My favorite people are those that are passionate about something and go after it. I was pleased to sit down for a few drinks (ahem, a liquid lunch) at Barter with Kieran Folliard, creator of 2 Gingers Whiskey, on his way through Dallas on his US tour in a branded Airstream trailer. His mother and aunt inspired the name, and the rest came naturally.
Growing up in West Ireland, Kieran worked in a bar where “there were only ever two ingredients in a drink, and one of them was a glass.” He’s in Minnesota now and decided to get back to his roots by “flogging whiskey to the Yanks” at his own bar. He then realized that the thing that would differentiate his bar from the others would be creating whiskey cocktails that were as quick as pouring a beer and not too much steeper in price. (Challenge.) He created a list of whiskey cocktails, trademarked them, and then decided that he wanted more consistency … and he’d ultimately get it by creating his own whiskey blend.
Lest you think that Kieran is some rogue Minnesotan who tried his hand at some moonshine, note that 2 Gingers was acquired by Beam, Inc. in December 2012 and is currently the fastest growing whiskey brand on the market. So there.
2 Gingers Whiskey is smooth and had a sweeter finishing note when enjoyed on its own (almost caramel-y). In the drinks that Rocco (Barter’s bar manager) served, the 2 Gingers stood out without slapping you in the face (even though it’s a usually hefty 80 proof). (I had to force myself to stop drinking the Skinny Ginger, Big Ginger, and others for fear I’d be unable to function for the remainder of the day if I didn’t.) My go-to summer drink will be the Big Ginger (recipe below), no question. 2Gs is distilled only twice (instead of the usual three) so the flavor would really stand up in the cocktails, and is aged four years instead of the typical 2-3. The finish has less burn to it thanks to this process.
The bottle itself is quite nice, and features the likenesses of Kieran’s mother and aunt. The best part of the bottle, though, is the serving instructions: “drink with friends or with ice.” Amen.
I plied the recipe for “the perfect Irish Coffee” out of him (which is really a thing in Ireland and not like French fries to the French), and he suggested the steps below:
- Start with a warm glass (rinse it with warm water, then dry)
- Pour in some 2 Gingers Whiskey (obvi) as its taste will stand out more since it’s distilled TWICE
- brown sugar or a bit of simple syrup
- a TINGE of Guinness
- QUALITY strong coffee
- homemade, thick hand-whipped cream made with quality cream
– Fill a Collins glass with ice
– Pour 2 parts 2 Gingers over ice
– Top up with ginger ale
– Serve with lemon and lime wedge
– Drink up.
2 Gingers is available in most local liquor stores, and ask for it at your local bar! Other excellent cocktail recipes courtesy of 2 Gingers can be found on their website, 2gingerswhiskey.com.