The 10 Best Irish Drinks To Try This St. Patrick’s Day
A few drinks on St. Paddy’s Day is as Irish as corned beef, mash, and cabbage, or Irish stew and soda bread.
If you pace yourself and drink in moderation, you can enjoy a quality tipple from the top of the morning until well after dark and have an absolutely grand time. Get it wrong and the festivities could end early and you’ll be feeling sore and sorry come the next day.
The following list of the 10 best Irish drinks to try this St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect place to find your favorites or some new drinks to enjoy during the Paddy Day celebrations. Along with some top drops, we’ve also included a few cocktails for those who want to push the boat out and really make a day of it. Just watch out for those bright green vodka jello shots, they’ll get you.
The 10 Best Irish Drinks To Try This St. Patrick’s Day
1. Green Guinness Draught
The famous dark Irish dry stout, Guinness has been entrancing customers since 1759 across 150 countries and is the world’s most popular dark beer. Any outfit calling itself an Irish pub has Guinness in the taproom, or at worst, it will be available in can form. Whatever your choice, it’s a quality Irish Stout made for beer drinkers.
A popular St. Patrick’s Day pastime is to turn your Guinness into a green beer. Start by adding three drops of green food coloring to the bottom of an empty glass, then pour your Guinness beer (stout or blonde, it doesn’t matter) on top.
This method works best because when you pour the beer, it will help mix it into green beer without destroying the aroma and head. You can also adjust the color by adding more dye.
2. Writers Tears Copper Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Irish whiskey is a popular spirit, especially for those who aren’t fans of green beer or Guinness. Writers Tears is a quality, light, sweet Irish whiskey that’s a great introduction for those trying it for the first time on Paddy’s Day.
If you’re a more experienced whiskey lover, Writers Tears expression is outstanding and worth paying for if you’re more inclined to take it easy and sip neat. Writers Tears is made using a mix of single pot still and single malt whiskey, which gives it a taste of golden honey and fruit, which makes it easy to drink neat in a rocks glass.
As a writer that’s had the odd dusty moment myself, I can’t recommend a top-drawer pot still dram highly enough. It’s also handy for use in a traditional Irish cocktail recipe, such as the Green Dublin.
3. Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
Baileys is made with fresh, premium quality Irish dairy cream, finest spirits, Irish whiskey, and a proprietary recipe of chocolate flavors that make it the world’s best-selling liqueur. Over 80% of the raw ingredients and packaging used to make Bailey’s Irish Cream is sourced from the Emerald Isle, and it’s popular with every generation of Paddy’s Day celebrators.
For some, it’s simply a matter of adding ice, while others prefer to drink it with milk or utilize the chocolatey sweet liqueur in a range of different Irish cocktail choices.
4. Bushmills Black Bush
A well-known whiskey brand every good bar should stock, Bushmills Black Bush is Ireland’s oldest distillery. Opened in 1608, Bushmills has six different blends of whiskey; Red Bush, original, Black Bush, 10 years, 16 years, and 21 years.
My personal favorite is Black Bush. Great for consuming neat, it also adds a touch of sweetness in cocktails, such as an Irish Old Fashioned.
Irish Old Fashioned Cocktail
Fixing a classic old fashioned Irish whiskey cocktail is a great replacement for quality bourbon, and will ensure you’re not switching between a bunch of different drinks as you settle deeper into St. Paddy’s Day.
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey (Bushmills Black Bush works nicely because it’s smooth and well-balanced)
- A splash of Simple Syrup (can be left out if you’re utilizing a sweeter Irish whiskey)
- 3 dashes of orange bitters
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Combine ingredients into a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice cubes, and garnish with an orange twist.
5. Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey
It’s hard to go wrong with Jameson Whiskey, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s smooth, easy-drinking quality that measures up against most of the world’s best spirits.
The Caskmates range may be the best of the Jameson whiskey brand, where the iconic spirit is finished off in Stout barrels (or IPA casks) at the end of the aging process just before bottling. This Jameson whiskey has been finished in stout-seasoned casks to create cocoa notes, butterscotch, and coffee while remaining true to the smoothness of Jameson’s triple-distilled process.
The Original Irish Coffee
I have two ways of looking at the process of drinking an original Irish coffee. It’s a great way to start a bracing St. Patrick’s Day morning before the crowds, parades, and revelry, or the ideal way to set yourself up for a long evening of celebration.
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 5 ounces Irish whiskey (the lead-in Jameson whiskey is a perfect choice)
- 2-3 dollops of lightly whipped heavy cream (can be switched for your cream of choice)
If you aren’t using a mug or an oversized coffee cup, you’ll need to be careful. Glass can crack or shatter if not heat-treated before you begin to pour in the hot coffee.
Pour piping hot coffee into your warmed glass or mug until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring it over the back of a spoon. Serve hot.
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6. Tullamore D.E.W.
The original triple distilled, triple blend whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W. was created by Daniel E. Williams, hence the D.E.W.
The second-largest-selling brand of Irish whisky in the world, Tullamore is a tasty drop with fruity and caramel notes and a rich finish that goes down a treat. A classic well worth drinking to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, and one that goes well in an Irish Buck cocktail.
The Irish Buck Cocktail
The classic Irish Buck is the perfect, simple St. Patrick’s Day whiskey-based cocktail recipe.
- 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey (Tullamore D.E.W.’s malty flavor is delightful)
- 1/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces ginger ale to top (Schweppes or Fever-Tree works well due to the excellent carbonation)
Garnish: lime wedge
Combine the Irish whiskey and lime juice into a highball or cocktail glass filled with crushed ice. Stir together, then top up with ginger ale and stir again gently. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve for a perfect Irish cocktail.
7. Dekuyper Green Creme de Menthe
Creme de menthe is a cocktail mixer necessity on St. Patrick’s Day. Why? Because it’s remarkably green, but also versatile enough to use with just about any spirits; rum, vodka, Irish cream liqueur, and even tequila.
The Dekuyper version is a perfect Pat’s accompaniment. It’s mint sprig fresh, yet not overly so, but a good emerald color, and tasty enough to drink by itself.
At 25% ABV it’s easy enough to flourish by itself, but is important for use in a celebratory cocktail. Grab a couple of parties and get it flowing.
The Souped Up Shamrock Shake
Sure, you can hit McDonald’s on St. Paddy’s Day for the violent green goodness of the annual Shamrock Shake, or you can craft a cracking version of your own and booze it up considerably (remembering, as always, to drink responsibly).
For those who enjoy a great green cocktail recipe you can chew on (you can treat it like Guinness), you can use less milk or add more ice cream to adjust the consistency to your preference.
- 4-5 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1/4 -½ cup milk
- 2 oz green Creme de Menthe
- 2 oz vanilla vodka (Absolut or Grey Goose are good cocktail options with a vanilla expression)
- A splash of green food coloring
Garnish: Whipped cream, sprinkles, and a Maraschino cherry
8. The Irishman Single Malt Irish Whiskey
This Irishman Single Malt is one of only a handful of Irish triple-distilled single malts available, triple distilled and aged in Bourbon and Sherry Casks. Each batch is limited to a maximum of 6,000 bottles, which is great at ensuring quality through every bottle.
It’s not the green gear that excites and entices the younger St. Patrick’s Day partier, but a steady, well-crafted drop suited to those who have lived through a few parades and overcooked the odd celebration.
9. Magners Original Cider
While many enjoy Bulmers, I lean towards Mangers when it comes to my favorite Irish cider. Originally made by Bulmers, it was sold to Magners in Northern Island and has gone on to be a smash across Britain.
Designed as a refreshing tipple to have over ice, the original Magners cider uses 17 different types of apples pressed and slowly fermented over several months. It’s a delicious summer drink and a great way to kick off your St. Patrick’s day festivities.
10. Dingle Original Gin
You’d be forgiven for thinking all the Irish drink is Guinness and whiskey. Both have dominated the Irish market for decades, but things are beginning to change with the introduction of a new player, Dingle.
Established in 1996, Dingle has fast become one of Ireland’s leading distilleries. Their original gin, a dry spirit made from locally foraged botanicals, including rowan berry, Fuschia, bog myrtle, hawthorn, and heather, won the World’s Best Gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards.
If that’s not enough to get you on board, each bottle is hand filled and numbered by batch and has a subtle 42.5% ABV. Yum!
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