It's easy being green on St. Patrick's Day. It's delicious fun, too, with simple party recipe ideas to foster munching and mingling. Think cup-sized servings of a quick and simple potato soup, build-your-own slow-cooker Reubens, and green sweets, fruity or fudgy. The Party Guide's holiday trivia and drink ideas complete the Irish party theme.
St. Patrick's Day Facts: No Blarney
- British, Schmitish St. Patrick's Day is named for the saint who brought Christianity to the country and is held on March 17th, the anniversary of his death. Did you know, though, that St. Patrick's birth took place in Britain, not Ireland?
- Four Luck By definition, a shamrock is a clover with three leaves. Each stands for something different. The first represents hope; the second, faith; and the third, love. That rare fourth leaf symbolizes—you guessed it—luck. It also disqualifies it for the "shamrock" category.
- Saved Just the Same Ever hear that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland? Not true. Seems there never were snakes on the Emerald Isle. "Snakes" are probably just a metaphor for the pagan religions that disappeared once he'd finished converting the Irish to Christianity.
- From Religion to Revelry Ireland's St. Patrick's Day and America's St. Patrick's Day look very different from one another. As homesick Irish immigrants found new ways to celebrate their homeland here, the holy day's customs took on a raucous life of their own, morphing to include today's uniquely American staples of green beer, parades and even corned beef.
St. Paddy's Day Sippers
Read on for a few fun St. Patrick's Day party drink ideas, both full-strength and non-alcoholic. Sláinte!
- Stock spirits with the word "Irish" in their description, such as Irish whiskey (whiskey that's made in Ireland) or Irish Cream (a cream-based Irish whiskey liqueur). Serve neat, on the rocks, or with a mixer, such as coffee. One great standby recipe: Irish Coffee, which calls for coffee and a shot of Irish whiskey, plus some sugar and cream.
- Irish beers, including lagers, ales, stouts and more, are a natural choice for a St. Patrick's Day drink. Harp, Guinness, Murphy's and Kilkenny are popular options. You could also make your own green beer. Just pour a little of a light-colored beer into a clear glass, add a few drops of green food coloring, then fill up the rest of the glass with the remaining beer. You're good—and green—to go.
- Lime-aid, iced green tea, or punch, made of lime sherbet mixed with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, are all good green non-alcoholic go-tos. Or, add green food coloring to clear or light-colored drink favorites. Use kiwi rounds or lime wedges as garnish. Another less colorful yet delicious, theme-oriented, and non-alcoholic sipper: a nice hot Irish tea, with or without the caffeine.