Wild-Eyed Rose

Dave Stolte

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Wild-Eyed Rose

Wild-Eyed Rose

As Jerry Thomas captured a moment in time with his 1862 book "How to Mix Drinks (or The Bon Vivant's Companion)," so did Hugo Ensslin with his "Recipes for Mixed Drinks" published in 1917 – the last cocktail guide available before Prohibition. Think of them as bookends when taken together. Ensslin was head bartender at the Wallick Hotel in New York City (since demolished, now the site of NASDAQ MarketSite). There, he created countless classics including his most famous, the Aviation. His book featured the products that were new and trendy at the time: Bacardi rum, grenadine, Cointreau, applejack... one has to wonder how much more the American craft of the cocktail would have flourished if it weren't for Prohibition!

This drink's name is a goof on Chauncey Olcott's 1913 hit "My Wild Irish Rose" (he's the same guy who co-wrote "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling") and uses Irish whiskey as its base spirit. Ireland was the first country to make whiskey, possibly as early as the 1100s – that's a long time to get it right. The famously smooth Irish whiskey was big-time popular in the US around the turn of the 20th century – to keep up with demand, there were hundreds of distilleries and over 400 brands produced in Ireland. Then came Prohibition, two World Wars, the Irish Civil War, and the Great Depression... leaving Ireland with only two operating distilleries. Today, in a growing resurgence, there are still just eighteen.

Fine with Jameson or Tullamore D.E.W., or splurge a little and try this one with Redbreast 12 – a pot-still Irish whiskey reminiscent of the style popular when Ensslin Shake well to blend and chill, then strain into a chilled couple. Garnish with a lime and cherry flag.wrote his book. And, of course, ridiculously-easy, no-excuse-not-to, homemade grenadine. Sláinte!


2 oz Irish whiskey
¾ oz Lime Juice
¾ oz Grenadine


Shake well to blend and chill, then strain into a chilled couple. Garnish with a lime and cherry flag.

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