Whiskey cocktail

The World of Modern Irish Whiskey Cocktails by Jillian Vose, Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry

Jillian Vose, Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon. Mariner, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-51286-8

Seeking to elevate the once modest term, “Paddy Drinks” – shorthand for any whiskey-based cocktail – the crew of New York’s Dead Rabbit (The Dead Rabbit Mixology & Mayhem) shakes up striking concoctions to showcase the “gloriously subtle and distinctive” traits of the Irish spirit. What follows is a brief collection of classic quaffs, a full batch of inventions, and cool syrups and alcohol infusions that raise the bar from everyday to aspirational. Understanding flavor profiles is key to the process, and sticking to a specific brand of whiskey for each recipe is crucial. Accordingly, a long list of flavor and aroma characteristics for specific brands is provided (Redbreast 12 smells of raisin and Christmas cake, and bitter chocolate tastes, for example), together with tables which detail the flavors imparted by different barrels (aging in a zinfandel barrel gives hints of butterscotch). Years of tinkering have led to their Irish coffee recipe, with filtered Sumatra Mandheling coffee, while new creations give evocative names to other whiskey favorites, like the boulevardier-inspired Psycho Killer, with banana liqueurs and chocolate. It’s about trusting other flavor explosions like the Stun Grenade, with its carrot-infused rum and sumac syrup. A working-class liquor reaches rarefied heights in this premium guide. Agent: Marilyn Allen, Literary Allen O’Shea. (Feb.)