Irish Blonde Cocktail Recipe

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Irish Blonde 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 16, 2024


The Irish Blonde is a cocktail that exudes elegance and complexity. It's a relatively modern concoction that has gained popularity among whiskey enthusiasts who appreciate a nuanced and sophisticated drink. The cocktail is often associated with the smoothness of Irish whiskey and the zest of orange flavors, making it a favorite for those who enjoy a citrusy twist on their spirits.

  • The Irish Blonde is believed to have originated in the early 21st century, as bartenders began experimenting with new ways to showcase the versatility of Irish whiskey.
  • It's a drink that's often enjoyed by those who have a penchant for whiskey-based cocktails but are looking for something lighter and with a unique flavor profile.
  • The flamed orange peel garnish not only adds to the visual appeal but also imparts a subtle smokiness that complements the whiskey beautifully.

How Irish Blonde Tastes?

The Irish Blonde offers a harmonious blend of sweet, citrusy, and nutty flavors with a smooth whiskey base. The orange curaçao provides a sweet and tangy citrus note, while the fino sherry adds a delicate nutty dryness. The orange bitters give a spicy complexity, and the flamed orange peel garnish introduces a hint of caramelized zest. Overall, it's a well-balanced, medium-bodied cocktail with a sophisticated edge.

Interesting facts about Irish Blonde

  • The Irish Blonde is not a traditional Irish cocktail but rather a modern creation that highlights the versatility of Irish whiskey.
  • The flamed orange peel garnish is not just for show; it's an essential element that adds a smoky aroma and a touch of theatrics to the presentation.
  • While the cocktail is named 'Blonde,' it actually has a rich golden hue, reminiscent of the color of Irish whiskey itself.


  • Irish whiskey: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Orange curaçao: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Fino sherry: 0.25 oz(8ml)
  • Orange bitters: 1dash
  • Flamed orange peel: 1garnish

Irish Whiskey

  • Why 2 oz?: This amount provides a strong but balanced whiskey base. If you use less, the cocktail may be too subtle; use more, and it could overwhelm the other flavors.
  • The role: It's the backbone of the drink, offering warmth and depth.
  • Without it: You'd lose the 'Irish' in the Irish Blonde - akin to having a dance without music!
  • Alternatives: American bourbon could substitute for a sweeter, more vanilla-driven profile.

Alex Green

Orange Curaçao

  • Why 3/4 oz?: It gives just the right hint of sweet citrus without overtaking the whiskey.
  • The role: Adds complexity and a hint of sweetness, bridging the whiskey and the fino sherry.
  • Without it: The drink would miss that fresh citrus pop - imagine a sunset without the sun!
  • Alternatives: Triple Sec or Cointreau could be used, but expect a lighter orange flavor.

Mary Mitkina

Fino Sherry

  • Why 1/4 oz?: Any more and you risk turning the cocktail into a sherry showcase. We're looking for a whisper, not a shout.
  • The role: It introduces a dry, nutty complexity that plays well with the whiskey.
  • Without it: The cocktail might feel one-dimensional, like a play without a supporting actor.
  • Alternatives: A dry vermouth could step in but would change the flavor landscape to a more herbal territory.

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

  • Why 1 dash?: A dash is like a pinch of salt - a small amount that brings out the best in other ingredients.
  • The role: Enhances the cocktail's citrus notes and adds a subtle spicy depth.
  • Without it: The drink would be like a song missing its rhythm - still good but not quite complete.
  • Alternatives: Angostura bitters could replace it, providing a different spice profile.

Alex Green

Flamed Orange Peel

  • Why garnish?: It's not just for looks - the oils released add an aromatic finish.
  • The role: Adds a visual flair and a burst of fragrance with each sip.
  • Without it: The cocktail might seem plain - it's the difference between a suit with and without a tie.
  • Alternatives: A simple orange twist would work, but the flaming spectacle would be missed.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Irish Blonde Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the Irish whiskey, orange curaçao, fino sherry, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture until well-chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.

Pro Tips

  • When flaming the orange peel, make sure to warm it slightly first to release the essential oils, then squeeze it over the flame and into the drink to capture the full essence.
  • Stirring the cocktail with ice is crucial for proper dilution and chilling; do not rush this step.
  • Use a high-quality, smooth Irish whiskey as it is the backbone of this cocktail.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Cheese boards: A selection of mild, creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert can complement the whiskey's warm notes and the citrusy accents of the cocktail.
  • Seafood tapas: Light seafood dishes, especially those with a citrus or sherry component, can enhance the fino sherry and orange curaçao in the cocktail.
  • Chocolate desserts: Dark chocolate or chocolate-orange desserts can pair beautifully, matching the sweetness of the curaçao with the bitterness in both the chocolate and the bitters.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling water: A refreshing palate cleanser that can help to reset the taste buds between sips of the cocktail.
  • Irish coffee: For a full whiskey-themed experience, enjoy an Irish coffee as a warm, soothing counterpart to the chilled Irish Blonde.

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What you could change in Irish Blonde

  • Irish Whiskey: If Michael Collins is not available, Jameson or Bushmills can be used as a substitute.
  • Orange Curaçao: Triple sec or Cointreau can be used if orange curaçao is not on hand.
  • Fino Sherry: A dry vermouth could be used as an alternative, though it will slightly alter the flavor profile.

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And of course - twists🍹

A Smoky Blonde

  • Ingredients: Replace Irish whiskey with peated Irish whiskey for a smoky version.
  • Replace the flamed orange peel with a sprig of charred rosemary.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, using the smoky whiskey and rosemary garnish.
  • Flavor Change: Introduces a smoky elegance, enhancing the depth of the cocktail.
  • Why Make It?: For a dramatic, peat-lover's spin on the classic.

The Nutty Irishwoman

  • Ingredients: Add a 1/2 oz of hazelnut liqueur.
  • Omit the sherry.
  • Recipe: Add the hazelnut liqueur to the mix, stirring well before straining.
  • Flavor Change: Brings a nutty sweetness that complements the orange curaçao.
  • Why Make It?: To indulge in a dessert-like treat that retains a whiskey kick.

The Bitter Irishman

  • Ingredients: Increase the orange bitters to 2 dashes.
  • Add 1/4 oz of Campari.
  • Recipe: Incorporate the additional bitters and Campari in the stirring process before straining.
  • Flavor Change: A bittersweet twist with a slightly herbal backbone.
  • Why Make It?: For those who enjoy a more complex, bitter edge to their cocktail.

In case you forgot basics how to make Irish Blonde

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

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Irish Blonde

How do I properly flame an orange peel?

Hold a piece of orange peel about the size of a large coin between your fingers, and warm it with a lighter. Then, hold it over the drink and quickly squeeze the peel to release the oils, passing them through the flame and onto the surface of the cocktail.

What kind of glass is best for serving the Irish Blonde?

A chilled cocktail glass, also known as a martini glass, is ideal for serving the Irish Blonde as it showcases the color and allows the aroma to reach your nose as you sip.


Ice is essential for chilling, diluting, and integrating the flavors of the ingredients in the cocktail. The process of stirring with ice helps achieve the right balance and texture.

Can Irish Blonde be considered a good summer cocktail?

Yes, its citrusy and refreshing notes make the Irish Blonde an excellent choice for a summer cocktail, particularly for those who enjoy whiskey-based drinks.

Is the Irish Blonde cocktail suitable for vegan drinkers?

Yes, the Irish Blonde is suitable for vegans as it contains no animal products. However, always check the specific brands of spirits used to ensure they meet vegan standards.

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