In the middle of the small village of Tivoli lies a tavern straight out of West Cork. Since 2012, Ireland native Gerard Hurley has been running Traghaven Whiskey Pub & Co. Here’s a peek at what it’s all about, and why we think it’s a perfect place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
My family’s been involved in the pub and whiskey business—both legally and illegally—for over a century. My grandmother was distilling near Boston during Prohibition, and when she and my grandfather moved back to Ireland, they opened a couple of pubs there. When I moved here from West Cork, I wanted to open a pub that felt like home. Today Traghaven has one of the largest selections of Irish whiskey in the United States.
It’s typically made with unmalted or malted barley, rather than corn or rye. And Irish whiskeys are distilled three times, while scotches and bourbons are only distilled twice. A common technique is the three-cask process, where the whiskey ages in oak barrels that were previously used for American bourbon or European wine. You can also get Irish whiskey that is “peated,” meaning the barley is smoked by burning peat bricks in the pre-distilling process, giving the product a deep, smoky flavor.
When people visit the pub, I ask them what their preferred flavor profile is—such as fruity, woody, light and sweet, or heavy. A lot of different flavors are woven into the whiskey during the three-cask process depending on what kind of barrels are used. Price is another factor; I have whiskeys that range from $9 up to $100 per glass.
Irish whiskey tastes great in classic whiskey-based drinks like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. We also have our own cocktails at the pub like the Gingeroo (see right for Traghaven’s recipe), which is a crowd favorite, as well as our take on classic Irish coffee.
Gerard Hurley—owner of Traghaven Whiskey Pub in Tivoli—uses ginger beer instead of ginger ale and adds candied ginger for an extra kick in his elevated whiskey ginger.
Yields 1 serving
2 oz. Irish whiskey (Hurley recommends 2 Gingers brand)
1 tsp chopped fresh gingerroot
5 oz. ginger beer
Crystallized ginger and lemon wedge, for garnish
In a rocks glass with ice, add Irish whiskey and chopped ginger. Stir. Top off with ginger beer. Garnish with crystallized ginger and a lemon wedge.
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