Beyond Green Beer: 14 Great Cocktails for St. Patrick's Day

Staff Writer
There are great alternatives to green beer this holiday
Belvedere Vodka

There are no written rules that you have to drink only the classics on this holiday.

Not only is the green food dye in green beer not necessarily that great for you, as mentioned in our article Is Green Beer Bad For Youit’s also frankly cliché and seriously boring. Given all of the delicious options at your disposal, ranging from deeply traditional to creative hybrid-culture cocktails, is dyed beer the best way to honor your Irish heritage (or the Irish heritage you wish you had)?

Beyond Green Beer: 14 Great Cocktails for St. Patrick's Day (Slideshow)

So if you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at home — or creating your own cocktails for traveler cups worthy of being taken on parade (only in cities where you are legally allowed to drink outdoors, naturally) — you might want to try out something a little different. Or at least offer your guests a few options beyond synthetically dyed beer.

What’s the most classic drink of all for St. Patrick’s Day? Colin Tolin, Emerald Isle native and manager of Fiddlesticks Pub and Grill, suggests Jameson whiskey as a good start. Anything in it, barkeep? Colin likes to drink his neat, but we’ve got some lower-alcohol-content options to share with you if you’re not ready to go all out.

If you’re more of a once-a-year type drinker and want to stick exclusively with drinks that hail from Éirinn, Baileys may be a good fit for you. It’s delicious on the rocks, but one of the tastiest cocktails in our slideshow combines this creamy classic with Bushmills, an excellent Irish whiskey. While there’s an alleged rivalry between Jameson and Bushmills — Jameson is brewed in the South of Ireland, close to Cork, whereas Bushmills is made in the North — we unreservedly recommend both as some of the finest whiskeys available.

Of course, there’s always Guinness, a comforting classic that made the top 10 on our 50 Best Beers in the World. But one or two of those always leave us absolutely satisfied — not to mention full — so if you want a drink you can sip on all day, it may not be the best bet.

Besides, there are no written rules that you have to drink only the classics on this holiday (although we’d definitely recommend you wear green). Check out our slideshow for some decidedly non-traditional options mixed in with some new takes on the classics. 

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