Whiskey cocktail

A hot whiskey cocktail straight from an Irish castle

The idea of ​​growing up in a castle sounds like a child’s wildest dream. Alex Conyngham added that he grew up in a castle that has hosted some of the biggest music stars in the world, from the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan to Bowie and Madonna. U2 even recorded their 1984 album. The unforgettable fire in his family’s iconic Slane Castle, which was also featured on the album art.

Run by the Conyngham family for over 300 years, Slane Castle sits on the River Boyne, a 40-minute drive north of Dublin. Built in the late 18th century, it began its awe-inspiring association with rock’n’roll when Conyngham’s father, Henry, took over the 1,500-acre estate from his own father in the late 1970s. It opened a restaurant and nightclub in the castle, where, in a neat foreshadowing, the closing song was still the traditional Irish tune. Whiskey in a jar. Then, in 1981, the club hosted Irish rock legends Thin Lizzy, with backing from U2. “That’s what put Slane on the map,” says Conyngham. Almost 40 years later, the estate still hosts bands like Foo Fighters and Metallica.

In recent years, there is something else that has put the castle on the map: whiskey. Conyngham and his father founded the Slane Irish Whiskey label in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the chateau opened its own distillery, housed in the chateau’s former stables, fermenting locally grown barley and of the Boyne River.

Conyngham says the distillation business is a natural outgrowth of Slane’s musical fame. “Whiskey and rock ‘n’ roll go well together,” says Conyngham, who personally presented a bottle of whiskey to Guns N ‘Roses when they performed in 2017 (the band took to the stage in Slane for the first times in 1992). Other artists who have graced the castle over the years include REM, Neil Young, Oasis, Eminem, Queen, and Bruce Springsteen.

“I remember Queen making a big impression on me,” says Conyngham. “And U2 lived with us in the castle for a while – they recorded in our dining room. I took Bono’s orange juice in the morning and fell asleep with the tunes rising across the floor. It was a bit of a surreal education. These memories underscore his loyalty to Slane. “Dad said, ‘You’ll never really own Slane,’” he said. “You’re just protecting it for the next generation. “

Despite his musical education, Conyngham turned to whiskey as the passion of his life. A founding member of the Irish Whiskey Association, Conyngham traveled as an Irish whiskey educator, notably to Australia in the early 2000s as an Irish whiskey ambassador.

This included the delineation of the ever popular Irish variety of scotch. “Irish is generally a bit more accessible,” says Conyngham. “It has a smooth flavor profile, which makes it easier to drink and I think less intimidating. If you watch Slane it’s sweet but at the same time full of flavor.

He says Slane’s unique blended flavor profile comes from its three-barrel distillation process, which uses both virgin and seasoned barrels from Kentucky and Alabama, and sherry casks from Spain. But the secret ingredient is a minerality drawn from the limestones of the Slane region. “It’s like a vitamin pill for the yeast when it comes to fermentation,” he says. “It actually helps produce better flavor notes. It can therefore be enjoyed neat or on ice, but it is large enough not to get lost in a cocktail.

We asked Conyngham to use his knowledge of Irish whiskey and Australia to share a perfect cocktail for an Australian winter. His creation, Slane Tae, consists of just three ingredients and is “a very simple, tasty and warming drink,” he says. Served hot in a mug, the cocktail is a warm showcase for Slane’s rich and supple Irish whiskey. Conyngham says it pairs well with a charcuterie platter and is especially great for camping.

The Slane Tae
Makes 1 serving. About. 1 standard glass.

Ingredients:
Irish whiskey Slane (30ml)
120 ml cloudy apple juice
1 star anise
Apple, sliced ​​(optional garnish)

Method:
1. Heat the cloudy apple juice with star anise in a saucepan.
2. Add Slane Irish Whiskey
3. Serve in a warmed mug with a slice of apple and star anise to garnish

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Slane Irish Whiskey.


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