My earliest memories of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day recall snow. A lot of snow. Whether in Boston or in Montreal, mid-March was still considered the depths of winter, and St. Paddy’s Day celebrations were conducted accordingly: winter parkas and whiskey neat.
So this unusually summer-like weather we’ve been having in New York—a high of 72 on Thursday!—is leaving me a bit at a loss for how to properly honor everyone’s favorite Irish holiday.
Finally, this week brought inspiration. I was invited to spend an evening on a Jameson-themed pre-St. Pat’s Day Pub Crawl. But other than any old shot & a beer pub crawl, we crawled our way through a selection of delicious Jameson cocktails, many of them perfect for the balmy evening.
Jameson, while often the backbone of a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration, too often stars only in a shot glass alongside a beer, or splashed into a disappointing whisker ginger. For this column, we wanted to keep the main act, but spruce up the costume a bit, from well drink to elegant cocktail. And our pub crawl gave up the perfect opportunity.
One in particular, at Grey Lady on Delancey, was the perfect warm-weather whiskey cocktail, looking forward to summer but anchoring us in the St. Patty’s Day festivities that we usually expect in March.
A piña colada-inspired whisky sour, the Shady Lady uses traditional sour elements, like lemon juice, whiskey, and egg whites, but adds a tropical twist, with the addition of pineapple gum syrup and a spritz of piña colada essence.
We’ve adapted the recipe slightly for home creation, making a pineapple simple syrup, and topping it with coconut flakes, and renamed it the St. Patrick’s Piñavera, a hat tip to this year’s early spring.
St. Patrick's Piñavera
Adapted from Grey Lady’s The Shady Lady
- 1 1/2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 3/4 oz pineapple simple syrup
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz egg whites (the white of one egg)
- Angostura bitters
- Coconut flakes (can substitute shredded coconut)
Dry shake all ingredients. Add ice to shaker and shake again vigorously for 10-15 seconds, depending on weight of ice. Fine strain into a coup, or over a large ice cube in a tumbler. Garnish with dashes of Angostura bitters and a sprinkling of coconut flakes
Pineapple Simple Syrup
- 2 cups of chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Strain into saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until quantity reduced by half (approximately 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Hot it should be the consistency of maple syrup; cool it’ll be a bit thicker.
Adorable pineapple tumblers available here from The Pineapple Co.