Leprechaun Cocktail

Leprechaun Cocktail Recipe - Irish Whiskey and Tonic
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
200 Calories
0g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktail (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 20mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The leprechaun cocktail is, essentially, Irish whiskey and tonic water. It's incredibly simple and the taste is just as refreshing as its more famous counterpart, the gin and tonic.

If you're looking for a sophisticated, easy-sipping drink for St. Patrick's Day, this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, though it is nice any day of the year. The drier profile of tonic is a delicate complement to the smooth blends of Irish whiskey. That also makes this mixed drink a great dinner companion, pairing perfectly with all the traditional Irish foods.

Do not confuse this Irish whiskey cocktail with two other "leprechaun" beverages, the Lucky Leprechaun and Tropical Leprechaun. There is no Irish whiskey in either of them, and those rum-based drinks get their green color from the melon liqueur and pineapple juice. The tropical version includes blue curaçao.  

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 6​ ounces tonic water (or enough to fill the glass)
  • Garnish: lemon twist

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the Irish whiskey into a highball glass filled with ice.

  3. Top with tonic water.

  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

  5. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Though it's a simple mixed drink, you can improve the leprechaun by choosing high-end ingredients. Begin by choosing a premium tonic water like Q Tonic or Fever-Tree, both of which are designed specifically for use in mixed drinks like this.
  • For the Irish whiskey, you can go with standard favorites like Bushmills, Jameson, or Kilbeggan. It's also an excellent use for top-shelf whiskeys you might otherwise not use for mixing. Tipperary Watershed and Teeling Small Batch are two that are highly recommended for this recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • If you want to add a touch of green for St. Patrick's Day, switch from a lemon twist to a lime wedge garnish.
  • Bring a little more dimension to the leprechaun by adding Drambuie, triple sec, and lemon juice as seen in the zesty Irishman. Tonic water is a great alternative to ginger ale in that recipe.
  • For a slightly sweeter Irish whiskey highball, try the whiskey ginger. That recipe pairs the whiskey with ginger ale.
  • You can also opt for ginger beer and create the snappy Irish ale.
  • Other styles of whiskey can be nice with tonic water as well. Try it with smooth Canadian whisky blends or bourbons like Maker's Mark and Bulleit. Tonic can also be interesting with scotch, but you'll likely want to keep the soda pour short at just an ounce or two.

How Strong Is a Leprechaun?

As with most whiskey highballs, the leprechaun is a relatively gentle drink, which is why it's great for happy hour. If you make it with 80-proof Irish whiskey and pour the full 6 ounces, it has an alcohol content of just 9 percent ABV (18 proof), making it lighter than a glass of wine.