Oh, and St. Patrick’s Day cocktails. Now, when I was growing up, the only St. Patrick’s Day drinks that I saw were pints of beer with green dye squirted into them…
BUT, there’s now a mighty mix of themed drinks and cocktails that you can sip away on to mark the occasion.
In the guide below, I’ve popped in a heap of St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, coffees, and drinks that you can sample if it tickles your fancy.
St. Patrick’s Day drinks (if you’re not a fan of cocktails like me)
I’ve never been a huge fan of cocktails. There’s probably a couple of reasons for this: the first is that they’re ridiculously expensive if you buy them in bars.
The second is that they’re generally packed with sugar and a pain to make. So, the first section of this guide is all about Irish drinks that you can nurse on Paddy’s Day if you want to drink something from Ireland that requires nothing more than opening a bottle or popping the lid of a can.
Note: if you’re in search of St. Patrick’s Day cocktails to make for a party, we’ve got you covered in the second section below.
1. Guinness (no sh*t, I know!)
Yep, it’s no surprise that Guinness tops the list as the best St. Patrick’s Day drink for those of us that shy away from cocktails.
This is a drink that you eat with your eyes, first. If it’s poured correctly, and it’s served in a pub that knows their stuff, you’ll be presented with a pint with a fine head that tastes mighty and that has no bitterness.
Guinness can also be bought in a can, but it’s just not the same. You can’t replicate a solid pint of Guinness with a can. Don’t let any shiny marketing campaign tell you otherwise.
If you’re looking for a St. Patrick’s Day drink that’s a little lower in alcohol (4% volume in comparison to the 4.3% Guinness) give Murphy’s Irish stout a go.
I’ve only started drinking this in the last couple of weeks, but it’s a tasty drop that’s easy to stomach and that isn’t too strong taste-wise.
If you order a pint in a pub, you should be presented with something similar to the pint in the photo above. If you have an inexperienced server attending you, you could end up with a head three times that size.
3. Bulmers/Magner’s cider
If beer and stout turn your stomach, make Irish cider your St. Patrick’s Day drink of choice.
Bulmers (Magners when it’s exported) is arguably the best known Irish cider. Many new cider brands have popped up in recent years, but Bulmers still reigns supreme.
Bulmers is produced in County Tipperary from 17 varieties of apples (and loads of other stuff, of course) and it’s best drank poured over some fat ice cubes.
The Americans have moonshine, the Irish have poitín. Poitín is a drink that was illegally produced in Ireland for over 200 years. It was commonly made in a small pot-still and it was notoriously strong.
I’ll always remember a neighbour of ours when I was growing up who grew up on a farm in Shannon. Poitín came up in conversation once and he told us that they’d give it to a cow after it broke it’s leg and lost its confidence walking.
Mad stuff. Anyway, I’m rambling – poitín is now produced legally by a number of brands in Ireland and can be bought online and in stores across the world.
4. Dingle Gin
If you’re riding the gin craze that seems to be everywhere at the moment, look no further than Dingle Gin, which has been doing the rounds since back in 2012.
Dingle Gin is produced, unsurprisingly enough, in the Dingle Distillery in County Kerry, a stone’s throw from the buzzy little town of Dingle.
If you’re looking for a refreshing St. Patrick’s Day drink, pop a shot of this into a glass with some tonic water and lash in a slice of grapefruit and some raspberries.
5. Boyne Brewhouse Beers
Those of you that read our guide to the best Irish beer on the market will be familiar with the Boyne Brewhouse.
I’m a big fan of these lads. Mainly because they offer such a wide variety of beers to choose from.
If you’re looking to try a few different beers from Ireland on Paddy’s Day, pick up the Irish Craft Lager and the Irish Craft Ale from Boyne Brewhouse – both of these are delish!
If you’re worried about getting access to any of the above St. Patrick’s Day drink ideas, that’s understandable – some may not be available if you’re living outside of Ireland (with Guinness as the exception).
Jameson, however, should be within easy reach for most of you. This Irish whiskey is available in a staggering 130+ countries across the world and it has been sold internationally since the early 19th century.
If you’re looking to try your tastebuds with an Irish whiskey, grab a bottle of Jameson and pop it in a glass with some ice. If you can’t stomach whiskey like this, add some Ginger Beer.
Bailey’s is another heavyweight of the Irish drinks industry that you should have no trouble getting your hands on for March 17th.
This is a tasty Irish cream that’s often used in coffees (Bailey’s Irish coffee = unreal). If you’re looking for a St. Patrick’s Day drink that’s sweet and easy to sip on, try this.
The best way to drink it is over a couple of cubes of ice. Splash in a decent measure, chuck in your ice cubs and be merry.
St. Patrick’s Day cocktails (and recipes)
OK. So, you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail party and you’re scratching your head about what to serve and how to go about knocking up cocktails when you’ve never made one before.
Chilllllll. Below, you’ll find loads of St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, many of which are easy to make and require very few ingredients.
1. A Dingle Donkey
I love the name of this one. A Dingle Donkey is basically a Moscow Mule with a bit of an Irish twist.
It’s easy to make and it’s nice and refreshing. Here’s how to rustle it up along with what you’ll need to pull it off:
- Ingredients: Dingle Vodka, a lime, ginger beer and ice.
- Step 1: Chop your lime into 2. Squeeze one half into a tall glass and cut two slices off of the other half for garnish.
- Step 2: Pop 3 or 4 ice cubes into the glass and follow them with a slug of your Dingle Vodka.
- Step 3: Top the whole thing off with a generous amount of ginger beer.
- Step 4: Stir and sip.
2. Irish Gold
I’ve tried this one a couple of times over the years. It’s a handy one for those of you looking for a cocktail that doesn’t have too aggressive a flavour.
You often hear of this one compared to the Aperol Spritz, one of the more popular Italian drinks.
- Ingredients: Tullamore Dew, peach schnapps, orange juice and ginger ale.
- Step 1: Add a shot of Tullamore Dew to a glass.
- Step 2: Add a shot of peach schnapps on top.
- Step 3: Squeeze in a tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Step 4: Top it up with your favourite ginger beer.
3. A Claddagh Sunset
I spent an evening in the 1520 bar in Galway a while back and ended up having two of these.
This is called ‘the Claddagh Sunset’ which is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day cocktail that you can whip up at home:
- Ingredients: Micil Irish gin, rosemary infused St. Germain, lime juice, a splash of soda water, blackberry liquor
- Step 1: Chill a coupe glass and add the gin, the St Germain, the lime juice and the soda
- Step 2: Shake like mad
- Step 3: Top it off with some blackberry liquor and serve
4. A Bailey’s Coffee
This is one of my favourite drinks on the planet. Is it a cocktail? That’s probably debatable, but it’s an easy crowd-pleaser.
If you’ve just had a big aul feed and you’re looking for something that’ll give you a kick and help you escape post-dinner sleepiness, give this a crack:
- Ingredients: Baileys, freshly brewed filter coffee and whipped cream.
- Step 1: Warm up your cup with hot water.
- Step 2: Brew up some coffee.
- Step 3: Add 2 tablespoons of Bailey’s and stir well.
- Step 4: Top with whipped cream and sprinkles of grated chocolate.
5. The Irish Martini (for those of you looking for green drinks for St. Patrick’s Day)
The Martini is one of those old-school classic cocktails that was made famous by your man in the James Bone movies.
However, you don’t need a fancy suit or a load of gadgets to enjoy one of these. Here’s how to make a Martini with an Irish twist:
- Ingredients: 2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 an ounce dry vermouth, 1/2 an ounce of Irish whiskey and a twist of lemon peel
- Step 1: Pour the shot of whiskey into a nice chilled glass.
- Step 2: Move the whiskey around the glass so that the surface is coated and then pour it out (you want a trickle of whiskey left in the glass).
- Step 3: Pour the vodka and the vermouth into a cocktail shaker along with some cracked ice (crushed ice would be ideal).
- Step 4: shake like mad, strain into your glass, and serve with the lemon twist as garnish.
6. The Green Gun Runner
If you’re in search of a green St. Patrick’s Day cocktail recipe that isn’t laced with sugar and dye to achieve the greeny colour, this should tickle your fancy.
- Ingredients: 2 oz of Irish Gin, .75 of an oz of Green Chartreuse, a squirt of lemon juice (half an oz), half an oz of simple syrup, 1 large egg white and then some fresh mint for garnish.
- Step 1: Whack all of the ingredients above into a shaker.
- Step 2: Add a generous amount of crushed or cracked ice and shake like mad.
- Step 3: Strain into a nice glass over some fresh ice.
- Step 4: Garnish with fresh mint and serve.
7. The Simple Green (for those of you looking for easy green alcohol drinks)
This is arguably the easiest (and potentially the healthiest) St. Patrick’s Day cocktail. It has two ingredients and should be nice and hassle-free for those of you who can’t be arsed standing over a shaker and blender all evening:
- Ingredients: Jameson whiskey and one large green apple.
- Step 1: Remove the stalk and the core from your apple.
- Step 2: Place the apple along with a couple of shots of whiskey into the blender.
- Step 3: Blend until smooth.
- Step 4: Allow the mixture to settle before serving
8. A Finnegan’s Fiesty Wake
I was at a St. Patrick’s Day drinks reception with a company that I used to work for and this cocktail was being served by the waiting staff.
It was tasty but I’m yet to see it on another menu. I’ve dug out a recipe for it that you should be able to pull together easily enough!
- Ingredients: 1 oz of Jameson, 1 oz of Green Chartreuse, 1 oz of Luxardo maraschino liqueur and the juice of half a lime.
- Step 1: Throw all of the ingredients into a shaker with some ice
- Step 2: Shake like mad
- Step 3: Serve in a tall glass and garnish with some fresh mint if you have it handy
9. An Irish Mojito
This is another one for those of you looking for green drinks for St. Patrick’s Day that are easy to drink and insanely refreshing. It’s also a quick one to knock up and requires very few ingredients:
- Ingredients: Irish whiskey of your choosing, half a cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a handful of mint leaves, some ginger beer and 3 – 4 wedges of lime.
- Step 1: Throw the water and sugar in a pan on medium heat. Bring it to a boil and wait until it thickens.
- Step 2: Let the mixture cool.
- Step 3: Add your mint, lime wedges and cooled syrup into a shaker and muddle them.
- Step 4: Add in your whiskey and then fill with ice. Shake hard for 25 seconds.
- Step 5: Serve.
10: An Irish Mudslide
The final St. Patrick’s Day cocktail is half cocktail half dessert. I had this last November during a trip to Cork and it was ridiculously good:
- Ingredients: 2 cups of milk, a 1/4 cup of white sugar, 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of Baileys Irish Cream, 1/4 cup of vodka, 6 oz. of chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of Kahlua and 3 Oreo biscuits.
- Step 1: Pop the milk into a pan on medium head and bring it to a simmer.
- Step 2: Whisk in your cocoa powder and your 1/4 cup of sugar until there are no lumps.
- Step 3: Throw in your chocolate chips along with your vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate has melted.
- Step 4: Knock off the heat and pour your mix into a small dish.
- Step 5: Take the glasses that you’re serving it in and dip them into the mix to coat the rims.
- Step 6: Pour the mix evenly into each glass and top them with whipped cream.
- Step 7: Garnish with crushed Oreo.
Have any green cocktails or Paddy’s Day drinks that you’d recommend?
Do you have any go-to Irish drinks for St. Patrick’s Day? Or do you just stick to whatever your old reliable is?
Personally, I’m not big into cocktails, so I’d stay with Guinness or whiskey (usually Redbreast).
Let me know in the comments below!