Incorporate one of these St. Patty's Day cocktails into your menu to help customers celebrate the holiday. (Photo: VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)
by Meg C. Hall
If you want to attract customers to your restaurant or bar on this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll want to go above and beyond the cliché green beer. Here are 10 expert-approved drink recipes to add to your menu — with a traditional Irish toast to pair with each.
Who needs a Blarney stone when you can have a mojito? This Irish version from Andrea Correale, celebrity caterer and founder of Elegant Affairs, will make everyone’s Irish eyes smile.
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup green tea, brewed and chilled
1 ounce white rum
In a zombie glass, muddle the lime juice, mint and sugar together until the leaves are slightly bruised. Add ice until the glass is almost full, then pour in the rum and green tea. Stir and garnish with lime zest and a sprig of mint.
If you’re open to a bit of mischief, add this Irish twist on a French champagne cocktail to your menu. Sent in from Bleu Bohéme in San Diego, California, “Or de Farfadet” translates to “leprechaun’s gold,” and is sure to get your customers to dance a jig.
1 1/2 ounce pear liqueur
1/2 ounce Irish whiskey
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Small splash of orange liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a champagne flute and serve with a lemon twist.
Bring in folks who want to go “out on the lash” — an Irish phrase for going out drinking — with this green cocktail recipe from Lisa Strong at S.D. Strong Distilling.
1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce white tequila
1/2 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce vodka
1 ounce Blue Curaçao
4 ounces fresh-squeezed orange juice
Fill a hurricane with ice, pour in the liquors and top off with the orange juice. Garnish with an orange wheel, and you’re ready to serve guests a strong, green treat.
1/2 ounce stout reduction
2 ounces Irish whiskey
4 dashes of citrus bitters
4 dashes of cherry apple bitters
Reduce one bottle of stout beer for 20 minutes over low heat and add equal parts sugar syrup. Combine all ingredients and stir on the rocks like an Old Fashioned.
For customers who prefer a “pint of Gat,” Correale suggested this sweet (and stout) concoction.
One 12 ounce bottle of stout beer
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces milk chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 ounces Irish cream
4 ounces Irish whiskey
In a medium saucepan, cook stout beer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes), then set aside. In a second saucepan, mix cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk for texture.
Add Irish cream, followed by reduced stout and whiskey. Using a hand blender, whisk until frothy and immediately pour into individual serving cups. Garnish with whipped cream and green sprinkles, and add a clover on top for luck.
Turn your regular bloody Mary recipe green for the “Emerald Isle” with this spicy concoction from restaurant marketing firm Foodeez LA.
1 teaspoon hot sauce ⠀
6 ounces vodka ⠀
1 1/2 cups water ⠀
6 organic cherry tomatoes ⠀
5 organic tomatillos ⠀
1 organic Persian cucumber ⠀
1 stalk organic celery ⠀
1 tsp organic horseradish ⠀
1/2 cup organic cilantro ⠀
1/2 teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper ⠀
Black cocktail salt
Puree water, hot sauce, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, cucumber, celery, horseradish, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in blender until smooth. Rim jars with black cocktail salt and fill with ice.
Pour blended mixture into mason jars. Add vodka and stir well. Build with toppings/garnishes of choice, such as celery, onion rings, shrimp, bacon, green olives, pepperoncinis or pickled veggies. Serves two.
For a sweet and minty after-dinner drink, give the traditional Grasshopper as St. Patty’s Day twist with this recipe from Anthony Caporale, director of beverage studies at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 ounce green crème de menthe
1 ounce white crème de cacao
1 ounce stout beer
In a blender, add ice cream, crème de menthe and crème de cacao and blend for 30 to 45 seconds. Pour mix into a hurricane glass and top with the ounce of stout beer.
If your restaurant is already tied to a specific geography or specific ethnic food, you can still work a little Irish magic to your menu. Mexican restaurant El Chingon uses the following recipe for a reimagined margarita called the Irishman Abroad.
1 ounce Irish whiskey
1 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
2 dashes of bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker, shake well and serve over ice with a lime wedge.
Get your lucky libations started at your bar with this creamy cocktail from Therapy restaurant in downtown Las Vegas.
1 1/2 ounce muskmelon-flavored liqueur
1 ounce Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce Irish cream
Shake all ingredients and strain over ice into a double old-fashioned glass. Top with homemade whipped cream and fresh mint garnish.
For more health-conscious guests, this fresh-juice mocktail from Kathena Rails, “The Allergy Chef,” is a perfect non-alcoholic St. Patrick’s Day treat that will leave you feeling refreshed and wishing everyone “Top o’ the mornin’.”
18 ounces peeled kiwi fruit (about 8 kiwi)
2 pounds green apples
2 Key limes
Sprinkles and small lime wedges for garnish
Peel and juice your kiwi fruit on low, as it is a softer fruit. Wash and juice apples and limes. To assemble, dip your glass in water, then “salt” the rim with sprinkles. Pour in the juice, and top with whipped topping and lime wedges.