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How To Make Irish Whiskey

How To Read The Price Of An Irish Whiskey

How Irish whiskey is made

Like any alcohol, the cost of Irish whiskey runs the gamut, but blends tend to be cheapest because theyre less intensive to make, McGarry says. Age also factors in, with older whiskeys typically costing morebut that doesnt necessarily mean they taste better. Some older whiskey tastes phenomenal and some just tastesold, Bryson says.

And if your selection makes you wish youd ordered a green beer, try another type of whiskey first. There is a whiskey out there for everybody, Gillespie says.

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Types Of Irish Whiskey

The ‘best’ Irish Whiskey is produced the same way as Scotch. Single Malt Irish Whiskey is produced from only malted barley and is distilled on copper pot stills.

Due to the introduction of taxes on malt, many distillers in Ireland started to replace some of the malt with other grains like corn, wheat and unmalted barley. This lead to the rise of Grain Whiskey. Grain Whiskey is usually distilled on column stills, because they offer a cheaper and continuous production.

Blended Irish Whiskey contains malt and Grain Whiskey. The higher the malt ratio, the better the Whiskey.

Compared to Scotland, Ireland has another type of WhiskeySingle Pot Still Whiskey. This Whiskey contains malt and Grain Whiskey, but both have to be distilled on pot stills only.

Place A Metal Spoon In The Glass:

A spoon should be placed in the glass before adding whiskey and boiling water.

I was always told this little trick prevented the glass from cracking when hit by the boiling water. The poor glass could get such a fright when scalded it might split in two. Now this theory has probably been scientifically debunked long ago, but I still don’t wish to work with frightened glasses.

Another rational for this step is that the metal spoon absorbs heat from the boiling liquid, thereby cooling it down a bit, bringing the hot toddy to drinking temperature a little quicker.

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What Makes Irish Whiskey Different

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Cant tell the difference between Irish whiskey and bourbon and Scotch? Here are a few ways that the spirits are similar yet different.

MAGIC SPELL The spelling of the word whiskey is a dead giveaway. The Scots and the Canadians drop the letter e, spelling theirs whisky instead of whiskey. American bourbon makers spell theirs with an e, just as the Irish do.

THE SAME . . . In some ways, all whiskeys are alike. All are distilled beverages made from a combination of grains, water and yeast. Most are aged in charred American oak barrels.

. . . BUT DIFFERENT The main ingredients in Irish whiskey are barley, malt and water.

Bourbon is made mainly with corn Canadian whisky is commonly made with a blend from wheat, corn, barley and rye.

Scotch has similar ingredients to Irish whiskey, but it is often dried over a peat fire. The smoke from the peat fire affects the smell and taste of Scotch.

WHATS COOKING? Bourbon and Scotch usually are distilled twice. Irish whiskey generally is distilled three times. The more distillations, the lighter and cleaner the spirit.

Availability Of Irish Whiskey

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Due to the history of Ireland there are a lot of BlendedWhiskeys and only few Single Malts. Best known are Jameson, Tullamore, and Bushmills.

Single MaltWhiskeys are produced at Bushmills in Northern Ireland and at Cooleys in the Republic of Ireland. Single Pot Still Whiskeys are part of the production at the New Midleton distillery, where not only the famous Irish Blends Jameson, Power’s, and Paddy are produced.

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Maturation Into Irish Whiskey

This whiskey spirit is then diluted with pure water down to about 65% before being filled into oak casks for at least 3 years to slowly mature into Irish Whiskey. The type of wood in the barrels and their previous use if any, contribute in a major way to the character, colour, nose and flavour of the new whiskey.

Distillation Into Clear Irish Whiskey Spirit

This wash is then distilled and distilled again two or three times in either a copper pot still or a continuous column still into a clear vodka like new make whiskey spirit with an ABV of about 85%. Only the heart or centre portion of each distillation run goes forward to the second and third distillation stage. The beginning and end of each distillation run known as the heads and tails are put aside and are recirculated back into the still from where they came. This assists in maintaining consistency of character and flavour from each pot still used. Generally the early part of the heads run is di carded as it will contain some unwanted and unpleasant compounds.

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Top Up With Boiling Water:

No tepid, luke warm water allowed for making hot whiskey.

The scalding hot temperature of boiling water is required to ensure the lemon, cloves and brown sugar release their flavors and blend together mellowing the whiskey.

My glass takes an additional 5 fluid ounces of hot water to top it off, but some glasses will take more. The choice is yours. Pour in hot water, but leave some room for extra if needed. Should you find your whiskey too strong for your liking, you can always add a little more hot water after you take the first sip.

How To Make The Perfect Irish Coffee

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The Irish coffee hits all the marks of a great whiskey cocktail: delicious, beautiful, and easy to make and customize according to your taste. There are many variations, from using flavored coffee to serving it on ice, but in the end, the perfect Irish coffee is the one you like best.

The basic recipe for Irish coffee is simple: Add 2 teaspoons demerara sugar to a warm mug or Irish coffee glass. Add 4 to 6 oz. hot coffee and stir well to dissolve sugar. Add 1½ oz. Irish whiskey and stir to combine. Float whipped cream on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon.

Using that as a starting point, follow these tips to craft an Irish coffee thats perfect for your palate.

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Readers Tips And Suggestions

You dont have time to read all the comments? Here is a summary:

  • tried this recipe with Southern Comfort and Amaretto. Brenda with brandy, and it was awesome! Carol with Bourbon.
  • Melanies tip: if you dont have chocolate syrup, use 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder instead. I suggest whisking the cocoa powder with a tablespoon of cream until smooth.
  • Jo replaced the coffee and chocolate syrup with Kahlua.
  • Claudia bought beautiful Bormioli Rocco bottles on Amazon. Just search for glass bottles for liquor, there are so many options!
  • Lorry used Screwball whiskey + 1 extra tablespoon of chocolate syrup and omitted the coffee.
  • I love Kathys suggestion: make a cinnamon Baileys with Fireball Whiskey very Christmasy!
  • Rebecca added orange extract and extra chocolate. Amazing!
  • Chris made a pumpkin spice version adding half a teaspoon of pumpkin spice, and a half cup of pumpkin puree .
  • Wade made a dairy- free version. He used coconut milk to make sweetened condensed milk, and then used coconut milk instead of cream.
  • Arvind used Drambui instead of coffee and added some Cointreau and a spot more chocolate sauce.

If you make this easy recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. I always love hearing how it turns out for you! And dont forget to share a picture on with the hashtag #aseasyasapplepie

Baileys Irish Cream Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions

Heres what youll need to make this recipe:

  • Whiskey I used Jameson Irish whiskey, feel free to use your favorite brand. A lot of my readers used different liquors and loved it. Check Readers Tips and Suggestions down below for some ideas.
  • Heavy cream or half & half. Half cup of whole milk and half cup of heavy whipping cream will work as well. Dont use only milk or your drink wont be creamy enough.
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate syrup or chocolate topping .
  • Pure vanilla extract or another extract, like almond , peppermint, and orange. What about some cinnamon or pumpkin spices? 🙂
  • Instant coffee granules to kick up the coffee flavor, choose an instant espresso.

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Barley Is Like Our Grape

Jameson sources their barley from Southern Ireland, all within 50 or so miles or so from the Midleton site. They work with around 200 smaller farmers, and source the two-row spring barley from plots of land anywhere from 15 to 700 acres. These farmers plant the barley in mid March or early April, for a late summer harvest in August and September.

Jameson also uses a mix of malted and unmalted barley in their booze in a single pot still. It cant be called a single malt, because single malt is a term used to refer to liquids made using only malted barley. But it gets the distinction of single pot because its all made in a pot still under one roof in Midleton. ODonovan told us they prefer a mix of malted and unmalted barley because the green barley makes the whiskey a little spicy, a little grainy, and a little barley-er. Its a method theyve used for over 200 years, and theyre one of the few companies left on the planet that still does it.

On the other side of the barley is maize, a fancy word for corn. According to ODonovan, because Irelands cooler, grey skied climate cant support sun-hungry corn crops, the distillery has to get corn from Spains sun-rich Basque Country.

What Does Irish Whiskey Taste Like

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Irish whiskey tastes light and fruity, with a lightly floral scent and hints vanilla. Its the easiest to drink of all types of whiskey, making a great intro for drinkers new to whiskey. Aging it makes a more sophisticated flavor profile, with signature oak and caramel flavors.

How much alcohol is in Irish whiskey? Most Irish whiskey is 40% ABV , though some are bottled at up to 60% ABV.

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What Its Made Of

Irish whiskey must include maltedbarley and may include other unmalted cereal grains, resulting in four main types of whiskey.

MaltMalt Irish whiskey is made using 100% malted barley and distilled in potstills. Single malt whiskey comes from only one distillery.

Pot StillPot Still Irish whiskey is made from a mash of a minimum 30% malted and a minimum 30% unmalted barley, with up to 5% of other cereals added, and is distilled in pot stills. Single pot still whiskey comes from only one distillery.

GrainGrain Irish whiskey is made using no more than 30% malted barley in combination with other whole unmalted cerealsusually corn, wheat, or barleyand is distilled in columnstills. Single grain whiskey comes from only one distillery.

BlendedBlended Irish whiskey is a mixture of any two or more of the styles of malt, pot still, and grain whiskey.

An Industry In Decline

In addition to the introduction of blended whiskeys and the Irish distillers’ failure to account for its appeal to changing tastes, there were a number of additional issues which placed further pressure on the Irish distillers: the Irish War of Independence, the subsequent civil war, and trade war with Britain prohibition in the United States , which severely curtailed exports to Irish whiskey’s second-biggest market widespread counterfeiting of Irish whiskeys in America and Britain protectionist policies introduced by the Irish Free State government, which significantly capped whiskey exports in the hope of taxing domestic consumption and finally, over-expansion and mismanagement at several Irish distilleries. Together, these factors greatly hampered exports and forced many distilleries into economic difficulties and out of business, and by the early 20th century Scotland had surpassed Ireland to become the world’s largest whiskey producer.

Production reached a nadir at about 400,000500,000 cases per annum during the consolidation period, down from a peak of 12 million cases around 1900.

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How To Get The Best Taste Out Of Your Whiskey

Now for the fun part.

If youre new to whiskey, some experts recommend watering it downand thats not a bad thing. If youre not used to it, start with whiskey and ginger, says Mark Gillespie, host of the podcast WhiskyCast. Thats a few ounces of whiskey plus ginger ale or ginger beer, whichever you prefer. The flavors compliment each other, and this way you can get used to the taste of it, he says. He recommends any blended Irish whiskey, but adds that Jameson is most often used because its the best-selling Irish whiskey.

You could also ask for half whiskey, half water. If you order anything above 50 percent alcohol, this will dilute it down to about 20 percent alcohol, which is how whiskey evaluators nose and judge when blending, Gillespie explains. The water opens the whiskey up and releases flavors and aromas you wouldnt get otherwise. As your palate develops over time, start cutting back on how much water you add until you like it neat, or with a few drops of water.

If youre a balls-to-the-wall kind of guy and want to try your whiskey neat, blended is the way to go. Nothing about blended Irish whiskey is going to smack you, says Lew Bryson, author of Tasting Whiskey. You can sit down and relax with it and not shudder every time you take a sip. Credit the fact that most Irish whiskey is triple-distilled, which makes for a cleaner, purer taste, Gillespie explains.

How To Make Your Own Irish Cream

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Irish cream doesnt always have the best reputation among whisky drinkers, but thats somewhat undeserved. Sure, it hardly resembles actual whisky and is a key ingredient in frivolous cocktails like the Mudslide, but Irish creaminvented in a mere 45 minutes in 1973makes a delicious after-dinner drink, and is the perfect single-ingredient addition to coffee when you need more than just caffeine to pick you up. Irish cream adds a fantastic texture and ultimate creaminess to cocktails, says Georgina McKevitt, bartender at The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant in Los Angeles.

There are dozens of Irish cream brands out there, with Baileys being the most well-known. But many brands use a minimum of real whiskey, instead swapping in neutral grain spirit to make up most of the alcohol. So if youre looking for a guaranteed whiskey-forward Irish cream, consider making your own. The process is crazy simple, and any supermarket will carry the ingredients. All you have to do is measure and stir.

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What Is Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey is a style of whiskey that must be made in Ireland and meet certain criteria that is defined by law. It is customarily triple distilled in copper pot stills and bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume or slightly higher. The majority of Irish whiskey is blended, and other styles include single malt, single pot, and single grain.

Sprouting The Corn And Making The Mash

Sprouting kernel corn is a simple matter of getting it wet and allowing small sprouts to grow. Once the corn is sprouted, it’s ready to be made into a mash. A mash is a combination of warm water and grain. The enzymes in the mash break down the starch in the grain and produce sugar.

  • 1Start the sprouting process by soaking the corn with warm water. Place 10 lbs. of untreated kernel corn in a burlap sack and place that burlap sack in a larger bucket or container. Then, saturate the burlap sack with warm water. Make sure the corn is completely and evenly soaked.
  • Why sprout the corn for whiskey? In short, sprouting eliminates the need for added sugar in the mash, allowing you to get a more authentic whiskey. Also called “malting,” sprouting causes enzymes in the corn to convert starches to sugar.XResearch source Those sugars then become the building blocks of the alcohol in the whiskey.
  • 2Let the kernel corn sprout for 8 to 10 days. Keep the bag in a warm, dark environment, such as a well-insulated garage or basement. Make sure the corn remains damp for about a week and a half. During the sprouting phase, keep the temperature of the corn between 62° and 86° F .
  • 3Remove the sprouted ends from the corn. Wait for the sprouts to grow 1/4 in. long, and then rinse the corn in a bucket of clean water. While doing so, remove as many of the sprouted roots as possible by hand. Discard the sprouts. Reserve the corn.
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    Add Brown Sugar And/or Honey:

    Now I always insist on using brown sugar rather than white sugar. The more intense caramel flavors of brown sugar are prerequisite for my hot whiskeys.

    Add two teaspoons of brown sugar to the whiskey in the glass.

    A little honey is fine, especially if you are making your hot whiskey for medicinal purposes, but don’t over do it. Honey will mask the subtle flavors brown sugar brings to the drink.

    How Long Is Irish Whiskey Aged

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    Irish law dictates that all Irish whiskey must be aged for at least three years. Some distilleries barrel age their whiskeys beyond the minimum, so youll see Irish whiskey aged for a decade or two . In blended whiskey, an age statement indicates the youngest whiskey within that blend. Ireland also has its version of moonshine called potcheen , which is unaged but technically cant have Irish whiskey on the label.

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