A hearty beer is the perfect beverage to accompany all of the traditional, rich Irish food eaten on St. Patrick”s Day. Although Guinness is a fine Irish stout, purists may prefer other Irish beers, like Harp lager or Murphy”s Irish Amber, or an American microbrew, such as Wild Irish Rogue from Oregon.

For guests who aren”t beer drinkers, a good Irish whiskey, such as Bushmills or Jameson, may do the trick. If you have time to mix drinks, try out this recipe.

Old Mr. Boston”s Irish Shillelagh


  • juice from ? lemon
  • 1 ? oz. Irish whiskey
  • ? oz. sloe gin
  • ? oz. rum.

One ounce is equal to one shot of hard alcohol. In a mixer, combine the lemon juice, whiskey, sloe gin and rum. Shake the ingredients with crushed ice and strain into an old fashioned glass. Add fruit for garnish. Sliced peaches, raspberries or strawberries are recommended.

Green Beer

In America, many pubs and party hosts serve green beer on St. Patrick”s Day. While this practice may be traditional in the U.S., you probably won”t find green beer in Ireland on any day.

When serving green beer, make sure your glasses are chilled in advance. Put one or two drops of green food coloring in each glass. If your beer-drinking guests are Irish, they”ll probably prefer a room temperature Guinness or another genuine Irish libation.

Help with Hangovers

While many of us enjoy celebrating St. Patrick”s Day with a few cocktails (or a few more than we should!), dealing with a hangover the next day is never fun. If you plan on going out to a local pub or raucous party this St. Patrick”s Day, take some measure to help minimize or prevent a hangover!

After Dinner

Bailey”s Irish Cream or Irish Coffee make great dessert drinks on St. Patrick”s Day. Bailey”s Irish Cream is a rich liqueur that can be served chilled or over ice. If your guests prefer a lighter version, mix about three ounces of it with a splash of club soda.

For a satisfying after-dinner drink, serve a shot of Bailey”s in a cup of rich, dark cappuccino.

Irish coffee is a must for after-dinner drinks on St. Patrick”s Day. Heat a stemmed whiskey glass and pour in a shot of Irish whiskey. Dissolve three sugar cubes in the whiskey and fill the glass with hot, black coffee. Top with a dollop of whipping cream. Some versions of Irish coffee also suggest adding a shot of Bailey”s Irish Cream.

Alcohol-Free Drinks

If some of your guests prefer to avoid alcohol or if you want a festive drink for the kids, offer a cup of hot tea. Barry”s, Lyons and Bewley”s are traditional Irish favorites.

While children may not be so impressed by tea, they will likely revel in green drinks. Limeade made with fresh squeezed limes is a delicious and healthy thirst quencher. You can also make a green punch by mixing green Kool-Aid with soda, such as 7-Up or Sprite.

For dessert, prepare milk shakes made with milk and lime sherbet. The trick is to give the drink a fancy name, such as “Irish Luck Shake” or “Leprechaun Latte.” Stock up on green straws or swizzle sticks topped with shamrocks or other Irish symbols.

A float made with some type of green ice cream is another creative approach to celebrating St. Patrick”s Day. Mint-flavored ice cream should work well. Avoid pistachio ice cream or anything with nuts if you”re serving it to small children, as nuts are a choking hazard.

Irish Toasts

Whatever your libation, you”ll want to memorize a few standard Irish toasts for the occasion. Here are some of the more popular ones. Practice saying them with an Irish accent to impress your guests.

May your glass be ever fullMay the roof over your head be always strongAnd may you be half an hour in heaven before the devil knows you”re dead.May you have warm words on a cold evening, A full moon on a dark night,And the road downhill all the way to your door.May the road rise up to meet you,May the wind be always at your back,The sun shine warm upon your face,The rain fall soft upon your fields,And until we meet againMay God hold you in the hollow of his hand.Health, and long life to you,Land without rent to you,The partner of your heart to you,And when you die, may your bones rest in Ireland!


Roberts, Bethany (n.d.). St. Patrick”s Day Drinks. Retrieved April 15, 2008, from the Bethany Roberts Web site.