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The Irish Buck (Whiskey Ginger Cocktail)

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Enjoy the simplicity and versatility of the Irish Buck, a classic cocktail that effortlessly adapts to any occasion throughout the year. Cheers!

A glass filled with an Irish buck cocktail garnished with lime wedges.

Why and When to Make This Recipe

The Irish Buck is a simple, clean and refreshing cocktail. And that simplicity is what makes it so great! It doesn’t require any fru-fru syrups, obscure tinctures, or expensive bar tools. 

It’s an excellent drink to cool off with in the warmer months, but spicy ginger and warm-you-from-the-inside whiskey are just as nice during fall and winter. And if you’re looking for a low key libation for St Patrick’s Day, reach for an Irish Buck!

What is a Buck Exactly?

The buck family of drinks are made with a spirit, some kind of citrus juice and ginger ale (or ginger beer). Two of the more famous cocktails that fall under this umbrella are the Moscow Mule (aka a vodka buck) and a Dark ‘n Stormy (made with rum). 

Other bucks are aptly named based on the spirit used and may include additional ingredients to enhance or compliment the base spirit…

  • Kentucky bourbon = Kentucky Buck (plus muddled strawberries)
  • Gin = Gin Buck
  • Cachaça = Brazilian Buck (plus bitters)

If the stories are true, the name has origins in a once non-alcoholic beverage called the Horse’s Neck which was a ginger soda with a dash of bitters, garnished with a long peel of citrus (resembling a horse’s neck). Add a shot of booze to give it a buck (a kick) and voila…the buck drink was born. Or something like that.

A bottle of irish whiskey, next to a shot glass, ginger ale and lime wedges.

Gather Your Ingredients

I’ve provided substitutions next to the key ingredient to help you tailor this recipe to your needs or personal taste.

  • Irish whiskey – You can’t have an Irish Buck without a whiskey made in Ireland! There are many to choose from, with flavor profiles to suit a wide range of palates: think caramel, vanilla, toasted spices, berries, citrus, honey and more. Each one will give this cocktail a different take. We always have a bottle of Bushmills or Jameson whiskey on hand.
  • Fresh lime juice – You need just a bit, so one lime wedge should do. Lime is my preference, but you can also make an Irish Buck with lemon juice. 
  • Ginger ale – Again, this is my personal preference. I do opt for a ginger ale made with cane sugar. If you want a spicier punch, grab a ginger beer.
A glass filled with ice, irish whiskey, ginger ale and lime wedges.

Let’s Get Mixing

The Irish Buck cocktail is built right in the glass; a tall glass like a collins or highball glass is typical. While you won’t need a cocktail shaker, a jigger (or small measuring cup) and a bar spoon (or a chop stick) will come in handy.

  1. Fill your glass with ice. Like, really fill it. 
  2. Pour in the Irish whiskey.
  3. Squeeze in a wedge of lime, then drop it in the glass. (So make sure you’ve washed it.)
  4. Top it off with ginger ale.
  5. Give it a stir.

More Drinks to Enjoy Responsibly

Pouring ginger ale into a glass filled with ice.

The Irish Buck (Whiskey Ginger Cocktail)

Linda Feller
Enjoy the simplicity and versatility of the Irish Buck, a classic cocktail that effortlessly adapts to any occasion throughout the year. Cheers!
Prep time.5 minutes
Total time.5 minutes
Number of servings.1
Calories per serving.135 kcal


  • collins or highball glass
  • bar spoon


  • 1-1/2 ounce Irish whiskey
  • 1 wedge lime, freshly squeezed (about 1/4 oz)
  • 2-4 ounce ginger ale


  • Fill a collins or highball glass with ice. Pour in the Irish whiskey. Squeeze in the lime juice, then drop the wedge into the glass. Top it off with ginger ale. Give it a stir and enjoy.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 2mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keywords.st. patrick’s day
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