It's almost that time of the year again where we don green and celebrate St Patrick's Day. St Patrick was the foremost Saint of Ireland, and the 17th of March marks the day in which he parted. From then on, this became the day on which his life is celebrated. In Ireland, as well as many other parts of the world, the celebration is marked with copious amounts of alcohol being consumed.
While we at Milkman do not condone irresponsible drinking, we thought we'd compile a list of some iconic beverages from Ireland that would seem fitting to drink on Saint Paddy's Day this Thursday.
- Guinness: Known by many names, “The Black Star”, “Irish Champagne”, “Mother's Milk” and “The Black Nectar”, Guinness is a religious experience to some, and dinner for others. There is a preconceived notion that Guinness is incredibly heavy and has too strong a flavour. But putting its serving size aside (traditionally a pint) and its ominous black opaque colour, it is is quite a delicious, mild tasting beer. If you are a Guinness Virgin then what better day to come of age than Paddy's Day.
- Jameson: As brown liquids are concerned, nothing is more quintessentially irish that Jameson Irish whiskey. You’d be hard pressed not to find it in any bar around the world. And if you ask for a shot of Jammo and they don't have it, then tip your hat and quickly exit the bar, they do not deserve your service. Enjoyed neat, on the rocks or mixed with some coke, Jameson Irish whiskey must pass your lips this Paddy’s day.
- Bulmers Cider: While I'm not a cider man, sipping on a crisp pint of Bulmers on a hot day really puts me in high spirits. Bulmers cider is the perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness and dryness that is delicious down to the last drop. If you're not a beer lover then this cheeky beverage might be right up your alley.
- Irish Car Bomb: This demon of a cocktail (if you can call it that) combines a half pint of Guinness, a shot of Irish whiskey and a half shot of Baileys Irish cream. The shot glass is dropped into the beer and then bottoms up. While we wouldn't recommend these be a staple for the days drinking, perhaps one of these might need to go down at some point on St Paddy's day in between a few jars of water.
- Baileys: Popularised in in the film The Big Lebowski as it is a component of the drink The White Russian, Baileys Irish creme is an iconic Irish liqueur. While I don't see it as a sessionable beverage it is quite a delish creamy beverage one needs to drink at some point in their life. Worth a go to those not interested in beer or harder liquors.
- The Penicillin: This might be one of my favourite cocktails of all time. Combining ginger/honey syrup, lemon, Blended Irish whiskey and Islay Single Malt scotch, it is the perfect balance of peatiness, sweetness and tartness, that will leave you wanting more. If you could capture the flavour in a non alcoholic version I can honestly say I would never drink water again.
- Bushmills Irish Buck: Essentially a fancier way of saying, “I’ll have a whiskey and Ginger ale please”. Combining Bushmills Irish Whiskey, ginger ale, lime juice and a lime wedge to garnish, this cheeky cocktail is both delicious and refreshing. When the heat is turned up sipping on one of these bad boys is almost a must.
- Jameson and Coke: This is the Irish equivalent to a Jack and coke, but in my opinion (and I know this is sacrilegious to some) much, much better. Irish whiskey for me does not have the same earthy sweetness that a Tennessee whiskey does and therefore balances out the sweetness of the coke a lot better. It is the stiffer, stronger cousin to the JD & coke and is more welcome in my glass.
- Irish Coffee: The true champion of any St Paddy’s Day breakfast. The Irish coffee is just as you imagine it to be. A shot of Irish whiskey in your coffee, sometimes served with cream on top. It is delicious, nutritious (this drink is in no way nutritious, I just like the expression) and the caffeine in the coffee will give you the energy to charge through the day. If you've got a beard, you might want a spoon for this one, or at least give your beard a good wash afterward.
- Tea: For the more responsible and the designated drivers out there, why not have a cup of tea or 2 even. Beloved by the Irish, it would be safe to say that every pantry in Ireland (barring display homes of course) would have a few tea bags in it. Make yourself a cup of tea this Paddy’s day morning, it's a lot more environmentally friendly than using a coffee pod so you're almost a hero for enjoying one.
So this Paddy’s day while you're out enjoying the festivities, listening to Celtic rompers on the the duke box and trying not to spill Guinness on your best green shirt please be safe, drink responsibly and don't get too silly.
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Author: Kareem Ghaly