6 Easy St Patrick’s Day Drinks
My junior year in college I decided to take a summer semester at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Not only was I going to get 6 credits, 3 for Irish History and 3 for Irish Literature, the Professor was going to take us to some of the historical sites in Ireland. Besides visiting places like the Boyne Valley, Glendalough, Galway and Killarney, I found 5 of the best traditional Irish drinks to serve during St Patrick’s Day, 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 recipes, but 1 of them, the Irish Car Bomb drink, I did not discover in Ireland, but right here at home :o)
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 were paying the price for it now. Our first thought was to sleep a bit, but the city got the best of us, so we headed to the Trinity library to see the book of Kells. The Book of Kells is a 9th century manuscript, featuring an exquisite combination of ornate Latin text and intricate illustrations. It is a must see if you are in Dublin. After the library we roamed around Dublin and made a stop at the Guinness Storehouse where they give you a taste from the Guinness factory.
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, were playing in Dublin so after dinner we headed to a pub for traditional Irish music. It was here that I first learned about the Black & Black.
Do you remember the first time that you tried Guinness? I do! I thought it was just terrible, so the Bartender picked up a bottle of purple liqueur and swirled it into my pint of Guinness. I thought, this is different and good, this is a Black & Black. It was there in Dublin that I acquired the taste for Guinness. Ok, it started out a bit slow, but years later I no longer need the Black Current Liqueur swirled on the top of my beer. And don’t forget Baileys Irish Cream, one of my favorite creamy cocktails on ice, in coffee, or mixed with so many other liqueurs.
Over the next couple of days, I attended lectures at Trinity, and 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. It was here that I learned how to make a Baby Guinness. It’s called a Baby Guinness because it looks like a shot of Guinness, but it 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. If you had to take a summer semester, Dublin is the place to be. When we wrapped up our classes, we decided to spend a couple weeks seeing the countryside. 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 catching Covid, you just kissed the stone for good luck.
Somehow my friend and I ended up in Killorglin one late afternoon and it happened to be the annual Puck Fair. During 3 days in August, people gather in Killorglin to celebrate the crowning of King Puck, a goat from the mountains. As strange as it sounds this is the essence of Puck Fair, where a goat is crowned as king of the Killorglin and hoisted onto a platform 30ft in the air, while the town celebrates by singing and drinking, a tradition that dates back centuries. If you look closely, there is a goat on the top of the scaffold, and it looks as if he is wearing a green colored crown. It was here that I had my first Irish Whiskey & Cranberry……first, but not last. We were enjoying the friendly party atmosphere, crowds of people and headed into our next pub. There we met two handsome Irish blokes and exchanged our life stories over drinks. It was a good night, and we enjoyed the company of our new friends.
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, and driving, and driving. It wasn’t long before we realized we were lost, in the middle of 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 pulls up. I hurried up and tried to act nonchalant as I walked out of the field. You’ll never guess who had pulled up?! Ok, you are right. It was one of the guys from the night before and the younger brother of the other. We tried to explain what we were doing in Rathmore but no matter what we said, we just made it worse. They were laughing. But the story ends well. They invited us to a local pub, told all of their family and friends to come 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 a long, long time ago but I remember the evening like it was yesterday.
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