Everyone is a wee bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you go beyond a “wee” and paint your face green, don green clothes and attend parades or just fancy a delicious drink and some good food and good company in the comforts of home, there is even more reason to celebrate-St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, falls on a Friday this year.
There are a host of green-colored cocktails to mix up or you can embrace all things Irish by raising a glass to the occasion with a true Irish-made spirit or beer, many of which have centuries-old origins.
Jameson Irish Whiskey has been embracing their “Sine Metu,” motto, which translates to “Without Fear,” as courage to act on your passions, since 1780. Their original whiskey is a blend of pot still and fine grain whiskeys that is triple-distilled and aged for a minimum of four years. Jameson has a balance of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry and exceptional smoothness. Add a shot of it to java for the classic Irish Coffee or mix it up for a whiskey soda and more.
Try the Jameson Black Barrel Old Fashioned: Combine 2 parts Jameson Black Barrel, ¾ part Benedictine liqueur, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters and 2 dashes orange bitters in a mixing glass, add ice and stir until ice cold. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.
A 21st century creation, 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, though made in Ireland, was launched in Minnesota by local restaurateur and Irishman Kieran Folliard. It is distilled at the famed Kilbeggan Distillery in Ireland, formerly called the Cooley Distillery. This smooth, malty and slightly sweet blended Irish whiskey is named after Folliard’s mother and aunt, the two fiery redheads whose likenesses are on the bottle.
If you prefer to celebrate with a brew, the ever-popular Guinness won’t disappoint. From beginnings in 1759, their classic stout has been joined by three new brews-Dublin Porter, West Indies Porter and Guinness Golden Ale-as the innovative brewers continue to brew up anything they can dream up and push brewing boundaries.
Smithwick’s Irish red ale-style beer hails from Kilkenny, Ireland. It is a clear beer with a red tint that was originally created as a special brew for the first Kilkenny Beer Festival. Smithwick’s also brews pale ale and Atlantic blond ale. On the lighter side, the Irish-brewed Harp is a medium bodied golden-amber lager with slightly sweet malt and floral hop aromas-a go-to anytime brew.