The Emerald cocktail is proof that there are many roads to cocktail bliss. It’s also a fine Irish whiskey cocktail that’s as easy to craft as it is to sip.
Crafting Emerald cocktails reminds us that mixology is a deep sea with a bottom that’s practically impossible to reach. Every time we craft one cocktail, we discover ten more that are similar. In this case that cocktail is the Manhattan.
The Emerald is so similar to a classic Manhattan cocktail that some people refer to it as an Irish Manhattan. But we prefer the cocktail’s original name since we’re fans of both the color and the gem.
What Is an Emerald Cocktail?
There’s no need to adjust your screen.
While you might expect an Emerald cocktail to be green, its hue is actually amber. This cocktail’s moniker has everything to do with the heritage of its primary ingredient and nothing to do with the cocktail’s color.
To nobody’s surprise, Irish whiskey hails from Ireland. Unlike the Emerald cocktail, Ireland is known as the ‘Emerald Isle’ due to its abundance of grasslands and general greenery. Thus, think of the cocktail as more of a tribute to the Irish nation than a color.
If your heart is set on imbibing a green cocktail, the Emerald is not for you. However, you’re in the right place if you’re looking for a simple yet sophisticated sipper featuring Irish whiskey. You can imbibe Emerald cocktails at pubs in Dublin but you can also craft them at home.
Check out our Grasshopper and Absinthe Frappe recipes if drinking green is your goal.
Emerald Cocktail Ingredients
The Emerald cocktail’s ingredients are similar those in a Manhattan but with a few twists. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to craft an Emerald cocktail at home:
None of these ingredients are exotic. In fact, you probably have them all in your liquor cabinet and pantry.
In addition to Irish whiskey, the Emerald cocktail recipe calls for two more liquors – sweet red vermouth and orange bitters.
To craft our Emeralds, we use Jameson Irish whiskey from Ireland, Carpano sweet red vermouth from Italy and Angostura orange bitters from Trinidad and Tobago. Pushing the cocktail’s ‘internationality,’ we use oranges grown in Portugal’s Algarve for garnish.
How To Craft an Emerald Cocktail
You don’t need any special bar tools to craft an Emerald cocktail at home. We use the following basic bar tools in our recipe:
You can improvise if you’re missing any or all of these basic bar tools. However, none is expensive.
Discover 10 essential bar tools for home mixologists.
The first step is to measure the Irish whiskey and sweet red vermouth. We use a Japanese jigger in this and other cocktail recipes to ensure accurate measurements and clean pours.
Purchase a Japanese Jigger if you don’t have a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.
You’ll want to pour both liquors directly into a mixing glass as you measure each. You can use a shaker or tall glass if you don’t have a mixing glass.
Purchase a mixing glass if you want or need an upgrade.
The next step is to add a dash of orange bitters.
Don’t skip this step as it completes the cocktail’s flavors!
Add a handful of ice and stir until the ingredients are combined and chilled.
Strain the cocktail into a glass of your choice. We used a lowball glass but a coupe glass would work too.
Express the glass rim with an orange peel.
Finally, drop the peel into the glass as garnish.
Emerald Cocktail Alternatives
The following two cocktails are both similar to the Emerald. We say craft all three to find your personal favorite.
Emerald Cocktail FAQs
The Emerald cocktail is a whiskey cocktail crafted with Irish whiskey, sweet red vermouth and orange bitters.
No. Despite its name, the Emerald cocktail is amber.
Irish Whiskey, Sweet Red Vermouth, Orange Bitters, Ice (for stirring) and Orange Peel (garnish)
Using Irish whiskey is the way to go when crafting a Emerald cocktail. We like to use Jameson Irish Whiskey but you can use your favorite bottle.
The Emerald cocktail is stirred, not shaken.
We use a lowball class when we craft this cocktail and we recommend that you do the same.
While it’s always a good time to drink an Emerald cocktail, it’s an ideal cocktail to serve at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Emerald Cocktail Recipe
The Emerald cocktail is so easy to craft that you'll want to craft this cocktail on St. Patrick's day and all year long.
- 2 ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 ounce sweet red vermouth
- 1 dash orange bitters
- ice cubes
- orange peel
- Pour Irish whiskey and sweet red vermouth into a mixing glass.
- Add a dash of orange bitters.
- Add a handful of ice cubes and stir until liquids are mixed and chilled.
- Strain into a glass of your choice.
- Express the glass with orange peel.
- Drop the orange peel into the glass as garnish.
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Japanese Jigger - Premium Double Cocktail Jigger, 1oz/2oz made from Stainless Steel 304
Hiware Professional 24 Oz Cocktail Mixing Glass, Thick Bottom Seamless Crystal Mixing Glass
ANGOSTURA Orange Bitters, 118 ml / 4 oz.
Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler 3-Pack Red/Green/Yellow
OXO SteeL Cocktail Strainer
Hiware LZS13B 12 Inches Stainless Steel Mixing Spoon, Spiral Pattern Bar Cocktail Shaker Spoon
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: March 11, 2022