St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails

St. Patrick’s day is celebrated annually on the 17th March, said to be the anniversary of the death of Ireland’s patron saint. The Irish have been observing this holiday for over a thousand years, traditionally attending church in the morning and celebrating with feasting, drinks and dancing in the evening. It’s notable that the first St. Patrick’s day parade did not take place in Ireland, but in 1762 in New York City, when Irish soldiers serving in the British military marched through the streets in celebration of the day.

Over the last 250-odd years the celebrations have grown and traditions have developed all over the world. In Chicago, they pour dye into the Chicago River, turning it green for several hours, In Dublin, a St. Patrick’s festival takes centre stage, featuring fireworks, concerts and parades. For many of us however, St. Patrick’s day is simply an excuse to throw on something green and have a cheeky tipple or two… or three…

Given the small ocean of Guinness consumed on this day each year, it’s interesting that up until the 1970’s, pubs were actually banned from opening on St. Patrick’s Day to honour its religious beginnings. I suppose people must have had a few celebratory drinks at home then. Probably a wee Irish Whiskey or pint of Stout. All well and good, but what’s a party without a themed drink?

Here are a couple of ideas to bring a little Emerald Isle spirit to your St. Paddy’s Day celebration! I’ll avoid the lager laced with green food colouring (bleh!)

 

Irish Cola

 

Surprisingly, not green! This is actually more sophisticated than it sounds with notes of fruit, nuttiness and a little smoke. Fully leaded coke recommended as I’ve seen curdling mishaps with diet variates (yuck).

 

• 25ml Baileys or other Irish cream

• 25ml Jameson Irish Whiskey

• 100mls coke

 

Fill a cocktail shaker with Ice. Pour in your whiskey and Irish cream. Shake for a few seconds until well chilled and strain into an old fashioned glass or other short tumbler. Top up with cola.

 

Shamrock Juice

 

This is a good one to make up in a pitcher for a party. Or you could have a punch bowl in the kitchen for guests to help themselves.

 

• 1 part gin

• 1 part white rum

• 1 part vodka

• 2 parts blue curacao

• 8 parts fresh orange juice

• Orange slices

• Glacé cherries

 

Pop a couple of handfuls of ice in a pitcher. Add the gin, vodka, rum and blue curacao. Stir gently to combine. Top up the pitcher with orange juice and stir again. Serve with an orange slice and cherry garnish.

 

Jade

 

Ok, we had to crack out the Midori sooner or later… This one has a little bit of fizz for those who love a bubbly cocktail.

 

• 25ml Midori

• 25ml blue curacao

• dash of angostura bitters

• 25mls lime juice

Champagne or Prosecco of your choice

• Lime slices

 

Pour the Midori liqueur, Curacao, Angostura bitters and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into chilled champagne flutes and top up with chilled fizz. Add a slice of lime to the rim of the flute to garnish.

 

Irish Car Bomb

 

Probably where Jager-bombs and skittle- bombs etc stemmed from. Unfortunate name, but it’s synonymous with St. Patrick’s day and a classic, so here it is…

 

• ½ shot Baileys Irish Cream

• ½ shot Jameson Whiskey

• Pint of chilled Irish Stout

 

Make sure all your ingredients are well chilled as you don’t want any curdling to occur. Pour your baileys into a shot glass followed by the Whiskey, go slow and you should get a nice layered effect. Pour your chilled Guinness into a pint glass and wait until the foam settles. Then the theatrical bit, “bomb” the shot, glass and all, into the pint and drink before it starts to lose its cool.

 

Irish Coffee/Hot Chocolate

 

Given the weather we’ve been having, this might be the best option of the lot! It’s a nice alternative to a dessert after a meal or just as a wee treat to warm you up on a cold evening.

 

• 75ml Irish Whiskey or Irish cream

• 300mls strong coffee or hot chocolate

• Whipped cream

• Sugar to taste

 

Easy peasy, you just make up the coffee or hot choc as you would normally. Add your Irish Whiskey or cream into a mug. Add your hot liquid. If you’re using sugar, add that and stir to dissolve. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

 

Wishing you the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂