Jameson Orange is the newest release from Jameson Irish Whiskey. It’s the second flavored expression in the brand’s core range of products, following the 2020 release of Jameson Cold Brew. Jameson Orange combines the triple-distilled Irish whiskey you know and love with natural orange flavor, and it’s bottled at 30% ABV, lower than the flagship’s 40%. The brand describes it as bursting with flavor and whiskey-forward with a subtle sweetness. It does not, to our knowledge, count as a serving of fruit.
Sipped on its own, the orange flavor is most prominent, with a sweet vanilla note in the background. The citrus is more akin to bitter orange liqueur than sweet candy. With ice, the orange mellows some, but the whiskey remains in the background. At first blush, Jameson Orange may alienate whiskey diehards, but it could appeal to a whole new segment of drinkers.
The real application here—for my tastes, at least—is in simple cocktails. The brand suggests mixing Jameson Orange with Sprite or cranberry juice. I confess a general disdain for sugary sodas, but in the name of thorough research, I mixed it with Sprite anyway. The two-part drink was very sweet, but served over plenty of ice, it had a nostalgic Creamsicle note that kept me going back for a couple extra sips.
Now intrigued, and stubbornly determined to find a place for this whiskey, I plowed forward and learned that Jameson Orange makes a decent, albeit very orange-y Old Fashioned. Much better is a Whiskey Mule, although I can’t say the flavored whiskey improves on the original. Better still is a Whiskey Highball made with aggressively sparkling water—in this case Topo Chico—which tames the sweetness and gives the orange flavor some effervescent length. OK, now we’re getting somewhere! Add a half-ounce of sherry to the mix, and you get an even better, more nuanced concoction that leans toward a Sherry Cobbler.
Next up during this DIY cocktail experience—in what quickly became a very boozy weeknight—was a Hot Toddy featuring Jameson Orange, hot water, and honey, plus a cinnamon stick and orange peel. This proved to be a satisfying combo on a cold night, and the orange whiskey + orange peel duo gave the drink an extra zesty note that smelled great and went down easy.
“The concept behind Jameson Orange was to create a product that would appeal to a growing audience of flavored spirits fans and curious whiskey drinkers, drawing on the quality and integrity of our award-winning triple-distilled Irish whiskey,” said Sona Bajaria, Vice President of Marketing, Jameson at Pernod Ricard USA. “Citrus flavor profiles, particularly orange, have high appeal amongst spirits drinkers, making it a perfect profile to complement the smoothness of Jameson.”
Jameson Orange may leave some heads shaking, particularly among whiskey purists and Irish pub regulars. But its release, paired with Jameson’s brand recognition, is likely to garner new and perhaps younger customers who already like flavored spirits or are getting into whiskey for the first time. If you like orange flavored drinks or want to channel your youth via a Creamsicle-esque cocktail, give it a whirl. Jameson Orange is now available on shelves and in bars and restaurants nationwide, with an MSRP of $24.99.