It’s a beverage known the world over, but Irish people have had an affinity with Lucozade for generations.
Particularly popular amongst people nursing a hangover or a brigade of football fans watching the Premier League in pubs throughout the country, it’s a fizzy staple of many an Irish person’s liquid diet.
With that in mind, visitors to the newly-opened Passage Irish Whiskey Bar in Astoria in New York, named after the village of Passage in Waterford, will be licking their lips at the sight of a new Lucozade-flavoured cocktail the bar is about to unleash to the world.
Titled the Lucozade Creamsicle, it’s made up of Smirnoff Citrus, Sour Apple, Rhubarb Bitters, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and the main ingredient, orange Lucozade.
If the sound of it doesn’t make you thirsty, then have a look at the pictures below and try and stop yourself from drooling…
The cocktail is the creation of Peter Roche, a native of Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary, who works in Passage Irish Whiskey Bar in Astoria.
The bar is one of three family-run establishments in New York owned by Waterford native Michael Mansfield.
Michael, whose father and brother are very much involved in the business, also owns The Cuckoo’s Nest and Banter in Woodside and Forest Hills respectively, both of which, like Astoria, are neighbourhoods in Queens.
Though Michael has lived in the US most of his life, he still remembers the tasty treats he enjoyed growing up in Waterford and there are plans for Lilt and Cidona-flavoured cocktails a little further down the line.
Speaking to JOE recently, Michael told us that the Lucozade cocktail is the latest addition to a menu that features a wide range of Irish staples that have proved very popular with customers.
The Sunday Roast is always a winner at weekends, while the menu also features Black Pudding burgers and *drum roll* curry cheese chips (made with homemade, Irish-style curry), the biggest seller in all of Michael’s restaurants.
Those sorts of staples – which we’re all intimately familiar with over here – are rare enough in the US, or, if you do come across them, a lot of the times what you’ll find is a long way away from the real deal.
“You don’t get them over here,” Michael says.
“In New York or America, you might have a chicken curry or a breast of chicken, but you mostly don’t get the cool stuff. Stuff like those Lucozade cocktails, curry cheese fries, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, Chef sauce.”
Those tasty menu options aren’t the only selling point for Michael’s establishments in New York.
There are more Irish whiskeys available in Passage Irish Whiskey than anywhere else in America, with 93 variations on the menu, the most they can legally sell.
Mansfield is well aware that the Irish pub carries a certain appeal all over the world, but much like the Dead Rabbit, the Irish-owned pub in New York’s Financial District that was recently voted as the best bar in the world, he’s not going to take the audience for granted.
“It’s not just about drink, it’s about the community,” Michael says.
“It’s more about getting out and meeting people. Back in the day, if you needed a job, you went to the pub. It’s different nowadays, but there was a time when the Irish pub was the gold standard.
“In another way, it has to be real. There are a lot of Irish bars all over the world – not all of them – and when you walk into them, you know it’s not the real deal. The ‘McDonald’s’ version of an Irish pub seems to be popping up all over the place these days.”
The Lucozade-flavoured cocktails are just the start of the plans Mansfield has for a menu that has plenty of variety on it already.
He can’t give away too much for now, but as well as Cidona and Lilt-flavoured cocktails, there are murmurings about a Mighty Munch-themed offering, while 99 cones have proved a very welcome addition indeed.
Passage Irish Whiskey Bar only opened the day after St. Patrick’s Day this year, and while there are no immediate plans to expand, opening more pubs and restaurants is something that Mansfield is certainly open to down the line.
“Hopefully (there’ll be) a fourth, one step at a time, but yeah, why not?
“As long as we keep coming up with cool ideas and as long as people enjoy what we’re doing, I don’t see any reason to stop now.”
For more information on Passage Irish Whiskey Bar, check out their website.