The Best Irish Spirits for Baking
From extra stout beer to premium Irish whiskey and rich Irish cream liqueur, the Emerald Isle is home to some of the most premium alcohol products in the world. Let’s talk about how Irish spirits can elevate your baking!
These Irish spirits are crafted and bottled in Ireland with locally sourced ingredients for the purest premium flavor. You can visit these distilleries and order the product straight to your home.
FERCULLEN PREMIUM BLEND IRISH WHISKEY FROM POWERSCOURT DISTILLERY
Created at the Powerscourt Distillery at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland’s Ancient East, Fercullen Premium Blend Irish Whiskey represents a blend of carefully selected casks of aged malt and grain whiskeys. Opened in 2018, this fairly new distillery sits on the vast grounds of Powerscourt Estate & Gardens, one of Ireland’s top attractions, which draws visitors from around the world. The whiskey’s name, Fercullen, is said to be inspired by the ancient territorial name given to the lands on which the estate is located. Surrounded by mountains in the wild Wicklow countryside, the area’s temperate coastline climate and readily available pure spring waters make for the perfect environment for distilling Irish whiskey. The whiskey is made with Powerscourt mineral water and three custom-designed copper pot stills. Once the malt and grain whiskeys are blended, they are left to age in seasoned oak barrels, resulting in a well-rounded smoothness and unique depth of flavor. As the whiskey is mellowed by time in the soft Irish climate, rich tones of citrus, spice, almonds, and vanilla emerge from the grain, malt, and toasted oak. Whiskey available at powerscourtdistillery.com.
See this whiskey in action in our Chocolate-Cherry Browned Butter Sandwich Cookies with Whiskey Buttercream in our Authentic Ireland July/August 2020 issue.
MINKE GIN FROM CLONAKILTY DISTILLERY
On the southern tip of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way in County Cork, Clonakilty Distillery draws inspiration from the area’s marine environment when creating their delicious Irish gin distilled with the rock samphire plant and wild botanicals. For eight successive generations, this maritime distillery’s founders, the Scully family, have farmed the same land located 200 feet above sea level jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean on Dunowen Head. The Clonakilty Distillery team uses the land to grow the barley for their whiskey and hand-harvests rock samphire and the unique botanicals that grow on the sea cliffs along the shoreline. It’s these natural ingredients that give this gin, named for the majestic Minke whale that swims the area, its distinct flavor. The base spirit used to make Minke Gin is derived from whey alcohol, distilled from the milk from the herd of cows raised on the pastures of the family farm. The whey imparts a smooth, velvety feel to this crisp gin with a fresh, fruity, zesty, slightly salty finish. It heightens the zest of any fruit-based baked good. Visit the distillery in the town of Clonakilty to learn how to make your own gin at the Minke Gin School, and experience their renowned Irish whiskey, too. Gin available at clonakiltydistillery.ie.
Try this gin in our Gin-Lemon Tart with Strawberries in our July/August 2020 issue.
GUINNESS EXTRA STOUT
You’re probably familiar with Guinness, Ireland’s most iconic beer, enjoyed all over the world every day. In 1759, Arthur Guinness took out a 9,000-year lease on a Dublin brewery at St. James’s Gate and developed a black beer with poignantly colorful flavor. A full-bodied beer with a rich cream head from the dark-roasted barley, Guinness’s famous extra stout beer has a distinctively bold taste and is still brewed at the original Dublin location, which is now the Guinness Storehouse. We like baking with Guinness Extra Stout because it has twice the amount of hops compared to most beers, which means double the flavor, and it pairs beautifully with chocolate. Next time you’re in Dublin, immerse yourself in the Guinness experience at the storehouse. Ireland’s number one attraction offers seven floors of fun. Available in most stores and at guinness.com.
Looking for a fun way to use Guinness in your baking? Try the Guinness Brownies in our July/August 2020 issue.
FIVE FARMS IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR
We discovered Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur when we were in Ireland working on this issue and couldn’t get enough of this true farm-to-table, single-batch Irish cream liqueur. The insanely delicious product is created from an artful blend of triple-distilled Irish whiskey and fresh dairy cream produced exclusively by five family-owned farms in the picturesque countryside of West Cork on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. With mild weather, lots of rainfall, and fertile soil, County Cork, the largest and southernmost county in Ireland is an ideal landscape for dairy farms and their cows, producing some of the finest, richest cream in the world. The cream is combined with premium Irish whiskey within 48 hours of collection, which qualifies it as an authentic Irish cream liqueur. Turn to page 10 1 for an even deeper look into the story behind Five Farms and the key to their process. Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur elevates the texture of and lends a subtle enticing blend of vanilla bean, butterscotch, coffee, caramel, and maple flavor to your baked goods. Available in select stores and online at fivefarmsirishcream.com.