Heading to Dublin with the good people of Jameson for the definitive Irish holiday rightfully makes you a bit nervous. It threatens to be too much of a good thing. Dublin, like New Orleans, has a powerful effect on the imbiberâ€™s imagination. You suddenly hear yourself saying, Yes Iâ€™ll have a Guinness at 11am, and it feels perfectly natural. It recalls a line from a novel by the great Irish writer John Banville. Two men walk into a pub before itâ€™s opened and one says innocently: â€œWe were passing by and to our surprise discovered we had a thirst.â€
By now, Jameson is so familiar that itâ€™s easy to forget it was founded in 1780. When you wonder why these companies endure, look no further than Ger Buckley, their master cooper whoâ€™s worked there for decades. Coopers, of course, build barrels and casks (the original Kennedysâ€”yes, those Kennedysâ€”who immigrated to America were coopers). We watched Ger demonstrate how to assemble one of the barrels that ages the whiskey. Itâ€™s a demanding process that Ger made look easy, like an expert fly caster, but of course you know itâ€™s not. The barrels are made of charred white oak from Kentucky, using the same essential technology the Romans invented two thousand years ago. Why change a good thing?
When you pull up a stool at The Long Hall, you know youâ€™re in the right place. There are no televisions, thereâ€™s no music. They take the direct approach to drinking, the way God intended. Itâ€™s the perfect place to enjoy the new Jameson Black Barrel, which is coming to a bar near you. Complex and refined, itâ€™s about as good an everyday whiskey as you can want.
But whiskey also plays well with others. Hereâ€™s a cocktail even an experienced trencherman wouldnâ€™t expect to work, but does. Whiskey, Chartreuse and red Vermouth. The Chartreuse provides a clean, botanical counterpoint to the whiskey. The olive, which seems entirely out of place, raises the umami stakes so high youâ€™ll almost laugh. Two should be enough. It might not surprise you that somewhere between Dublin and New York we forgot its name.
The Forgotten Name
1 part Jameson
1 part Chartreuse
1 part red Vermouth
Mix in a tumbler with ice and stir until extremely cold. â€¨Serve neat in a small martini glass.â€¨Garnish with an olive. â€”DC