We were the proud sponsors of the 10th Annual St Patrick’s Day Party at Elixir in San Francisco. Elixir is regarded as one of the best saloon bars in the world. It’s steeped in history and great place to hang out with experienced bar tenders who know a great drink when they see one.
Elixir’s bar manager, H. Joseph Ehrmann talks us through our Collection of Irish Whiskeys as we share with you highlights from this fantastic weekend!
‘It’s nice to have a range of expressions in an Irish whiskey. I really enjoy the Single Malt in particular. The Classic Blend I’ve made in a lot of different cocktails, it mixes really well and holds up as a nice hot whiskey. All in all I would say that I’m really impressed with the line’
Elixir in San Francisco has not only been recognised as one of the USA’s top bars, it is also one of it’s oldest. Its rich heritage means this is a place with bundles of character and plenty of charm. The perfect place then for us to celebrate one of the big events of the year: St Patrick’s Day.
Over the St Patrick’s weekend, we sponsored Elixir’s 10th Annual St Patrick’s Party, where our whiskey was poured as the feature product. Patrons enjoyed our Collection straight up and in two bespoke cocktails. We’ve got some fantastic videos from this event to share with you all, but first a little more about this impressive venue.
Recent evidence suggests that Elixir’s building has stood since 1858, meaning its location on the corner of 16th and Guerrero has seen the American nation develop.
From being one of the ‘Wildest of the Wild West’ saloons in the late 1800s to being a vessel for the new European immigrants of the 1900s to pass through. Elixir is found in the Mission Delores district of San Francisco, which itself has undergone many changes. Today it is a trendy area for young professional, a great art scene, but it was originally swallowed up by an expanding San Francisco after the Gold Rush era. It became a place for immigrant communities to live and make their way in America. Amongst these was a large Irish community, many of whom worked on the construction of one of the country’s iconic structures: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
In March 2012 Elixir remembered and celebrated these Men of Action by featuring our Rare Irish Whiskey in their commemorative ‘The Mission’ cocktail. So it was fitting that we collaborated once again on celebrating the Irish heritage of the neighbourhood. Check out our new videos at Elixir which will be released this Thursday (May 2nd).
Wild Geese have flown far from Ireland since 1691. Many settled in new communities and raised families far from Ireland, writing new stands in the Legend of The Wild Geese. No matter how far they ventured, however, their ancestry and dream of freedom for everyone has united them.
In Texas two Wild Geese fought in the Battle of The Alamo in 1836: Davy Crockett and James Bowie.
James Bowie fought as part of the Texas Militia fighting the Mexican army lead by Santa Ana for the freedom of Texas. He marched into the Alamo in San Antonio de Bexar in January 1836, originally with orders to destroy the San Antonio Mission. However, he soon decided that the Alamo would be of great significance to Texas’ battle tactics. He wrote in a letter:
‘the salvation of Texas depends in great measure on keeping Bexar out of the hands of the enemy… I have come to the solemn resolution that I would rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy’
Bowie pledged himself to this for the remainder of his days. He lead Texas Militia troops in the stand against the approaching tyranny during a 13 day siege. He would fight for the freedom of Texas until the bitter end. In the final days of the Alamo, he suffered pneumonia, and as the Alamo was eventually stormed by the Mexican army, it is said that he even fought from his bed, determined to stand against the enemy until his final breath.
Although the Alamo fell to the Mexican army in March 1836, the sacrifices of the brave men at the Alamo spurred on the Texas forces who defeated the Santa Ana’s army a month later in April 1836.
James Bowie, a true Man of Action, did not die in vein.
Our story begins in 1691 when Patrick Sarsfield and his followers left Ireland, hoping and believing that they would one day return. Since then countless ‘Wild Geese’ have left Ireland, their extraordinary stories being interwoven with the Legend of The Wild Geese.
Recently Hollywood (that’s Hollywood Co. Wicklow) mega-star Tom Cruise discovered his Wild Geese story when he was presented with a ‘Certificate of Irish Heritage’ during his visit to Dublin for the Irish premiere of Oblivion.
‘It was incredible. As a gift they went and researched my family. They traced my family back to the ninth century in Ireland
‘I had no idea it went back that far. I found our my ancestors were the rulers on north Ireland and they owned a town called Hollywood [in Co. Wicklow]‘
As it turns out, one of Cruise’s ancestors, Patrick Russell Cruise, was most definitely a ‘Man of Action’:
‘He was in New York and this guy who helped with running the family estates wanted to throw the tenants off the farm and he got on a boat, went all the way back, reinstated the tenants on the farm, fired the lawyer and they had this big dinner for him’
His family owned most of Dublin and genealogists showed Cruise the location of the family castle on a map, which he is keen to visit one day.
‘To learn about the history of my family – it was incredible. It’s a great honour for me and my whole family – I can’t wait to bring it back to them and enlighten them on their history… I’m very proud to be Irish’
There was tough competition for the man of the match during the weekend’s Heineken Cup quarter final, when Munster beat back old rivals the Harlequins. Although the game didn’t see any tries scored, we were all treated to classic, get-stuck-in rugby.
Munster secured a win against the London team with a final score of 18-12. While it was Ronan O’Gara who landed 6 penalties, the might Lions charged into battle under the leadership of a returning Paul O’Connell. And since he first stepped onto the pitch this past Sunday all eyes have been on O’Connell. His effect on the team has been undeniable, with a powerful display of leadership that reminds us of Patrick Sarsfield.
‘He has this empathetic outlook on life – he sees things through other people’s eyes, and he has this understanding that makes everyone feel good to be around him. You couple that with his rugby ability and he is just a really complete man’
He even won praise from the rival Harlequin’s rugby director Conor O’Shea:
‘He was majestic. The whole team was physical but he was the totem that the whole team just rose around. He is arguably one of the greatest second rows, if not the greatest second row, that Ireland has ever produced’
Munster will now head into their 10th semi-final against Clermont Auvergne in Montpellier.
Enjoy our Easter cocktail special: The Migration.
It’s easy to make at home and an ideal way to kick start the summer!
50ml The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey
3 Quarters of a Fresh Lemon
20ml Passion Fruit Syrup
2 Bar Spoons Sugar
Muddle the fruit, sugar and syrup together before adding The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey and shake hard. Serve in a rocks glass full of cracked ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and fresh passion fruit.