Translation Error: A Kentucky Maid Variation

I took the storm windows off my 3-season-porch office today in an effort to feel less secluded as I work from home. Spring is starting in earnest around here, and even though it’s a weekday, I felt a nightcap was appropriate.

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I surveyed what I had on hand. Half a lemon. A chunk of cucumber. A partially stocked bar. Some brief research led me to Steve the Bartender’s Irish Maid, and while I didn’t have any Irish whiskey on hand, I thought the sweetness of the St.-Germain and simple would pair well with a strong rye just as well.


Translation Error

  • 2oz Rittenhouse Rye
  • 0.75oz lemon juice
  • 0.75oz simple syrup
  • 0.5oz St.-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 3–4 cucumber slices

Muddle the cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients then shake over ice. Double strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with some cucumber slices or a lemon wheel.


The rye really stands up well to the strong sweetness of the St.-Germain and the simple. As a member of the sour family, it’s fairly well balanced, although even with the rye instead of the bourbon, it feels a little too sweet to me. Next time, I’d cut the simple in half, if not remove it entirely.

Otherwise, it’s slightly floral, slightly vegetal, and entirely enjoyable.

A note on the name: I felt Translation Error fit well, because after finding the video for the Irish Maid, I thought the original Kentucky Maid (invented by Sam Ross at Milk & Honey) was the same drink but with bourbon. It wasn’t until after I made the drink that I did my due diligence and saw the original called for lime and mint as well. I’ll have to try the original soon.

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