Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With this Special Irish Fondue
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With this Special Irish Fondue

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to pull up our sleeves and bring out the whiskey bottles!

Today, the celebration of Ireland’s legacy goes beyond traditional religious feasts. Dances, parades, exotic dishes, and, of course, a lot of alcohol fill the air with merriment. A great way to celebrate this Irish tradition is to give in to your weakness for a well-rounded glass of liquor, is a party planned around Irish whiskey.

Dating back to the 12th century, and once the most popular spirit in the world, Irish whiskey witnessed a decline in popularity during the 19th century – the number of distilleries dropped from 30 to just 3. But, the market has regained momentum in the last 20 years, with exports growing at 15% annually.

What better occasion to mark the resurgence of Irish whiskey than to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? While whiskey is often the drink to enjoy in solitude, the vibrancy and complexity of its flavors only grows when shared.

Fondue, though French in origin, is the definitive communal, ‘party’ food. So, here’s how to put an Irish spin on this cheesy classic. This recipe will serve 4 moderately hungry people, or 2 ravenous individuals.

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 700gm of Irish cheddar cheese (we recommend Murray’s or Dubliner), grated
  • 11/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup Irish stout
  • 4 tbsp (roughly 60ml) Irish whiskey – try a dash of Jameson’s blend, or Bushmill’s 21 Years if you’re in the mood for a single malt
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A smattering of freshly ground pepper
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The Process

Halve a clove of garlic and rub it all over the inside of a large pot. Crush and chop the rest and toss them into the pot.

Set it over medium heat, and then add the beer. Bring to a simmer.

Put in the cheese and the cornstarch – a handful at a time, stirring continuously till it melts.

Reduce the heat and stir till the cheese melts completely.

Add the whiskey and turn up the heat.

Once the concoction starts bubbling (which should take 1 or 2 minutes), add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the fondue to a deep dish or fondue pot, set over a tea light and serve immediately. You can serve chunks of toasted bread, if you’ve used a spicy Jameson 12 Years, or apple slices if you have opted for a Bushmill’s Single Malt, as accompaniments.

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