Belle Isle Moonshine

Replace your vodka with something better.

Behind the Bar: Aaron Irwin / Courthaus Social

Conversation, CocktailsBICS Admin

If you live and drink in Arlington, you probably already know Courthaus Social, its spacious  (dog friendly!) patio, and killer beer selection. You may have spent an evening learning about and enjoying the many craft beers on their menu. But did you know they also have a great cocktail program thanks to industry veteran and mixology heavy hitter Aaron Irwin?

Tell us about yourself…
My name is Aaron Irwin, and I’m the Beverage Director/Bar Manager at Courthaus Social. I’ve been bartending for over 20 years, but sort of fell into it. Once upon a time I was waiting tables and our restaurant’s bartender was a no show. I was put behind the bar for a shift and I’ve been there ever since. 

What do you like to drink?
I am a big fan of Bourbons and whiskeys. My favorite classic cocktail would have to be a Manhattan. I tend to stay away from the less than tasty spirits. 

Tell us about your bar...
We call Courthaus Social an “American Beer Garden.” The concept for the restaurant was borrowed from the traditional German Beer Garden. Lots of space, lots of beers, and a relaxed vibe. Being in Arlington, we see a lot of young working professionals, singles, and families, and Courthaus is set up so they can all have a good time here. 

This really is a great place to work and to make drinks. We have a fantastic staff and the variety of beer, wine, and spirits we carry, along with our menu that includes the Reuben Rolls, which won Best App for Taste of Arlington and our fan favorite, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Not to be too cliché, but every night is a good night here thanks to the great guests who come in. Interacting with them, getting to know them, and exposing them to new beers and cocktails is a really fun part of the job.

The Courthaus Mule


  • 1 oz. Belle Isle Honey Habanero
  • ½ oz. Laird’s Applejack Brandy
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. honey syrup
  • 2 oz. Gosling’s Ginger Beer


Combine Honey Habanero, brandy, juice, and syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Mule Mug and top with ginger beer. Add lime wheel for garnish.