March 10, 2020
The Irish know how to celebrate! While Canadians do pour a few drinks on Canada Day, our national occasion pales in comparison to the worldwide recognition of St. Patrick’s Day.
Whether you’re heading out to the local pub, planning a St. Patrick’s Day party or you just want to get into the mood before March 17th rolls around, we’ve compiled a list of some ways to toast the patron saint of the emerald isle.
Why do we celebrate St Patrick’s Day?
As the name suggests, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Saint Patrick, the best-known of all the saints of Ireland. He was born in Great Britain and brought to Ireland as a slave. He eventually escaped those who held him, and returned to Great Britain. However, shortly after that, he had a vision of the Irish people calling out to him, so he returned as a missionary to serve the people.
He died March 17th 461 A.D., and that date has evolved over the centuries to become the day we now know as St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day was originally commemorated as a feast. On this day, Catholics were allowed to disregard the alcohol and food restrictions of lent to join in on the celebration, which is how St. Patrick’s Day first became associated with raising a glass.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture, history, and traditions, and it’s marked around the world.
Naturally, the way to give a nod to Ireland’s history is to serve Irish beverages!
Assemble an Irish Beer Tasting
Guinness is a favourite of many who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day year after year. Guinness is an authentic Irish beer; the company, originally called St. James’s Gate Brewery, was founded by Arthur Guinness in Dublin, Ireland in 1759.
The most iconic of the Guinness beers is the Guinness Draught. Its unmistakable dark color, thick foam, and smooth, creamy taste are what Guinness fans love. Guinness Draught was developed in 1959 in celebration of 200 years, after Arthur Guinness has signed a 9000-year lease.
You can find Guinness in cans at your local Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store. Serve it alongside other classic Irish beers, like Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, the American-made Finnegan’s Irish Ale in your Co-op walk-in beer cooler.
Pour Yourself a Dram
Next to beer, Irish whiskey is one of the most iconic Irish drinks. Choose an Irish whiskey like Jameson and serve it straight, or add a splash of cranberry and have it on the rocks. Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey is a great bottle to bring along as a housewarming gift if you’re attending a St. Pat’s party. Of course, if you want to have a little whiskey on hand for yourself, Co-op Premium Irish Whiskey has all the depth and flavour, while keeping a little more change in your pocket.
Mix Up Something Green
The colour green has become a symbol for the day due in part to Ireland’s nickname, the ‘Emerald Isle’. That’s why we make green drinks too. This unique drink has recently made it onto lists of popular Irish beverages, and it’s called the Fat Frog. It mixes blue mixer like Koolaid or blue raspberry juice with and Bacardi orange cooler and Smirnoff Ice cooler to turn the drink green. You can also easily make a non-alcoholic version for the kids using blue and orange juices or sodas and some Sprite.
Never Go Wrong with Bailey’s Irish Cream
There’s always a good time for Bailey’s Irish Cream, and more so on St. Patrick’s Day! This versatile spirit is great solo on the rocks, in any number of creamy cocktails, poured over ice cream, or added to a milkshake or coffee. You should always have a bottle of Bailey’s on hand, since it’s a crowd pleaser, and if you don’t, Ireland’s national holiday is a good excuse to re-stock the bar.
Serve a Shamrock Smoothie
Some of us are trying to be healthy, but we still want to get in on the fun! A green smoothie can be a festive way to join the party, while still meeting our diet goals. There are several different recipes, but our favourite mixes lime sherbet, frozen yogurt, pear and lime juice, and fresh mint. Garnish with mint leaves. You can also do some straight up green juice by blending or juicing cucumber, parsley, celery, spinach and ginger.
Whether you’re toasting St Patrick with a traditional Irish beverage, or marking the day in a healthy way, everyone can get in on the fun with these drink ideas.
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