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Irish Whiskey – Beyond The Basics

Irish Whiskies

Long thought of as a two brand country when it came to whiskey  those brands being Bushmills and Jameson (and we’ll leave religion out of it, here, because I’ve always believed in the separation of  Church and Still) – the Emerald Isle actually has close to 100 different whiskies in distribution around the world, and while not all are available in the United States, most of the best ones are, and the list is growing.

In other words (for those people who’ve been living under a rock), Irish whiskey is HOT! There are more brands now than ever in the marketplace and more diversity in the whiskies being made, both by established distilleries and startups, due to a new generation of distillers who are leading the charge in experimentation and quality. And the world, ever in search of new flavor profiles to learn about and enjoy, has taken notice.

So let’s dive in and learn about some of what I like to call the next-level tier of Irish whiskies: those that are a step above the entry level whiskies we liked enough to learn more about what the category has to offer. Mostly Single Pot Still whiskies (look it up, I did, and am still confused), these all beautifully show the art form that Irish Whiskey can be.

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The Skinny on Corned Beef & Cabbage

CORNED BEEF

While doing our research for Our March 16th radio show, we learned that the traditional St. Patrick’s day dish of corned beef and cabbage is really a Jewish specialty. New York City’s Irish working class  frequented nearby Jewish delis and food carts. Corned beef and cabbage was a flavorful and cheaper alternative to Irish bacon and potatoes, and was quickly adopted as their own. You can read more at TheKitchn.

As for the “skinny” part of corned beef and cabbage, that may sound like a bunch of blarney, but there are some healthy options. Cabbage is nutrient dense. That’s good. Trim the fat on your brisket.  Better.  We found this great homemade recipe from Wellness Mama. Click through for her nitrite free version of corned beef made from grass fed brisket

 

corned-beef-brisket-recipe-nitrate-free
Wellness Mama’s Nitrite Free Corned Beef Recipe

 

“What butter and whiskey will not cure, there’s no cure for.”- Irish proverb

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know Irish whiskey is hot! There are more brands now than ever in the marketplace, and more diversity in the whiskies being made, both established distilleries and startups, due to a new generation of distillers who are leading the charge in experimentation and quality. And the world, ever in search of new flavor profiles to learn about and enjoy, has taken notice.

Jessamine McLellan
Jessamine McLellan

We’ll delve into a dram or two with the Mistress of Midleton, Jessamine McLellan, who after many years working in the bar business, now acts as the Ambassador for the Single Pot Still Whiskies from Pernod Ricard, owner and marketer of such iconic brands as Jameson, Redbreast, John Powers, and of course, Midleton itself, one of the great whiskies of the world.

single pot still

A wealth of information on Irish Whiskey and its storied history, Jessamine will help us get a better understanding of this great spirit, and maybe even help us unravel the mystery of just what “Single Pot Stilled” means! Tune in at 2pm EST to listen and make sure you have a glass of something ready to sip on and preferably Irish.

This soup reinterprets the Irish classic ‘colcannon’, a dish that is made of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. From "Clodagh's Irish Kitchen'" Recipe
This soup reinterprets the Irish classic ‘colcannon’, a dish that is made of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. From “Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen.”  Recipe

The modern Irish food scene is a far cry from corned beef and cabbage. Restaurateur, Chef and Cookbook Author Clodagh McKenna, shares some of her favorite recipes from her native Ireland and and shares her contemporary twist on classics.

Clodagh McKenna
Clodagh McKenna

Melanie first met Clodagh when she cooked at a Les Dames d’Escoffier dinner. This gregarious chef is the author of five best-selling cookery books, which include ‘Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen’ and ‘Homemade’. She is a familiar face on TV in Ireland (Fresh from the Farmers’ Market) and is resident chef on TV3’s Ireland AM.  Her restaurant, Clodagh’s Kitchen, is located on the second floor of Arnott’s Department Store in Dublin.

Clodagh is author of 5 best selling cookbooks
Clodagh is author of 5 best selling cookbooks

Clodagh created the menu aboard Aer Lingus’s transatlantic flights. She’s also US ambassador for KerryGold (Is there any better butter?) David’s been on a bread baking streak. We’re fans of Clodagh’s dense health loaf and love a toasted slice with a bit of butter. Recipe.

Clodagh's health loaf
Clodagh’s health loaf

 

Speaking of Irish toast:

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

Both Jessamine McLellan and Clodagh McKenna are guests on the March 16th edition of The Connected Table LIVE! The Connected Table LIVE airs Wednesday, 2pm EST on W4CY.com. Shows are available to listen and download anytime on iHeart.com and iHeart App.  Find The Connected Table LIVE under Shows and Personalities. Episodes are filed by the names of our guests, and we encourage you to re-post and share. Here is a cut and paste link:
http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
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Talking Irish Whiskey with Stephen Teeling, The Connected Table LIVE! – April 15

With a history of making spirits that dates back to the 1700’s, Stephen Teeling’s family has probably done more to shape the concept of what we call Irish Whiskey than any other family in Ireland. Now the Teeling family is about to open Dublin’s first new distillery in over 125 years, bringing the legacy of his family’s long relationship with his country’s spirit of choice full circle.

Stephen Teeling
Stephen Teeling

Located in Newmarket, an area of Dublin long associated with brewing and distilling, the new Teeling Distillery features three copper pot stills, reviving a format for distilling based on the old “Dublin style” of making whiskies. Stephen, along with his brother Jack, will oversee the new operation which will focus producing small batch whiskies in 3-4 different interpretations.

Connect:

www.teelingwhiskey.com

http://twitter.com/teelingwhiskey

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

The Connected Table LIVE! will interview Stephen on Wednesday April 15th, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. ET on W4CY. Listen to the podcast anytime on demand for free at iHeart.com. Here’s the direct link:

http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live