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St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the Patron Saint of Ireland. It is celebrated on March 17th each year as that is the day he was said to have died in 461 AD. St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally a religious holiday, but it has become a cultural and nationalistic holiday in the past few centuries as well.

Shamrocks are associated with the holiday because tradition states that St. Patrick used them to explain the Christian Trinity to the people he was trying to convert. And people started to put shamrocks (clover) in their lapels during the holiday. The color originally associated with St. Patrick was actually blue, but the use of the green shamrock along with the green landscape that gives Ireland its Emerald Isle nickname helped change the tradition to the current green color. And that is why you see green costumes, green lighted buildings, green rivers, and yes, even green beer during this celebration.

guinness_shamrockThis year, let’s skip the green beer and choose some different beverages to celebrate. What better option is there than the world famous Irish beer Guinness, with its creamy texture and rich flavors? Guinness is a beer with centuries of history. Mmmm. Delicious. Other Irish beer brands include Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale. Want another take on the whole “green” custom? Try some environmentally green beers from certified organic breweries such as Bison Brewing’s Organic Chocolate Stout or Peak Organic IPA.

Maybe you are more of a spirits type person. Well, Irish Whiskey is a great option for you. Two delicious brands that might catch your attention are Jameson and Finnegan’s. Sip these whiskeys on the rocks or use them to make Irish Coffee or other cocktails such as a Jameson Ginger & Lime. Irish whiskey is also used in Fennelly’s Irish Cream, a wonderful treat for any time of year.

green_martiniFinally, if you just can’t escape having a green drink, there are still plenty of options for you that don’t require food coloring. Many drinks use ingredients that will make your drink green naturally, the best of both worlds. How about a Green Apple Martini using sour apple liqueur or Irish Eyes that uses creme de menthe? How about a milkshake type drink like the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail using green creme de menthe or even jello shots? Ingrid Hoffmann’s Pineapple Mojito Gelatin Shots look like a pretty delicious upscale version!

We’d love to hear how you decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Did you try anything different this year? Let us know.