That day in March with which excessive drunkenness has become practically synonymous is fast approaching. But St. Patrick’s Day isn’t all green and Guinness. In fact, there’s another destination that celebrates with as much historic fervor as Ireland. The Caribbean island of Montserrat is as inextricably linked to March 17 as the Emerald Isle.
Here’s a quick history lesson before we get to the booze. Irish slaves comprised about 70 percent of Montserrat’s population during the 1600s. They led a failed uprising against their colonial captors on March 17, 1768, and St. Patrick’s Day has been a public holiday there ever since.
London-based Charles McCarthy, global cocktail consultant for Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, offers up an easy-drinking recipe just for St. Patrick’s Day. Fittingly, this cocktail is called the Montserrat. The drink is a twist on an Old Fashioned and is best made with Tullamore Dew Original Blend, McCarthy explained. The whiskey’s notes of spice, green apple, and vanilla pair well with the recipe’s Angostura bitters, sugar, and apple juice.
"People who like full-bodied, aromatic drinks will like this," McCarthy said, "But because of the apple, it has a smoother and more approachable taste."
McCarthy offers up a special tip for Montserrat preparation: put a napkin over the rocks glass and place a sugar cube atop it, then douse the sugar in bitters, which allows the cube to soak up the perfect amount of flavoring. "You can actually watch the sugar drinking the bitters," McCarthy says. Then, simply drop the sugar cube into the glass, break it up, and proceed with the recipe, as such.