Emerald Isle Cocktail Recipe

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Emerald Isle Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Emerald Isle cocktail is a classic gin-based drink that dates back to the early 20th century. It is said to have been created in honor of the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. The cocktail is known for its vibrant green color, which is reminiscent of the lush landscapes of Ireland.

  • The Emerald Isle was popular during the Prohibition era in the United States
  • It is often enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day, as well as at Irish-themed events and gatherings
  • The cocktail has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, as more people discover the unique flavors and history behind the drink

How Emerald Isle Tastes?

The Emerald Isle cocktail is a refreshing and well-balanced drink with a slightly sweet, herbal, and citrusy flavor profile. The gin provides a strong, juniper-forward base, while the green crème de menthe adds a cooling, minty sweetness. The bitters and lemon juice bring a touch of bitterness and acidity to round out the taste.

Interesting facts about Emerald Isle

  • The green color of the Emerald Isle cocktail is derived from the green crème de menthe, a mint-flavored liqueur
  • The name 'Emerald Isle' is a poetic nickname for Ireland, referring to its lush green landscapes
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a lemon twist or a sprig of fresh mint, adding an extra layer of aroma and visual appeal


A few good options for Emerald Isle are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The backbone of our Emerald Isle, gin brings a complex botanical profile that adds depth. 2 oz is ideal to make sure it's present but not overpowering. Without it, you'd essentially have a minty lemonade — definitely not a cocktail.

Alex Green

Green Crème de Menthe

0.5 oz provides a sweet minty note and that lush green color. It's quite potent, so more could make the drink too sweet. Without it, you'd miss the 'Emerald' in 'Emerald Isle'.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

Just 2 dashes give a subtle spice complexity that counterbalances the sweetness and adds a layer of flavor. Skip these and the cocktail could become one-dimensional.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

The 0.5 oz adds a necessary acidic component, brightening the cocktail and keeping it balanced. Too much could overshadow the other flavors; too little might leave it cloying.

Alex Green


Helps chill the ingredients as you shake, ensuring a crisp, refreshing cocktail experience. No ice means a warm drink, which is a no-go for the Emerald Isle.

Emma Rose

Lemon Twist

Adds an aromatic citrus zing to the nose before you even take a sip; aesthetics meet functionality. It’s like a cocktail's first impression — a handshake from the glass.

Mary Mitkina

Mint Sprig

The garnish is more than a pretty face; it adds a fresh scent with each sip, enhancing the overall minty profile. It’s the cap on the toothpaste — not absolutely necessary, but good luck trying to freshen up without it!

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Emerald Isle Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the gin, green crème de menthe, Angostura bitters, and lemon juice
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist and a sprig of fresh mint

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for a brighter, more vibrant flavor
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool longer
  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well combined

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: The minerality of oysters complements the botanicals in gin.
  • Smoked Salmon: The smoky flavors pair nicely with the herbal notes.
  • Cheese Plate: Opt for milder cheeses like goat cheese to not overpower the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Chicken: A simple, herbed chicken dish would go well with the cocktail's fresh flavors.
  • Pasta with Pesto: Pesto's freshness mirrors that of the mint in the cocktail.
  • Vegetable Stir-Fry: The cocktail's crispness can cut through the richness of the stir-fry.


  • Lemon Sorbet: Echoes the lemon note in the cocktail.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: A playful pairing with the crème de menthe.
  • Fruit Salad: A light and fresh end to complete the meal.

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What you could change in Emerald Isle

  • Gin: Can be substituted with vodka for a less juniper-forward flavor
  • Green Crème de Menthe: Peppermint schnapps or mint syrup can be used as a substitute
  • Angostura Bitters: Other types of bitters can be used, or it can be omitted altogether

Explore all drinks starting with E here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Emerald Isle

  • Replace lemon juice with lime juice
  • Add a few slices of cucumber Recipe: Muddle cucumber in the shaker before adding the other ingredients. Follow the original recipe from there. It'll bring a refreshing spa-like twist with a cool cucumber note.

Spicy Isle

  • Add a slice of jalapeño Recipe: Muddle the jalapeño slice in the shaker, then add the rest and shake. Provides an unexpected kick that plays well with the mint's coolness, energizing your taste buds.

Emerald Martini

  • Omit crème de menthe and lemon juice
  • Add dry vermouth Recipe: Stir the gin and vermouth with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive. This twist turns the cocktail into a martini with a botanical bite, excellent for those who like it classic but with an edge.

In case you forgot basics how to make Emerald Isle

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Emerald Isle

What type of gin is the best for this cocktail?

A classic London Dry Gin works well with the Emerald Isle cocktail. It adds a traditional juniper flavor that balances out the sweetness from the crème de menthe.

Can I enjoy Emerald Isle cocktail if I don’t like mint flavor?

While the crème de menthe does add a minty flavor, it's not overpowering. If you're not a fan of mint, try using less crème de menthe, or substitute it with a non-mint flavored liqueur that has a green color.

Why is the drink particularly popular during St. Patrick’s Day?

Since the drink has a vibrant green color and originated in Ireland, it is often associated with St. Patrick's Day, a holiday that celebrates Irish culture.

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