It’s hard not to love a good Irish pub. First established more than a thousand years ago, these bars have a unique culture that’s characterized by boisterous patrons, hearty food, and really strong drinks. The atmosphere has such widespread appeal, it’s led to Irish-inspired pubs popping up all across the world. That’s right, you don’t need to purchase a plane ticket to Europe in order to get the taste of Ireland. In fact, one of our favorite Irish pubs can be found right in New York City.
Passage, located in Astoria, Queens, opened earlier this year to the same owners of Banter and The Cuckoo’s Nest. The restaurant and bar, named after a fishing village that once granted passage to the Vikings, is an updated take on the traditional pub. The food menu features classics like Irish stew and shepherd’s pie, as well as some more elegant seafood fare such as crab cakes, mussels, and pan roasted salmon.
The heart of the restaurant, however, is the bar program, which boasts one of the largest selections of whiskeys in NYC. While the cocktail menu features spirits of all kinds, it centers on Irish whiskey — everything from major brands like Jameson to smaller labels such as Connemara. It’s also quite the playful menu, with libations that have names inspired by Irish songs.
If you’re a fan of the personality and sense of community that define the Irish pub, we recommend paying a visit to Passage if you’re in the New York area. If you can’t make it there, however, you can still get a taste of the experience at home. Passage has shared with us two of their most popular whiskey cocktail recipes, as well as a fresh addition to their summer menu. Sláinte!
Smoke and Strong Whiskey
Whiskey, chocolate bitters, sugar, maple syrup, orange
Bold, smoky, and packs a serious punch. A brown sugar and maple burnt orange peel brings unexpected depth. See recipe
Summer in Siam
Whiskey, rhubarb bitters, Granny Smith apple juice
Sweet, tangy, and bright. A sophisticated and grown-up take on your favorite childhood drink. See recipe
Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Whiskey, hard cider, lemon juice, thyme and honey syrup
Fresh, herbal, and festive. The perfectly balanced drink for cooling down during the dog days of summer. See recipe
All photos taken by Zandy Mangold for Passage Irish Bar