We just got back from five days in Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, our favorite Jersey Shore destination. We started coming here to get tattooed when our friend Chris opened up his great tattoo shop, Old Glory, in downtown Asbury five years ago. We keep going to hang with him and his wife, but also because it’s an easy trip from the city, and a super relaxing beach vacation spot for folks with our interests: Ocean Grove looks like Stars Hollow, there’s a BYOB pinball museum, and shopping/bar-hopping in downtown Asbury. This great liquor store is the only place where we’ve seen Hell-Cat Maggie Irish whiskey blend, a $20-ish bottle of great mixing whiskey. Like all decent Irish whiskey, it’s a little sweet. Alone, it can be both cloying and a bit harsh, but it’s great mixed. On vacation, it went nicely with ginger ale on the beach.
Now that we’re home, we wanted to try this Rory O’More from our old pal’s guide. The Rory O’More is basically an Old-Fashioned with Irish whiskey.
Here’s the recipe as written:
- 3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 1 1/2 oz. Irish Whiskey
- 1 Dash Orange Bitters
Stir well with cracked ice and strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass.
Notes on prep: In addition to the Hell-Cat Maggie, we used Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth and Angostura Irish bitters. I served this with cubed ice because it’s super strong.
Liz’s Take: This cocktail makes me a little less bummed to be home from vacation. It’s more sophisticated than my beach drinking, which mostly consisted of random rose, happy hour beer specials on the boardwalk, and the occasional whiskey ginger. But it’s not overly complex for a first jump back into cocktail world. It’s sweet– it could almost veer on being caramel-y with the Martini & Rossi vermouth– but it’s too liquor-forward to be a college kid drink. It’s complex enough to warrant slow sipping. We’ve tried a lot of Irish whiskeys, and they’re all quite good. They’re different enough, though, that I’d be interested to try this with a few different varieties. This is worth repeating and experimenting with.
Chris’s Take: Forget everything Liz said about Asbury Park (with the exception of the excellent work done at Old Glory). That place is full up. Best move on down the shore, and take the fist-bumping with you. If you do decide to spend some time in Asbury, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this drink at one of the more sophisticated joints in town, or even on the boardwalk. It’s a little sweet, but not for kids.
Ingredient Accessibility: Easy- you might even have some Jameson and Martini and Rossi in your liquor cabinet already
Price: Variable- depending on liquor choices. In our case, cheap.
Taste: Booze forward but sweet- a good introduction to ‘fancy’ cocktails
Final Verdict: Liz would order this if it were on the menu at an Irish bar, especially if it was made with an interesting whiskey. Chris thinks it would be great at a beachside bar, but he’s probably just bummed to be back from vacation.