I know, I know... tomorrow green beers and Irish car bombs will be all the rage for St. Patrick's, but instead of a drink that's (artificially) green to the point of frightening or one that's as crazy un-PC as hell, why not celebrate it with a little class? You can go easy-but-chic (and brunch friendly) with a Guinness Black Velvet, or in my case, the Irish-Italian-American . . . a Manhattan twist utilizing ingredients from the three distinct-yet-intertwined cultures and traditions.
Of course, since it *is* St. Paddy's -- feel free to have a little fun and name this drink after your favorite Irish-Italian-American (here's the few I recalled & tweeted from the top of my head)
2 oz Irish Whiskey (Jameson or Bushmills would be fine, but I opted for John L. Sullivan since I found out that it's aged in Bourbon barrels, whimsically taking the Irish-American theme another level... and the bottle looked pretty awesome too!)
1 oz Italian Vermouth (Punt E Mes for me, since it's a nice balance of sweet & bitter with a real nice herbacious depth)
1 ripe strawberry (A Luxardo or brandied cherry would work fine too if you want to keep it classic, but I loved how the sweet scent of the strawberry eases out the spicy edge of this drink... and gives you something light & refreshing to nibble on afterwards)
1. Chill the cocktail glass, preferably with ice water.
2. Combine the whiskey and vermouth in a mixing glass, add a few ice cubes (the larger the better to minimize dilution) and stir gently for about 10 seconds
3. Strain into cocktail glass and add 2 dashes of bitters
4. Garnish with strawberry and enjoy!