Drink of the Week: The Kilbeggan Dubliner

The PAMA & RyeAs long as people keep sending me booze, I’ll continue to be open-minded regarding their cocktail suggestions. I have to warn, however, that today’s drink has probably one of the highest calorie counts of any drink I’ve made since last Christmastime. It is, however, also very tasty — probably not a coincidence.

Our beverage comes courtesy of the good folks who are promoting Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, which I would describe as a stouter, less polite version of your basic Bushmills or Jameson. However, I should add that it’s a brand that’s been around since 1757, so while it might be relatively little known here in the States, it’s no newcomer to the field. For those who like their whiskey with a bit of a kick, it’s grand stuff and it does work extremely well in this recipe.

The Kilbeggan Dubliner

1 1/2 ounces Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce cherry syrup
3/4 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
Approximately 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup (optional)
1 cherry (garnish)

Combines all the the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. The Kilbeggan folks insist you should then shake vigorously for a full minute; I’m not sure it’s completely necessary to do so for the entire minute, but I followed the instructions as a way of burning a few extra sugar calories.

Pour the now very cold and frothy mixture into a chilled cocktail glass with a your cherry pre-loaded. Make sure it’s either a very large cocktail glass or use smaller proportions as this one yields quite a lot of liquid. Try not to sip it too quickly. This one goes down very easy but is worth a bit of savoring.


Despite the reliance on very sweet ingredients, this drink can be a bit more tart than you might expect or want if you eschew that optional simple syrup. That’s because unsweetened cranberry juice — not to be confused with the cranberry juice drinks we all know — is incredibly tart stuff.

If the thought of adding even more sugar to a drink that already has quite a bit is too much for you, one very respectable substitution that I tried was to replace the ordinary vermouth with one of my new favorites, Punt e Mes. This vermouth with a subtly bitter kick more than killed whatever excess tartness I was getting from the cranberry juice but was different enough from the original to be another drink entirely. Does “The Kilbeggan Leopold Bloom” sound classic enough for you?

Anyhow,  both the original and Punt e Messed versions were some very tasty drinking, even if I sort of feel like I should be doubling my exercise program and time spent brushing my teeth right about now.


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