Zesty Irishman Cocktail

Whiskey sour
Getty Images/Jeff Kauck
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
173 Calories
2g Fat
15g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 12mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Protein 9g
Calcium 14mg 1%
*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.)

On the surface, the zesty Irishman is similar to a whiskey sour. It adds a few twists to that popular recipe and makes an excellent dinner cocktail with a sharp, invigorating taste.

This recipe was provided by Drambuie. If you are familiar with the rusty nail, you will be pleasantly surprised by how well the herbal honey liqueur pairs with scotch's Irish counterpart. In true sour fashion, the duo is accented with citrus—in this case, triple sec and lemon juice. Finishing it off with a splash of ginger ale brings all those flavors together while adding just a hint of sparkle.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the whiskey, Drambuie, triple sec, and lemon juice.

  3. Shake until the tin is frosted.

  4. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice.

  5. Add a splash of ginger ale and garnish with a lemon twist. Serve and enjoy.


  • Try this cocktail with various Irish whiskeys. Each one you pour will have a slightly different flavor profile and the recipe is an excellent way to test out any new-to-you bottles.
  • To maintain quality, pour a top-shelf triple sec.
  • As with any sour drink, fresh lemon juice is highly recommended. The juice of half a lemon should be perfect for one drink. Save time by squeezing it directly into the shaker.
  • Cut the lemon twist before juicing the fruit to maximize its usage. Typically, you can get two long twists out of one lemon. Store any extra peels in ice-cold water to maintain the curl.

Recipe Variations

  • This drink can also be served up in a cocktail glass. Whenever you pass on the ice, though, be sure your glass is chilled to maintain a cold drink from start to finish.
  • Skip the soda if you prefer or switch to a drier option than ginger ale like club soda or tonic water.
  • Use this recipe for other styles of whiskey as well. Bourbon, rye whiskey, other blended whiskeys, even scotch can all work out nicely in this mix.

How Strong Is a Zesty Irishman?

The zesty Irishman is not what you would consider a light drink. That's partially due to the fact that Drambuie is just as strong as the average Irish whiskey (80 proof). With that base, the drink's alcohol content is 23 percent ABV (46 proof). It's typical of sour drinks and a little over half the strength of drinking the whiskey straight.