Traditional Drinks for St. Patrick’s Day

The notion of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States usually involves folks swilling green beer, green cocktails made with creme de menthe, Irish coffee, or pints of Guinness. With the exception of the Guinness or strong coffee, none of these spirits are really consumed or relished by the Irish. If you are seeking some traditional drinks, ditch the Shamrock Shake and read on for the four best Irish drinks.

#1 Irish Whiskey

The Irish love their whiskey. The word ‘whiskey’ (spelled with an “e” when referring to Irish whiskey) comes from the Gaelic uisce beatha, meaning “water of life.” Irish whiskey is always distilled three times. There are several well-known brands including the Old Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, Power’s, Paddy’s, and Jameson’s. Here is a recipe using Irish whiskey:

The Emerald
  • 2 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir well for 30 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a piece of orange or lemon peel or nothing at all.

#2 Stout Beer

Every pub in Ireland serves up draught pints. Popular Irish beers are Murphy’s Stout, Kilkenny and Smithwick’s, and, of course, Guinness. In 1759, Arthur Guinness leased the St. James Gate Brewery, and soon after began brewing the popular “porter.” The beer is world-renowned and the term porter or “stout” has now become synonymous with the family name.

#3 Apple Cider

This alcoholic drink has become very popular in recent years and is often drunk by the pint like beers. Its often higher alcohol content makes it also more “effective” than most beers. A cold refreshing alcoholic beverage made from 100 % apple juice, it is fermented and made in the same way as wine. Cider is an excellent alternative to wine as a food accompaniment. Some common ciders today are Woodchuck, Crispin, Angry Orchard, and Magner’s.

#4 Cream Liquor

Bailey’s Irish Cream is “the original,” created in 1974, by mixing cream and whiskey and aimed at the slightly elderly sophisticated female drinker. Today it is enjoyed by young and old alike, and sipped on by both women and men. It is great alone, over ice, mixed with coffee or hot chocolate. Here is a popular drink using Bailey’s for St. Patrick’s Day that will please the classiest of ladies and the manliest of men.

The Nutty Irishman

Pur 1 oz of each of the following:

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Frangelico Hazelnut liquor
  • Cream

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice and shake until completely cold. Strain into a chilled stemmed or rocks glass filled with ice.

Get Traditional Drinks at Festival

Whatever libation you chose to imbibe for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, visit Festival Wine and Spirits. Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to walk you through the aisles and help you decide what best suits your palate. If you have any questions or are looking for suggestions for traditional drinks to accompany your St. Patrick’s celebration, come into Festival Wine and Spirits in Annapolis. Also, make sure you check out our weekly specials, might just find something perfect for the Irish and those who want to be Irish!