Irish Wake Cocktail Recipe

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Irish Wake Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:40

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 Irish Wake cocktail is a popular drink in Irish-themed bars, especially around St. Patrick's Day. It's named after the traditional Irish wake, a gathering held before a funeral. The drink is known for its strong, potent mix of alcohol and its vibrant green color, which is symbolic of Ireland.

  • The Irish Wake was popularized in the United States by the McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Florida.
  • It's a favorite among those who enjoy strong, fruity cocktails.
  • The cocktail is typically served in a mason jar, adding to its rustic charm.

How Irish Wake Tastes?

The Irish Wake is a potent, sweet, and fruity cocktail. It has a strong citrus flavor from the orange and pineapple juices, balanced by the sweetness of the grenadine and the kick of the Irish whiskey. The taste is rounded off with a hint of mint.

Interesting facts about Irish Wake

  • The Irish Wake is traditionally served in a mason jar with a handle, which is meant to resemble an old-fashioned lantern.
  • The cocktail is often garnished with a slice of orange and a cherry, adding to its festive appearance.
  • Despite its sweet and fruity flavor, the Irish Wake is a strong cocktail due to the combination of Irish whiskey and rum.


Irish whiskey

Used for its smooth, often vanilla and caramel notes, Irish whiskey adds both warmth and a slight sweetness to the cocktail. 1.5 oz is just enough to be robust without overwhelming the other flavors. Take it out, and you've lost the Irish soul of the drink.

Mary Mitkina


Rum brings a sugarcane sweetness and often a hint of spice, which complements the whiskey. 1.5 oz balances the strength of the whiskey. Opting out will reduce complexity.

Alex Green

Orange juice

Providing tartness and a fruity punch, 4 oz of orange juice brings balance to the spirits. Less would tilt the drink too boozy; more would make it overly sweet.

Emma Rose

Pineapple juice

This gives tropical flair and sweetness; 4 oz ensures the drink's sunny personality. Too little and it fades into the background; too much and you're at a luau.

Mary Mitkina


Just 1 tsp adds color and a hint of sweetness. Without it, you'll lose that sunrise effect in your glass.

Alex Green

Mint sprigs

The garnish of 2 mint sprigs provides a fresh aroma and makes the drink visually inviting. Plus, who doesn't love a touch of green?

Emma Rose

Orange slice

Beyond adding aesthetics, the slice lends a subtle fragrance that you miss without it. It's the drink's smile!

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino cherry

It's the final touch of sweetness and an eye-catcher, tying the ingredients visually. It's like the cherry on top...literally!

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Irish Wake Drink

  1. Fill a mason jar with ice.
  2. Add the Irish whiskey and rum.
  3. Pour in the orange juice and pineapple juice.
  4. Add a teaspoon of grenadine.
  5. Stir well.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint, an orange slice, and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh orange and pineapple juice for the best flavor.
  • Add the grenadine last to create a beautiful layered effect in the glass.
  • Serve with a straw to mix the drink before drinking.

Perfect Pairings

Appetizers and Snacks

  • Charcuterie board: The richness of cheeses and cured meats pairs well with the whiskey and rum’s warmth.
  • Crispy calamari: The lightness of the calamari will complement the citrus notes of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled fish: The citrusy flavors in the Irish Wake provide a lovely accompaniment to seafood.
  • Smoked ribs: The smoky flavors of the meat echo the depth of the whiskey and rum.


  • Lemon tart: The tartness of the lemon can highlight the cocktail's bright citrus flavors.
  • Coconut-based dessert: Ties in with the tropical vibe given by the pineapple juice.

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What you could change in Irish Wake

  • You can substitute the Irish whiskey with bourbon or Scotch.
  • If you don't have grenadine, you can use a cherry syrup or a raspberry syrup.
  • You can replace the rum with vodka for a lighter cocktail.

Explore all drinks starting with I here

And of course - twists🍹

Irish Wake Noir

-Increase whiskey to 2 oz and switch to a dark spiced rum. -Swap grenadine for blackcurrant syrup, 1 tsp. -Garnish with a charred orange wheel.

The darker spirits and blackcurrant add depth and mystery, creating a cocktail with a little extra twilight in its soul. Perfect if you're looking to venture to the shadowy side of the Irish Wake.

Caribbean Wake

-Use coconut rum instead of regular rum. -Add 1/2 oz of cream of coconut. -Float 1/2 oz of blue curaçao on top before serving.

This version will transport you to the sandy shores of the Caribbean. It's creamier, and the blue curaçao gives a visual wave that will sweep drinkers off their feet.

Wake Up Call

-Infuse Irish whiskey with coffee beans for 24 hours before mixing. -Reduce juice content by 1 oz each, replace with 2 oz cold brew coffee. -Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of espresso powder.

For those who need an extra kick, this cocktail brings a caffeinated punch. It stays true to its roots but wakes you up faster than a sprint in the Dublin dawn.

In case you forgot basics how to make Irish Wake

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 Wake

How does the Irish Wake cocktail get its signature green colour?

The Irish Wake doesn't usually have a green colour from the ingredients listed in the recipe. Green colour could be added with a drop or two of green food colouring to enhance its appearance for occasions like St. Patrick's Day.

Can the Irish Wake cocktail be prepared in batches for a party?

Yes, the Irish Wake can be made in large batches. Just multiply each of the ingredients by the number of servings you plan to make.

What's the best time to enjoy an Irish Wake cocktail?

The Irish Wake can be enjoyed any time of the day. However, due to its strong alcohol content, it might be best suited to evening social events.

Can I use a different type of glass to serve the Irish Wake cocktail?

While a mason jar is the traditional serving glass for an Irish Wake, you can use any large glass. A tall, highball glass can also work.

What meals pair best with the Irish Wake cocktail?

The sweet and fruity flavour of the Irish Wake pairs well with spicy or robust meals. It complements grilled meats, seafood, or spicy Asian cuisine.

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