Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this Irish old fashioned with Jameson in hand! Jameson Irish Whiskey makes for a festive touch on a classic whiskey cocktail, and you’ll love how it only calls for three simple ingredients and takes just a couple minutes to mix. And don’t feel like you have to save this drink just for St. Patrick’s Day — this smooth sipper is perfect anytime of year.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Perfect for Irish whiskey lovers: An old fashioned is all about letting the whiskey shine. With only three ingredients, the Irish whiskey takes center stage.
That ultra smooth finish: Irish whiskey is known for being incredibly smooth with a mellow flavor, thanks to its distilling process. This makes it perfect for new and long-time whiskey drinkers alike.
Makes hosting as easy as can be: An old fashioned is so quick and easy to whip up, so your bartending duties are minimal when this is your signature cocktail. Plus, we’ll chat about a batching option to make entertaining even easier.
Related: For more Irish whiskey cocktails, don’t miss my Irish whiskey sour, Irish mule and Irish Maid cocktail.
Irish whiskey: I like to use Jameson. As the best-known brand of Irish whiskey, the quality is solid, and it’s easily accessible. Of course, you’re welcome to substitute it for another Irish whiskey if you’d like. Other brands include Tullamore D.E.W., Bushmills and Teeling Whiskey.
Simple syrup: This gives us just a touch of sweetness. Keep in mind, an old fashioned cocktail isn’t supposed to be very sweet, so we just need a smidge.
Bitters: I used classic angostura bitters, but you’re welcome to use another variety to play with different flavor profiles.
Now let's show you how truly quick and easy it is to make this Jameson cocktail.
Step 1: We begin by adding the Irish whiskey, simple syrup and a few dashes of angostura bitters to an old fashioned glass (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we add the ice and stir the mixture with a bar spoon for about 20 seconds (photo 2). We’re just looking to chill the mixture and slightly dilute the drink.
Step 3: All that’s left is to add an optional garnish (photo 3). An orange twist and cherries are classic here.
See how easy that was? Now take a sip and enjoy the evening with a delicious cocktail and your favorite people.
How to Batch an Old Fashioned Ahead of Time
If you’d like to make this Irish old fashioned before party time, here’s how to do just that.
- Stir together 3 cups Irish whiskey, ¾ cup simple syrup, ½ cup water and 10-12 dashes bitters in a pitcher.
- The water accounts for dilution we’d get from stirring. You’ll also notice we don’t use quite as many bitters. That’s because they intensify as they sit, so we dial it back just a bit.
- Cover and refrigerate.
- When it’s party time, you have 12 Irish old fashioneds ready to go. Just pour over ice, garnish with your cherries and orange peel, and serve.
According to the Irish Whiskey Act of 1980, a true Irish whiskey must be distilled in Ireland from a mash made of malted barley. The mash can also include other cereal grains, though this is optional.
Irish whiskey must also spend at least three years aging in wooden barrels and contain no additives besides water and caramel coloring. Typically, this type of whiskey is triple distilled to give it that signature silky finish.
Traditionally, old fashioneds were made by muddling a sugar cube, a bar spoon of water and bitters until it turns into a smooth paste. But let’s think about what simple syrup is — sugar and water. This gives us the same sweetener, and you don’t have to worry about a grainy finish if you don’t fully muddle the sugar.
No, you should always stir old fashioneds. Shaking gives us too much dilution.
Variations and Substitutions
Want to make this Jameson old fashioned with a twist? Here are a few ideas.
- Garnish with a fresh mint sprig for a pop of green on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Give it a different flavor profile with an infused simple syrup, such as cherry syrup, ginger syrup, raspberry syrup or brown sugar-chai syrup.
- Use this as your perfect base old fashioned recipe for other types of whiskey, such as bourbon, rye or Japanese whiskey.
- Or branch out from whiskey — this also works as a base recipe for a dark rum old fashioned, for instance.
Use a mixing glass for parties: If you’d like to make multiple Irish old fashioned cocktails at once, use a mixing glass instead of preparing the drink directly in the rocks glass. After mixing, you can then strain the drink into everyone’s individual serving glass. The amount of cocktails you can make in one sitting depends on the size of your mixing glass, but they typically range from 18 ounces to 28 ounces.
Opt for large ice cubes: We don’t want to overly dilute our drink, and one big ice cube melts much more slowly than your standard ice cubes or crushed ice. Plenty of online retailers, including Amazon, carry affordable large ice cube molds, and I’ve even seen them at liquor stores.
Garnish with Luxardo cherry, not a generic maraschino cherry: While a generic maraschino cherry is great for a Dirty Shirley, it’s not quite as sophisticated and rich in flavor as a Luxardo cherry.
Don’t overdo it on the bitters: All we need are two to three dashes. A little bit goes a long way.
If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll love sipping this drink on the side of my Guinness lamb stew or a big platter of smoked corned beef. These are both bold meats that call for an equally big drink.
An old fashioned is also great with so many desserts. The sweet malted barley is wonderful with chocolate, so you can’t go wrong with my Irish whiskey chocolate cake, stout brownies or Baileys mousse.
Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or need a tasty whiskey cocktail, don’t miss this Irish old fashioned. Fellow Irish whiskey lovers, you won’t find a more perfect drink.
Get More St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Recipes
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Irish Old Fashioned With Jameson
- Old fashioned glass
- Bar spoon
- Large ice cube mold
- 2 ounces Jameson Irish whiskey
- ½ ounce simple syrup preferably homemade
- 2-3 dashes angostura bitters
- 1 large ice cube
- Orange twist for garnish, optional
- Luxardo cherries for garnish, optional
- Add the Jameson Irish whiskey, simple syrup and bitters to an old fashioned glass.
- Place a large ice cube in the glass. Using a bar spoon, stir the mixture to chill and slightly melt the ice, about 20 seconds.
- If desired, garnish with an orange twist and Luxardo cherries. Enjoy!
- To make your own simple syrup, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring every so often to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, you have your syrup. Allow it to cool and store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
My husband and I gave this a try the other night, and we both greatly enjoyed it! Will be making this for St. Patrick's Day!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Cheers to that!
Loved this take on an old fashioned. We bought some Jameson for St. Patrick's Day, so I couldn't help but make myself a drink a little early. Now I'm really excited for the holiday!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Nothing wrong with celebrating a little early! Thanks for sharing, Ann.