In my junior year in college, I decided to take a summer semester at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Not only would I get 6 credits, 3 for Irish History and 3 for Irish Literature, but the Professor would also take us to some of Ireland’s best, well-known historical sites. Here is where I found 6 easy St Patrick’s Day drinks.
Of course, my first stop was Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. We arrived in Dublin early in the morning after taking an evening flight out of Newark, NJ. We were all too excited to sleep on the plane and now paid the price. We thought about resting, but the city got the best of us.
Besides visiting places like the Boyne Valley, Glendalough, Galway, and Killarney, I found 5 of the best traditional Irish drinks. What better to serve during St Patrick’s Day but Guinness, Black & Black, Baileys, Baby Guinness, and Irish Whisky & Cranberry.
If you noticed, my post states that there are 6 easy St Patrick’s Day cocktails, but 1 of them, the Irish Car Bomb drink, I did not discover in Ireland, but right here at home :o)
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Trinity library is the home to the book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a 9th-century manuscript featuring an exquisite combination of ornate Latin text and intricate illustrations. A must-see if you are in Dublin. After the library, we roamed around Dublin, stopping at the Guinness Storehouse.
When it comes to drinking Guinness, the Irish know best. This world-famous stout is brewed in Dublin, Ireland and has been a beloved beverage for centuries.
Guinness tastes best when served on draft, but only in a Pub or Bar that sells a lot of Guinness. If the stout sits in the tap line for over an hour, it loses its freshness. Drinking from a bottle or can does not allow for the whole experience. However, in the U.S., finding a bar with an actively flowing tap line may be difficult, so I choose nitrogenated cans.
Pop the tab on the can and let the can sit for a moment. You can hear the surge of bubbles from the nitrogen-filled capsule contained in each can of Guinness. It reminds me of the sound from a can of Reddi Whip when you squirt whipped cream all over that piece of Thanksgiving pie. Pour the contents of the can into an official Guinness tulip-shaped pint glass at a 45-degree angle.
Don’t have a Guinness Pint glass? Get one here. Let the beer settle while you wait for the creamy head to form on the top of the stout. Now take your first sip.
Later that evening, we met up with the Professor and the other students from Sacred Heart University and headed out to dinner at a local restaurant. We heard that one of the famous Northern Ireland bands, the Wolftones, was playing in Dublin.
After dinner, we headed to a pub for traditional Irish music. Dublin was where I first learned about the Black & Black.
Do you remember the first time that you tried Guinness? I do! I thought it tasted like burnt toast. Roasting the barley creates this intense flavor and dark color. The Bartender picked up a bottle of purple liqueur and swirled the liqueur into my pint of Guinness. The taste was different, but I enjoyed every last drop. The Bartender called the drink a Black & Black. My taste for Guinness started out slow, but I no longer needed the Black Current Liqueur swirled on the top of my stout.
And let’s not forget Baileys Irish Cream, one of my favorite creamy cocktails on ice, in coffee, or mixed with many other liqueurs. Check out these other cocktail recipes with Baileys.
Dublin would be the place if you had to take a summer semester. Over the next couple of days, I attended lectures at Trinity. In the evenings, we went to both the Abbey Theatre and Peacock Theatre, enjoying the shows that were in production at the time.
Our first outing was to the Dublin Horse Show, and the following day we headed to the Boyne Valley, stopping at Tara, Newgrange, and Trim Castle.
Then on to Monasterboice, visiting Muiredach’s Cross, St Kevins’s Church, and a local pub. Here I learned how to make a Baby Guinness. A Baby Guinness looks like a shot of Guinness but is actually a shot of Kahlua with Baileys floated on top. Delicious!
We spent the rest of the summer semester in lectures and hanging around Dublin. When we wrapped up our classes, my friend Andrea and I decided to spend a couple weeks traveling around Ireland.
We headed south to county Cork because I didn’t want to visit Ireland and not kiss the Blarney stone. Yes, I did kiss the stone. In those days, you never thought about kissing a stone and getting some dreadful disease; you just kissed the stone because you wanted the luck of the Irish. It could have something to do with the Guinness I was drinking.
Somehow my friend and I ended up in Killorglin one late afternoon during the annual Puck Fair. For 3 days in August, people gather in Killorglin to celebrate the crowning of King Puck, a goat from the mountains. If you look closely, a goat is on top of the scaffold and wearing a green-colored crown.
As strange as it sounds, this is the essence of Puck Fair, where a goat is crowned king of the Killorglin and hoisted onto a platform 30ft in the air. At the same time, the town celebrates by singing and drinking, a tradition that dates back centuries.
In Killorglin, I had my first Irish Whiskey & Cranberry……first, but not last. Andrea and I enjoyed the friendly party atmosphere and crowds of people and headed into our next Pub. We met two handsome Irish blokes and exchanged life stories over drinks. We enjoyed the company of our new friends and had a great night.
The next day we saw this beautiful rainbow and thought, let’s find the two guys we met the night before. They said they lived in Rathmore, so we figured it couldn’t be that hard to find them. We got into our rental and started driving, driving, and driving. We realized we were lost in the country with a bunch of cows. Needless to say, I needed a restroom, but I hadn’t seen one in hours.
We pulled over, I walked behind a stone wall, and during that time, I heard a vehicle. Of course, Murphy’s law. We hadn’t seen a car in hours, but now one pulled up. You’ll never guess who was in the vehicle?! I hurried and tried to act nonchalant as I walked out of the field.
Ok, you are right. Patrick, one of the guys from the night before, was driving along with John, the younger brother of the other. They were laughing. We tried to explain what we were doing in Rathmore, but no matter what we said, we just made it worse. But the story ends well. Patrick and John invited us to a local pub, told all their family and friends to come to meet us, and we had the best evening of our trip to Ireland.
Thank you, Patrick and John, for inviting us to the Pub that night and introducing us to your family and friends. I know this picture was taken long ago, but I remember the evening like it was yesterday.
Since college, I’ve made several visits back to Ireland and enjoyed each stay as much as the time before. Best of health and happiness to all of my friends and their families. I’ll see you all soon!
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