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Here’s what you need to know about Irish whiskey and the top brand, Jameson! Its mellow flavor makes it easy to sip straight or in drinks.

Irish whiskey
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For a type of alcohol that was almost extinct in the 1960’s, Irish whiskey is a survival success story. It used to be the most popular in the world, and since the 1990’s it’s had a major comeback. Today, it’s more than alive and well! This style of whiskey is mellow, light and fruity, making it perfect for whiskey newbies and great for melding into cocktails. Jameson is the top selling brand, and you can buy it all over the world. Here’s more about this powerhouse liquor.

What is Irish whiskey? Jameson whiskey?

Irish whiskey is a type of whiskey made in Ireland. It has a light, mellow flavor compared to other types of whiskey, like bourbon, rye, or Scotch. Irish whiskey was once the most popular spirit in the world, but it went into decline starting in the 1900’s. It came back in the 1990’s and has been on the rise ever since. There are four major types of Irish whiskey:

  • Irish single malt
  • Single pot still
  • Single grain Irish
  • Blended Irish

Jameson whiskey is the best selling brand of Irish whiskey in the world, with sales around 31 million bottles annually. This blended whiskey was introduced in 1780 in Dublin by a man named John Jameson. It’s made from a blend of single grain and single pot still whiskey. There’s no peat incorporated in the manufacturing process, so the whiskey has no smoky or spicy notes like a Scotch whisky.

There are many more brands in each of the four categories above. Some popular Irish whiskey brands are The Dead Rabbit, Teeling, Bushmills, Redbreast, Green Spot, Tullamore, and Powers.

What does Irish whiskey taste like?

Irish whiskey tastes light and fruity, with a lightly floral scent and hints vanilla. It’s the easiest to drink of all types of whiskey, making a great intro for drinkers new to whiskey. Aging it makes a more sophisticated flavor profile, with signature oak and caramel flavors.

How much alcohol is in Irish whiskey? Most Irish whiskey is 40% ABV (alcohol by volume), though some are bottled at up to 60% ABV.

Why we like it

Irish whiskey is so mellow, it’s like bourbon or rye’s easy drinking cousin. We love the way that it seamlessly melds into the flavors in an Irish Sour. And there’s nothing like combining with with coffee in the famous Irish Coffee.

How much does it cost?

Compared to other liquors, Irish whiskey can range in price from mid-priced to expensive. A 750 ml bottle of Jameson costs about $20. Mid-priced brands cost $30 to $40, and high-end aged whiskey tops out at $250 per bottle or more.

This type technically works in any whiskey cocktail. But it’s at its best in Irish whiskey cocktails specifically tailored to the mellow flavor of Jameson. Here are a few of the most iconic drinks starring this liquor:

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Jameson whiskey sour

Irish Sour

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This Jameson whiskey sour makes a deliciously smooth drink! Irish whiskey gives a balanced flavor to this classic cocktail.


  • 2 ounces* Jameson Irish whiskey (or use 2 ½ ounces for a stronger flavor)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup (or pure maple syrup)
  • Garnish: Lemon wedge, cocktail cherry
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice)


  1. Add the Jameson whiskey, lemon juice, and syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until very cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a lowball or Old Fashioned glass. Serve with ice, a lemon wedge and a cocktail cherry.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More cocktail guides

Need more liquor guides? We’ve got them! Here’s all you need to know about home bartending:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!