Cocktail Corner: St Patrick’s Day Libations

By on March 4, 2017

By Lucky G.

Hello and welcome back to Cocktail Corner. As always, I have to thank everyone who enjoyed the Valentine’s Day cocktails. From the feedback I received, I couldn’t be happier hearing from all of you who enjoyed the cocktails I presented for your drinking pleasure. It seems those cocktails really helped to make the lover’s holiday a little more special, and I’m glad that I could play cupid’s helper for a day. So thanks again for all the kind words and I look forward to
helping you along your cocktail journey in the months to come.

And speaking of journeys, March brings us another celebration to gear up for, and that would be St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that with a bit o’ green, we’re all Irish for a day – which is wonderful sight to behold when Brooke and her friend, Amy, are wearing their leprechaun outfits – trust me. And in most bars, that bit o’ green usually means green beer and green-colored shots. But I thought the best way to celebrate the day would be to feel Irish on the inside by drinking some good Irish whiskey cocktails. But first, I thought a bit o’ history would be fun, with a few interesting facts about St. Patrick’s Day, and the origins of Irish whiskey.

St. Patrick’s Day – or in the Irish Gaelic, La Fheile Padraig, meaning “the day of the Festival of Patrick” – is a cultural and religious celebration which occurs every year on March 17; officially recognized as the patron saint of Ireland, this is the widely accepted day that Saint Patrick (385-461 A.D.) is believed to have died … The “wearin’ o’ the green” began to be associated with the Irish in the 1640’s when it represented the Irish Catholic Confederation, and by the 1790’s, it became associated with Irish nationalism in the fight for independence from Britain … St. Patrick’s Day has grown to become a worldwide celebration that includes a diverse number of countries, but New York City hosts the largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world – by far – averaging around 200,000 participants and 2 million spectators.

The history of Irish whiskey dates back roughly 1,500 years, when they crudely distilled whiskey by freezing the fermented liquid during the winter, then separating the alcohol from the frozen water. Although this spirit was low in alcoholic content (12-13 percent or 25 proof), the Irish nonetheless called this spirit uisce beatha, meaning water of life. Then, around 1000 A.D., Catholic monks introduced the Irish to advanced distillation techniques that helped them create a better-tasting and more potent spirit, so that by the 1800’s, Irish whiskey was the largest-selling spirit in the world, with the U.S. being the largest single export market until Prohibition … Irish whiskey can only be produced and matured in Ireland, from malted and unmalted barley that’s dried in sealed ovens, distilled three times, and aged in used bourbon or rum barrels for three years … And the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world is the Old Bushmills – claiming a heritage to a license from King James I in 1608.

Well, that concludes our history lesson for the day, and now it’s on to the good stuff. Since St. Patrick’s Day is such a blitzkrieg of drinking, I only have half a dozen cocktails to share with you, because you just might not get around to trying them all. But being as they’re some pretty unique cocktails, you can enjoy them even when it’s not St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, there’s nothing to stop you from enjoying them year-round, so give one, some or all of them a shot, and let me know what you think. And all the drinks are served in the same glass – tall or oversized – filled with ice, with the choice of Irish whiskey being up to you; after all, it’s your drink.

Leprechaun … 1½ ounces of Irish whiskey – fill with tonic – top it off with ½ ounce of green crème de menthe; this drink perfectly represents the impish nature of a leprechaun.

Irish Buck … 2 ounces of Irish whiskey – 1 ounce of sour mix – fill with ginger ale – add a lime garnish; after drinking a few of these, you’ll understand the name.

Lucky Charm … 1½ ounces – fill with half club soda and half ginger ale – top it off with ½ ounce of green crème de menthe – add a lime garnish; this was created by yours truly.

Irish Spring … 1½ ounces of Irish whiskey – ½ ounce of peach schnapps – fill with half sour mix and half orange juice; this tastes way better than the other Irish Spring.

Lucky Leprechaun … 1 ounce of Irish whiskey – ½ ounce of Malibu – ½ ounce of Midori – fill with pineapple juice; drink a few of these and you’ll definitely feel lucky.

Irish Redhead … 2 ounces of Irish whiskey – fill with half sour mix and half ginger ale – top it off with a drizzle of grenadine; what better way to end this list than with a redhead?

And there you have it – six pretty tasty cocktails for you to kick start your St. Patrick’s Day – or wind it up – whichever your preference. More importantly, I hope these are cocktails that all of you enjoy enough to drink anytime you have an urge to feel Irish; after all, the Irish don’t limit themselves to drinking their whiskey only on St. Patrick’s Day. So have a great time enjoying these cocktails, and have a great wearin’ o’ the green day. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Brooke and Amy are asking for my opinion on their leprechaun outfits, so until next month, have fun and be safe doing it.


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