Friday, February 26, 2016

Irish Shillelagh

Is there any other kind of Shillelagh? Pronounced shey-ley-ley, the Irish walking stick comes from the County Wicklow forest by the same name. It's a fire-hardened blackthorn stick that could really do a lot of harm, and in a culture where the repressive English colonizers banned weapons, a trusty resource.

Note on the shillelagh: There's supposedly an Irish martial art called Shillelaghal which consists of a single attack--The belt in the gab.

This drink is also trusty and strong. Glendalough makes for a vanilla-rich whiskey base and light rum and sloe gin transform a peach puree and lemon juice cocktail into a tropical treat. Sloe gin gives it the fabulous color of orange-red.

Note on sloe gin: Sloe gin is gin mixed with a liquor made from the sloe berry, a relative of the plum. It's not particularly strong, but it has a really unusual gin/fruit flavor. You can see that I broke down and bought Mr. Boston's sloe gin because there are no other options in Virginia and I didnt't want to waste time before St. Patrick's Day. This particular (cheap) sloe gin tastes remarkably like the red colored Icee drink you got at the zoo or amusement park. It is an unidentifiable berry flavor with a bit of tingle that might actually be juniper.

Here's how to make the drink:

  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey (Glendalough Double Barrel used)
  • 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1/2 oz. sloe gin (Mr. Boston used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup diced peaches
  • raspberries
Combine all ingredients except raspberries in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Garnish with raspberries on a toothpick.

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