St. Patrick's Day Drinks

11 St. Patrick's Day Cocktails and Whiskeys to Class Up Your Holiday

  • 11 Drink
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Cocktails

In recent decades, St. Patrick's Day drinks haven't exactly been known for their, uh... elegance. Dumping some green food coloring into an American lager might be fun for a bit, but for a holiday this cool we think it's a shame that people don't get a little more creative.

Some of the most classic cocktails out there actually have a bit of green to them (the Grasshopper and the Last Word come to mind, with green creme de menthe and Green Chartreuse, respectively), so there's no need to abandon St. Patrick's favorite color if you want to have a more refined menu. You can even garnish with some fresh shamrocks if you're feeling particularly festive!

We've also included a number of Irish whiskeys in this list, but they're not your run-of-the-mill bottles. Some (though not all) are a bit pricier than standard Jameson or Tullamore Dew—more importantly, though, they're slightly older, more refined expressions that are great for sipping by the fireside rather than knocking back at a crowded frat bar.

So this year, if you're getting tired of the overpriced beer, obnoxious drunk people, and getting Irish Car Bombs spilled on you all night, why not make your own St. Patrick's Day cocktail menu? That way you can all get obnoxiously drunk in the comfort of your own home, confident that you're much more refined than all the revelers out on the street.

  • Stout, Champagne
    The Black Velvet cocktail is a favorite of St. Patrick's Day revelers everywhere, as it takes a classic Guinness stout (you can use any, but that's the most popular) and adds a celebratory dose of champagne or sparkling wine to make it feel festive. It's bubbly, satisfying, and sure to be a hit with folks who are tired of just drinking beer with green food c…
  • Green Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, Light cream
    The Grasshopper cocktail is what's known as a "trio," a drink with two alcoholic ingredients (in this case, creme de menthe and creme de cacao) and a third non-alcoholic ingredient (in this case, cream). It's low in alcohol content, so you can make your way through a couple before you start to feel it, and it's almost always best enjoyed as a dessert drink. …
  • Irish whiskey, Brown sugar syrup, Coffee, Unsweetened whipped cream
    The Irish Coffee is a perfect drink for when you need to wake up halfway through a long night, or kick yourself out of bed and fight off a hangover. It's an exceedingly simple cocktail, consisting of just Irish whiskey, coffee, a bit of brown sugar simple syrup, and some optional unsweetened whipped cream (preferably homemade). If you're looking for whiskey …
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey is one of the premium offerings from Bushmills, which holds the honor of being the oldest operating distillery in Ireland. It's finished in sherry casks, which give it some qualities reminiscent of a scotch whisky, and make it an interesting expression in the Bushmills line. Black Bush is also a favorite among critics, and …
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey is one of the Jameson line's Select Reserve expressions, aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks. It's a blend of pot still whiskey and grain whiskey, and with a price point just around $35 it really won't break the bank. Apparently, the Black Barrel name comes from the fact that the bourbon barrels are double-charred, giving t…
  • Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
    Redbreast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey is a single pot still Irish whiskey, meaning that it is distilled using only a pot still and no column distillates. It's regarded by many critics and fans as one of the standout Irish whiskeys in the world, and an excellent example of the style against which others can be judged. And coming in at just about $50 per bottle,…
  • Blended Irish Whiskey
    Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve is one of the older offerings in Tullamore Dew's line of Irish whiskeys, and that extra maturity has made it a favorite among critics and consumers alike. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 12-15 years, it's a spicy, nutty, and woody whiskey with notes of chocolate and citrus at the forefront as it moves along the …
  • Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino Liqueur, Lime Juice
    The Last Word is a recent obsession of many cocktail enthusiasts. Originally served in the Detroit Athletic Club during the early 1920s, the drink has experienced a modern renaissance after being rediscovered by Murray Stenson of the famed Seattle Zig Zag Cafe. The cocktail is delightfully piquant and aromatic, sweet enough for the newcomer yet sharp enough …
  • whiskey, triple sec, lime juice, kale
    Feeling like you may be coming down with something? Fighting off what your office mates have? This is the cocktail for you.
  • Single Grain Irish Whiskey
    Kilbeggan 8 Year Old Single Grain is an interesting Irish whiskey because it is made with 100% corn instead of the typical barley, which is where it gets its moniker as "single grain." It's a newer product from Kilbeggan, and was apparently re-branded from the Greenore label by its owners, Beam-Suntory. It's light, with notes of honey, vanilla, and oak, and …
  • Gin, Green Creme de Menthe, Bitters
    The Emerald Isle is one of those cocktails that only gets trotted out once a year, specifically on St. Patrick's Day. It's not exactly a classic cocktail, but it's make in the proportions and style of a Martini, just using green creme de menthe instead of dry vermouth. It's quite strong and minty, and you should feel free to play with the variety of bitters …

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