair Ghaelach, which translates to “Irish oak” in Irish or Scottish Gaelic, Midleton aims to deliver a taste of the heart of Ireland. They do this by finishing this expression in casks made from virgin Irish oak from, of course, Kylebeg Wood.

Method And Madness Single Malt ($95 SRP)

Micro Distillery in Midleton, Ireland, which you’ll find in County Cork, first laid this whiskey down in 2002. The liquid matures in bourbon casks before finishing in Fresnch Limousin Oak barrels. Expect cereal malt notes on the nose; barley, ice cream cone and cinnamon stick on the palate; and bon-bons on the finish.

The Pogues Single Malt ($24.99 SRP) and Blended ($28.99 SRP)

Yep—the Pogues. The Celtic band teamed up with Master Distiller Frank McHardy to craft two Irish whiskeys. Single Malt, packaged in a bold red bottle, offers a smooth sip with notes of chocolate, cinnamon, marshmallow, nougat, wood, and spice. The Pogues Blended Irish Whiskey combines grain and malt whiskeys, delivering dark chocolate, citrus, dark fruit, and spice on the nose and palate.

Roe & Co. ($29.99 SRP)

Straight out of Dublin, Roe & Co. produces creamy smooth, warm and inviting blended Irish whiskey. This bottle just may become a favorite among your guests on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Micil Inverin Small Batch ($51.99 SRP)

This bottle comes from the first distillery to open legally in Galway, a coastal town on the west side of Ireland. Founder Pádraic Ó Griallais is a sixth-generation poitín (very generally speaking, “Irish moonshine”) distiller. The Scotch drinkers among your guests will appreciate the charred wood and peat characteristics of Iverin Small Batch. I would definitely try this in a Penicillin.

Sailor’s Home The Journey ($51.99 SRP)

Hailing from Limerick, Ireland, Sailor’s Home crafts four expressions of Irish whiskey. For this roundup, I’m sharing The Journey, a Gold Medal winner at the 2021 International Spirits Challenge. As the distillery suggests, this may become your guests’ new go-to Irish whiskey, and likely in short order. First, whiskey is aged in virgin American oak casks. The liquid is then moved to American bourbon barrels. Finally, that liquid is combined with malt Irish whiskey that was matured in American bourbon barrels and finished in Jamaican rum casks. As the distillery says, “No other Irish whiskey is made like this.”

Shanky’s Whip ($24.99 SRP)

Fine, this isn’t strictly an Irish whiskey. Shanky’s Whip is a blend of liqueur and Black Irish whiskey. Perfect for shooting, in a highball with cola, or dropped into a pint of stout.

Prices in USD. Image: Jameson 

Top