As the old adage goes, "Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day." That does not, however, mean you have to celebrate your "honorary" Irish heritage by swilling pints of leprechaun piss until the inside of your mouth starts to look more like Shrek's.
So while others go from looking thirsty to seasick today, consider trying some of these five equally festive drinks as alternatives to "going green."
5. Mead Also commonly referred to as "honey wine," mead is a fermented beverage made from honey and water. Its alcoholic content ranges from about 10-18 percent by volume. It can be still, carbonated, or sparkling; and dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Mead is rarely served in bars (in Phoenix, anyway) but it's easy to make at home and therefore serves as a great pre-game/post-game beverage (or flask-filler if that's your thing).
You've probably heard of ciders like Ace Pear Cider (made in California) or Strongbow (made in England), but Ireland's been brewing this stuff too since 1935. The dominant Irish cider goes by two names: its called Bulmers in southern Ireland, and Magners everywhere else (so as not to be confused with the English cider called Bulmers). A sweet, easy alternative to green beer indeed.
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3. Hot Toddy The Hot Toddy is an old Irish cure for the cold. There are many variations, but it's generally made with whiskey, tea or water, lemon, cloves, and either honey or brown sugar. It's served hot (obviously) and therefore requires heating capabilities, so order from the inside bar if you're at a huge St. Paddy's extravaganza.
A traditional Irish distilled, highly alcoholic beverage (60-95% percent alcohol by volume), poitín is Irish moonshine. It was illegal in Ireland for centuries, but now two Irish brands are licensed to produce it, albeit in somewhat weaker form (a la absinthe). Bunratty poitín is only 40 percent alcohol by volume, but Knockeen Hills poitín is way up there at 90 percent. If you can get your hands on this stuff you KNOW you're in a real Irish bar.
1. Irish Trashcan For those of you less traditional, more party animal types, the Irish Trashcan is chock-full of gin, rum, blue Curacao, peach Schnapps and triple sec. The best part is, it's served in a pitcher and "garnished" with an upside-down can of Red Bull that seeps down into the blue concoction like in a juicy, disgusting trashcan.