Citizens Report American Irish Culture

Danahey on the Loose Mixing Memorial Day Weekend Drinks

The Modern God Son
The Modern God Son

The Memorial Day Weekend already is here, which means its time to pay tribute to those who served in the military and to celebrate the freedoms we have by doing fun things like heading to Gaelic Park for its Irish fest, barbecuing, and drinking.

I’d say swimming, too, but unless you’re a penguin or walrus that ain’t gonna happen with the weather expected in Chicago.

Back to the drinking. I usually stick to beer, and quite frequently Guinness. But with warm weather it’s good to switch it up a bit. It keeps the liver from getting bored.

That’s why a pitch I got from Amaretto Disaronno about summer cocktails using the almond-flavored Italian liquer seemed a godsend. And when I asked the guy who suggested the story for one with a little bit of Irish about it, he sent a recipe for something called a Modern God Son, which kept with the theme of this paragraph.

I had every intention of using a bottle of Amaretto to make the the MGS (not to be confused with MSG, which gives me a headache), so I brought it over to a buddy’s house to give it the college try.

Only thing is, I’ve been out of college for way too long. Also, part of why I drink beer is I am too lazy to actually take the time to make a cocktail. On top of that, the Modern God Son recipe called for making something called spiced simple syrup.

So I thought I’d convince my best fest-going, drinking and adventure-seeking buddy Tom to try to make the drink in return for keeping what might be left in the bottle.

Instead, he had ideas of his own. Planning his own crawfish boil for the holiday weekend, my pal had sent away for a box of packets of Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane mix.

Hurricane Mix

O’Brien, of course, is the bootlegger who started a bar that is one of New Orleans’ most popular tourist attractions, with part of the draw being the drink named after –  and which can leave you feeling like you’ve been through – a tropical storm.

According to the legend on the bar’s website, in the mid-1940s “there was short supply of liquor such as whiskey, bourbon and scotch. There was, however, access to rum coming up the river. Bar owners were forced to buy large quantities of rum, 50 cases or so, in order to purchase other liquor.”

So the bar came up with its famous rum-heavy cocktail, which is served in a glass shaped like a Hurricane lamp.

All of which is a long way of saying I was used as a pre-party test subject for the packets of passion fruit-like mix and how well it blended with the required booze.

In this less than noble experiment, though, there was only one rum available in the liquor cabinet instead of the two or three my mad mixologist buddy wanted to use. So he substituted orange flavored vodka, which I think he had leftover from some woman he used to hang out with or from when he watches he Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder PBS specials he has on DVR. One of those reasons.

The Amaretto came into play because a restaurant out this way in Hoffman Estates – the Stone Eagle – puts a splash of it into its Hurricanes.


With the aid of a couple neighbors who really don’t drink much, my friend and I finished up whatever it is he made with the O’Brien’s powder and the booze. And I am looking forward to trying my buddy’s variations on this theme this Saturday, replete with the aforementioned Amaretto and the rightful rums.

I did make it home okay from the first foray into the mix – I walked back to my place, and believe that no beads were worn or clothing removed in public per the imbibing. Or at least there weren’t any police reports filed.

Anyway, in case you want to drink something besides beer or wine this weekend, below are some cocktail recipes, including ones for the previously mentioned Modern God Son and the Hurricane.

To give you even more choices, I asked my friend Marty Duffy, who is a brand rep for Benedictine and who really knows his spirits, to provide some Irish-influenced potent potables.

“A while back, I asked a few of my old bartenders friends in Ireland to send me their own original cocktail creations using Benedictine. Here they are, along with a couple others,” Duffy wrote back in an email.

I like when friends have what I need to make my storytelling life that much easier.

If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and make any or all of the below.

Once your head clears, email me at to let me know how it went. Send pictures – especially if beads and stripping were involved.




1 ½ ounces Dewars 12yr


¼ ounce Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth

1 bar spoon of spiced simple*

2 dashes of Angostura bitters


In mixing glass add 2 dashes of Angostura, 1 bar spoon of spiced simple, Martini and Rossi Vermouth, DISARONNO, and Dewars 12yr.  Stir contents. Strain into a chilled rocks glass over large ice.  Garnish with both a lemon and an orange peel

 *Spiced Simple Syrup Recipe

Simmer 4 broken Cinnamon sticks along with 10 cloves in 2 cups of water (16oz). Let simmer and stir every once in a while for at least 15min. Remove from heat, then add 2 cups of sugar. Then strain.

Pat O’ Brien’s Hurricane Recipe:

Mix 4 oz. of Pat O’Brien’s Rum or any good dark rum with 4 oz. Pat O’Brien’s Hurricane Mix (4 oz. of what you have made with the powder and water)

Fill 26 oz. glass with crushed ice

Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry

A Blessed Irish Coffee



F  ¾  Black Bush® Irish Whiskey

F  1 table Spoon Brown Sugar

F  4 oz. Fresh Hot Coffee

F  Fresh Whipped Cream


Build in coffee glass.  Layer fresh cream over the top. (Courtesy of Alan Kavanagh, Bacardi Portfolio Ambassador, Dublin, Ireland)

Grape Expectations


F  1 ½ oz. Grapefruit vodka


F  1x barspoon Grand Mariner®

F  4x dash of Regan® Orange Bitters


Add all into mixing glass, stir well, and then strain into chilled cocktail or coupé glass. Garnish with a fat zest of grapefruit. (Courtesy of Alan Kavanagh, Bacardi Portfolio Ambassador, Dublin, Ireland)

The Normandynha


F  1 ½ oz. Fubá Cachaça


F  1/2 a lime, quartered


In a rocks glass, muddle lime, add ice,

Cachaça and BÉNÉDICTINE D.O.M.®, stir

and serve.  (Courtesy of Raphael Agapito, The Bar With No Name – Dublin, Ireland)

Velha Praça (A Brazilian Vieux Carre)  (M)



F  ½ oz. MARTINI® Rosso Vermouth

F  ½ oz. Fubá® Cachaça

F  ½ oz. Rittenhouse® Rye whiskey

F  dash Creole® bitters

F  dash Angostura® bitters


Stir with ice and strain into ice-filled old-fashioned glass.  (Courtesy of Raphael Agapito, The Bar With No Name – Dublin, Ireland)

Dublin Daisy


F  1 ½ oz. Powers 12yr® Irish whiskey


F  ¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice

F  ½ oz. Simple Syrup


Shake and serve in an old fashioned glass with crushed ice. Drizzle Bénédictine D.O.M. ® over the top. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon slice.  (Courtesy of Paul Lambert, SaBa, Dublin, Ireland)

Angel’s Lips   



F  1 oz. Baileys® Irish cream liqueur


Pour both ingredients into an old-fashioned glass half-filled with ice cubes. Stir, and serve. (Old standard)

Hotel d’Alsace

Named after the Parisian hotel where Oscar Wilde spent his final days.


F  2 oz Bushmills® Irish whiskey

F  ½ oz Cointreau®


F  sprig of fresh rosemary


Lightly muddle the rosemary with the Cointreau & Benedictine in mixing glass.  Fill with ice and add the Bushmills.  Stir 30x to chill.  Double strain over large cube of ice in highball glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.  (Courtesy of David Slape, PDT, New York)

Bobby O’Burns


F  1 ½ oz Black Bush® Irish Whiskey


F  ¾ oz. Carpano Antica®


Stir all over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with green cherry.

Note: According to Duffy, “Remember, the French are Celts, too!”

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