Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, March 17, 2021

If you’re going to tipple in honor of St. Patrick today — and I know I will — be mindful of which brand of Irish booze you choose. Depending on how oldschool the pub is, a certain whiskey might be pointedly off the menu:

Distilled in County Antrim, in Ireland’s north, Bushmills has been derided by some as “that Protestant whiskey.” As Jameson comes from County Cork, in the heart of the Republic, it’s no surprise that some Catholics refuse to drink anything but.

“I know people that prefer one over the other, just for taste,” says George Clancy, a bartender at Patrick Kavanagh’s on Third Avenue. “But some would ask for Jameson, knowing what it stands for. Sometimes people will tell you why they’re drinking it, because they want to let you know they know what the difference is.”

It’s not as big a deal anymore, especially in terms of business: Until recently, both Jameson and Bushmills had the same corporate parent in Pernod-Ricard (Bushmills was sold to Diageo last summer).

But you never know. At the very least, you might find yourself bellying up to a bar, next to some old guy from Dublin, and get an earful as soon as you ask for a dram of “that Protestant whiskey”.

Or, I suppose, you could avoid the issue altogether and stick to the ubiquitous green beer. (Yuck.)

Personally, I’ve drank far more Jamesons than Bushmills. It’s not a preference, it’s just based on availability — seems like Jamesons is more common in bars. To be fair, I’ll doubledip tonight, where possible.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/17/2006 10:34:43 AM
Category: Food, History
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    Courtesy of The Flowfield Unity, the recipe for The Catholic Guilt Cocktail:
    Take one glass
    Add two shots of whiskey
    And fill to taste with holy water
    Yeah, holy water definitely is an underrated mixer…
    One crucial piece of advice: When you reach…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 02/15/2007 @ 10:52:31 PM

  2. Wow.

    I remember my grandfather, who died more than 20 years ago, saying something… like this. (His father, and my third cousins, I assume, owned/operate a pub in County Mayo.) I don’t remember what it was about, really, but a few years ago when I moved here my father and I went to MacDinton’s for a drink and he told me we Burkes drink Jameson and never Bushmill. He didn’t know, or wouldn’t say, why, so I just took his word for it the way any son assumes his father knows what he’s talking about.

    Now I know why. Thanks, CT :-)

    Comment by tim in tampa — 02/16/2007 @ 12:05:15 AM

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