Whiskey Drinks for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day started as an exclusively Irish holiday—the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. But once the Irish immigrants of Boston threw a gregarious St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, the holiday quickly transformed into the green-clad, leprechaun-loving, stout-sipping celebration of all things Irish that we know and love today.1
Whether you’re celebrating the feast itself or are simply looking for an excuse to gather together with a band of boisterous friends, Irish whiskey is a core part of the equation.
From authentic Irish classics to green cocktails you’ve never even heard of, we’ve got the St. Patrick’s Day Irish whiskey cocktail to take you to the end of the rainbow. Here are seven sippers you won’t want to miss.
Keep It Real With Authentic Irish Classics
Ever wondered if your usual St. Patrick’s Day drinks are actually Irish?
For the most part, the answer is no.
Most of our traditional St. Patrick’s Day drinks are actually American concoctions that use Irish ingredients. While there’s no shame in an American-style celebration, we have a few authentic whiskey drinks for St. Patrick’s Day that you can try if you want to pay homage to the original spirit of the holiday come March 17th.
Popularized in the U.S., this timeless classic was actually invented in the Foynes Airport in Ireland in the 1940s.
Joe Sheridan created the first Irish Coffee in an attempt to warm airline passengers who had been returned to Foynes due to inclement weather. After an American passenger asked if Sheridan had used Brazilian coffee, he famously responded, “No, that’s Irish coffee.”2
Thus, a classic was born.
Not only is the Irish Coffee authentic, but it will have you Riverdancing the night away.
- 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
- 6 ounces tot coffee
- 1 ½ ounces fresh cream (chilled and dyed green if you’re feeling festive)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
However you make your morning brew will do for the coffee part of this equation. When it’s ready, add your whiskey and sugar, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
You could simply pour the cream into your coffee. But, to really make your friends feel lucky, pour the cold cream slowly over the back of a spoon to give your coffee a professional finish.
Serve with green cookies to earn yourself a St. Patrick’s Day standing ovation.
(No Frills) Irish Whiskey
The Irish have been making whiskey since the fifteenth century. They practically perfected the art of distillery before most of Europe had even learned how to do it.3 Maybe you’re familiar with Jameson Irish whiskey, Teeling whiskey, or you have a personal small batch favorite. If you’ve splurged on an expensive, small batch Irish whiskey, you’ll probably want to enjoy it that lucky charm in its purest state: straight up.
The good news? There’s no real recipe needed for this Irish drink. Just be prepared to defend your stance in a debate. A traditionalist may tell you to drink it straight, while others will recommend a splash of water for full-flavored enjoyment. If you must add ice, a large, single cube should do just fine.
Don’t Forget Your American St. Patrick’s Day Classics
Where the Irish classics are simple, respectable, and made with high-quality ingredients, the American classics are exciting, a little over-the-top, and sure to be the life of your St. Patrick’s Day party.
You likely know this drink by a different name, the Irish Car Bomb.
Not only do many Irish people find the popular name insensitive, but you’re not likely to find this drink in any Irish pub—mainly because the Irish see no reason to ruin a perfectly good Irish stout!4
However, here in the U.S.A., we don’t see it in quite the same way. In fact, we see the combination of tasty Irish ingredients as a spirited way to celebrate Irish culture and heritage on St. Patrick’s Day. (Besides, there’s nothing to stop you from properly enjoying an Irish Stout once you’ve reached the point in the night where the party’s mellowed out a little).
This is your chance to go for the pot-of-gold standard: the Irish Slammer.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- ¾ ounce Irish whiskey
- ¾ ounce Irish cream
- 1 bottle Irish stout
Combine your Irish whiskey and Irish cream into a shot, and line it up next to your tulip glass of Irish stout.
Gather your friends, drop in your shots, raise your glasses, and drink as fast as you can!
The party has officially started.
St. Patrick’s Day Twists on Classic Cocktails: Sophisticated and Festive
The classic cocktails are classic for a reason. A festive twist on these tried-and-true whiskey cocktail drinks may be just the touch of sophistication that your party needs.
Ever had a Moscow Mule? Let’s take this spiced sipper up a notch—and over to a different country—by adding an Irish twist. This St. Patrick’s Day, look to greener pastures by trying a Dublin Mule.
A twist on a timeless cocktail, the Dublin Mule simply substitutes Irish whiskey for vodka. It will bring a taste of Dublin to your party and ensure your guests that you’re both sophisticated and on-theme.
- 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- lime wedges (for garnish)
- Sprig of mint (for garnish)
For a true mule, you’ll need copper mugs. If you don’t have those on hand, you can simply use a rocks glass.
Combine the Irish whiskey and ginger beer in your mug. Add your fresh-squeezed lime juice, and stir gently to keep that carbonation intact. Don’t forget to add your lime wedge and mint sprig for garnish!
If you only have ginger ale on hand, you can use that instead of the ginger beer and you’ll have an Irish Buck—the St. Patrick’s Day twist on the Highball.
If you think you might need a break from Irish whiskey, you can grab some Irish vodka instead. The result? A Dingle Donkey, an authentic Irish St. Patrick’s cocktail.
Rum and Coke may have been your drink of choice in college or for a day at the beach, but this St. Patrick’s Day you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated and, well, Irish.
The beauty of the Irish Cola is that it’s both fancy and so simple. For a low-maintenance cocktail that you can sip on all night, you’ll need:
- 1 ounce Irish whiskey
- 1 ounce Irish cream
- 4 ounces cola
Add your ice, Irish cream, and Irish whiskey to a cocktail shaker. Shake well to combine. Pour through a strainer into your glass and add the cola slowly to keep the cream from curdling.
Green Drinks For Your Adventurous Friends
Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day rule: You don’t need to be dressed from top to bottom in green as long as you’re drinking a shamrock-colored cocktail. For these festive libations, just be sure to ask around and make sure your friends like pickles.
There’s nothing too fancy about this drink recipe. The essential ingredient? A few spirited friends who’ll join you in throwing back a salty shot. Plus, the Pickleback is perfect for your friends who like the taste of Irish whiskey but don’t want it to linger.
Between the fiery Irish whiskey and the sour pickle juice, these shooters are more than just green—they’re a gustatory adventure that’ll really liven up the crowd.
To craft the Pickleback shot, you’ll need:
- 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 ½ ounces pickle juice
Down your choice of Irish whiskey, and follow it up with a shot of your preferred pickle brine.
Looking for the real pot of gold? The elusive cocktail that your friends haven’t had before?
The Pickled Surfer is an original creation of the bartender at Ditch Plains, a restaurant that closed its doors in 2018. Although the restaurant itself is no longer, reviewers continue to praise this cocktail as a sophisticated and well-balanced update to Pickleback shots.5
In this recipe, lime juice completes the flavor profile, brilliantly tying together the strong flavors of whiskey and pickle juice.
Pickle juice paired with a touch of class. What’s not to love?
To recreate this masterpiece, you’ll need:
- 2 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 ½ ounces pickle juice (bread and butter is the original, but dill also works)
- ¾ ounces lime juice
- Pickles (for garnish)
- Lime wedges (for garnish)
- Old Bay seasoning (for garnish)
Wet the rim of your highball glass and press it down onto a plate of Old Bay seasoning. Add ice to the glass. Mix your Irish whiskey, pickle juice, and lime juice together, and pour the combination over the ice. Complete the creation—and wow your friends—with a lime wedge and a pickle spear for garnish.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from DRNXMYTH
Irish Cola, Dublin Mule, Pickled Surfer—whatever cocktail (or shot) you decide, we wish you all the luck of the Irish in securing your ingredients and throwing the St. Patrick’s Day party of the century.
And if the leprechauns work their mischief on your at-home mixology, we’re here for back-up—or for double the fun.
At DRNXMYTH you can order a few of the classics—or something with a tempting new twist—all handcrafted by the best in the business.
Award-winning craft cocktails delivered to your door? It’s not a fabled pot of gold. It’s DRNXMYTH.
- Britannica. St. Patrick’s Day. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Saint-Patricks-Day
- Irish Whiskey Museum. History of the Irish Coffee. https://www.irishwhiskeymuseum.ie/news/history-of-the-irish-coffee/
- Irish Whiskey Museum. It’s True, Whiskey Originated in Ireland. https://www.irishwhiskeymuseum.ie/news/its-true-whiskey-originated-in-ireland/
- The Guardian. The Irish Car Bomb: the controversial drink with a split reputation. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/17/irish-car-bomb-st-patricks-day-bars
- Good Food Stories. A Pickled Surfer at Ditch Plains.https://www.goodfoodstories.com/pickled-surfer-ditch-plains/